A cubicle with a view

A cubicle with a view

We work hard to get more money, and the secret to getting more of it may lie in the environment in which we work. 

Most Americans spend an average of 52 hours per week sitting at a desk. Can you imagine the number of hours (not necessarily spent at a desk) that the average hospitality employee actually works during a week?

Last week, I had the pleasure to travel to Laguna Niguel, California, for business. I met a doorman who has worked at his hotel for 15 years. Upon my arrival we chatted about the outstanding weather that day (mid 60s, sunshine and no humidity). His only complaint was that the waves for surfing were only “biting at ankle height.” He told me he gets to the beach about once a week, and the simple act of getting his toes to touch sand and ocean makes him happy. Additionally, he couldn’t imagine doing anything else, as the position of doorman fits perfectly into his lifestyle and his passion for being outside. 

My days in California were extremely busy with appointments, meetings and conference calls, with barely a minute to spare. I thought back to the doorman’s comment about the weather and decided I needed to appreciate the environment in which I was working. 

Not many of us in the service industry have the benefit of palatial offices with views of the ocean. My first “office” was a desk and a lamp in the corner of the reservation office. Are there things you can do now to improve your work environment? Buy a plant. Put up a picture. Get an air freshener. Play soft music. Use a fan. Obtain a flower pot. Get a dimmer switch. There are even light-therapy lamps to help rejuvenate sunshine-deprived individuals. A study published in HortScience stated, “People who work in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt significantly better about their jobs and the work they performed. Those with plants rated their job satisfaction and quality of life higher, and responded more positively about their bosses and coworkers.”

If you are on your feet all day, get some gel shoe inserts, new cozy socks or a fresh perfume. A bellman I knew 25 years ago kept a roll of quarters in his pocket that he squeezed all day to strengthen his grip to improve his luggage-carrying skills.

If you literally can’t work in sunshine everyday, create your own paradise where you spend most of your day.