How to Campaign for Flexible Working Conditions (Or, How to Change the Company Policy That Requires You Lug a Heavy Laptop Around)

How to Campaign for A More Flexible Workplace (Or: How to Ditch Your Company Laptop)How do you campaign for accessibility and flexibility in your workplace when the policies are less than ideal?  Yesterday’s post on how to lighten your tote bag got me thinking — I was so intrigued by the commenters who noted that they have to carry a huge, bulky laptop to and from the office because that is the the only approved way to get access to the office system.  When I was working in BigLaw, my firm used Citrix to give everyone access to the Docs Open system and other office programs — there were even times you could access document review programs from home.  (Ah, glory days.)  The only thing we needed to access the system was a small, flat device (a 2″ by 1″ fob) that displayed a long number that changed every thirty seconds. When you needed to log into the system, you entered the current security number.  That was five years ago, so it honestly didn’t occur to me that companies with information security issues would not be using something similar to Citrix in 2013.  (Even the Department of Defense has a better remote access option, according to a 2011 Lifehacker article.)  Maybe there are good reasons Reader R’s company isn’t using a secure remote system — but maybe it’s just an old policy that hasn’t been reevaluated in a while or from the right perspective. 

So readers, let’s talk about this — how do you change an office policy to make the conditions better for you (and those who come after you)?  Sheryl Sandberg talked a bit about this in Lean In — regarding how she insisted that the Google parking lot have spaces reserved for expectant mothers — and this was kind of mentioned in a recent NYT article about workplace flexibility  — but I can’t seem to find much else about this topic on the Internet.  For my $.02, here are some ideas… [Read more…]

Sponsored Post: Take Care of Your Vision with DAILIES ® AquaComfort Plus ® Contact Lenses

3D_DACP_30ctDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Alcon DAILIES ® AquaComfort Plus ® Contact Lenses and Style Coalition.

I’ve written before about how I’m a big fan of single-use contact lenses.   I think they’re great! I don’t have to remember how many weeks I’ve been wearing the contacts, I don’t have to worry about when the lens care solution expires, and, especially for someone like me who only occasionally wears contacts, opening a new packet every time just feels fresher.   So I was thrilled when   DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus ® Contact Lenses asked me to round up a few more of my tips… [Read more…]

Staying Cool in a Hot Office

Fan, originally uploaded to Flickr by Ryk Neethling.How do you stay cool in an overheated office? Reader L — who notes that she is nowhere near “hot flash” territory — wants some advice on working with some overactive radiators:

You’ve written about staying warm in a cold office. What about staying cool in a hot office? The weather outside is frightful, but my office feeling as hot as fire is not so delightful.

Great question, and I’m curious to hear what readers say. (Pictured.) Some tips off the top of my head:

  • Dress in layers. Obviously. You may want to particularly look into breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk (which can block cold winds outside but still be comfortable inside).

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PSA: Dry, Tired Eyes + Allergies = Bad News

Allergy eye, originally uploaded to Flickr by Pahz.This isn’t entirely a “beauty Wednesday” feature, but as we head into allergy season I thought I’d remind everyone to take very good care of your eyes, particularly if you wear contacts. You see, I had a serious scare with my eyes because when I first started working at my law firm, I didn’t know four things:
a) how dry the office air was
b) how dry my eyes were naturally
c) how much allergies affected my eyes — it never occurred to me to check beneath the lids of my eyes to see all the little raised bumps that allergies put there
d) how surprisingly easy to do serious damage to your eyes if you have the above 3 conditions and are also not taking the best care of your contacts

The first year at my law firm, I wore contacts about 90% of the time (contacts I was supposed to wear for 8-12 hours a day and throw away every 2 weeks… neither of which happened), and loved (LOVED) to get home after a long day at the office and rub my eyes for like a minute. Aaaaah – felt so good! When allergy season hit, my lack of knowledge (those damned little bumps!) meant I was done for — unbeknownst to me, I was basically exfoliating my corneas.  (Pictured: Allergy eye, originally uploaded to Flickr by Pahz.)

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Coffee Break – Yoga for Stress Relief DVD

Yoga for Stress Relief
I’m just going to start by saying this: I am not a yoga chick. Part of this stems from the fact that I’ve always been really flexible, but with lousy balance, so I can get into the positions really easily and then just fall over. That said, I wanted to recommend this DVD to you guys — particularly as the end of the year amps into a fairly stressful time of year. This DVD has 20+ easy to follow routines that target (in generally 15-20 minute segments) specific pains, such as lower back pain, neck and shoulder pain, headaches — and yoga that purports to help stomach and digestive issues, as well as troubled sleep, including insomnia. For $13.49 through Amazon, it’s a great investment in YOU. Yoga for Stress Relief

Drawer Drugstore: Toiletries to Keep In The Office

junk drawer #1, my middle desk drawer, originally uploaded to Flickr by zeelicious.What toiletries do you keep in your desk drawer?  We’ve talked about the clothes you keep in the office, the food you nibble on during the workday, and the tech stuff you have to have for the office — but what about toiletries?  I have such an established list that, when my brother started his new job, I gave him a little bag filled with these items — they’re helpful for everyone!  (Pictured: junk drawer #1, my middle desk drawer, originally uploaded to Flickr by zeelicious.)

1. New-Skin. Yes, it’s an electronic world, but there are still far more papers to deal with than you’d think — which means papercuts abound — which means every open wound increases your chances of getting sick. My preferred method for dealing with papercuts is to apply a liquid bandage like New-Skin. It dries quickly, stays on all day (even after you’ve washed your hands), and it doesn’t leave that gummy residue on your nails and fingers. [Read more…]