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Why Shift Workspaces is Working to Become B-Corp Certified

Shift is passionate about building communities that enhance the health, peace of mind and the quality of life of our members, employees and neighbors. We value kindness and respect in our relationships and know that our own happiness and wellbeing is intertwined with others. We work to strengthen our local communities with the hope that they might begin to resemble the world in which we want to live. We are mindful of our environmental footprint and have committed to replace more resources than we consume as a company.

Since we opened our first Shift community in 2012, we’ve strived to be a business that is socially and environmentally responsible. When we first heard about the B Corp movement a few years ago, we knew that it was a natural extension of the mission we had already started. Becoming a certified B Corporation will take our relationship with sustainability and fair business to the next level.

Certified B Corporations, or B-Corps for short, are social enterprises certified by the nonprofit organization B Lab. B Lab certified companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders; these include employees, customers, the local community, vendors, and environment.

Becoming B Certified is a long, rigorous process; one that can take months or years. We have devoted tremendous resources towards certification and we are thrilled to be joining a community that exists to use business as a force for good in our community and the world.

We will focus on five main principles as a BCORP: customer, vendor and employee happiness, volunteer hours, water conservation, electrical conservation, and maintaining a zero carbon footprint.

B Corporations are important today more than ever because they are setting a new standard on how business should be done. It’s no longer about who can do, produce, or operate more, instead it’s about who can do, produce, and operate better. We believe that our efforts to become a BCORP certified company demonstrate our commitment to our local community, our employees, the environment and our members and we hope that it inspires you to do the same.

How to Balance Real Life in a Social Media World

According to Statista, there are approximately 2.62 billion social media users in the world. Furthermore, Pew Research Center found that a significant percentage of social media users check the platforms on a daily basis.

The time we spend scrolling through our social media feeds or searching for videos, tips, trends, and the like has rocketed. What’s more, the amount of time we spend using these platforms has caught the eye of scientists and researchers that are investigating whether or not social media addiction constitutes a mental disorder.

So, in a world dominated by what’s happening online and who’s posting the best picture or video, how can you make sure you’re checked-in with reality?

1. Invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock
Though it may seem trivial, investing in a traditional alarm clock can help you decrease your phone–and therefore–social media usage. If your phone works as your alarm clock, then the first thing you check on as soon as you wake up is your phone, your text messages, your emails, your Instagram likes, etc. Having a real alarm clock to turn off will prevent you from engaging in this behavior early in the morning.

2. Call me, maybe?
Instead of sending a text, gif, snapchat, or voice note, when you want to have a conversation with someone, call. This will help you be truly engaged in the conversation you are having at hand, instead of switching between your texting app and your social media platform of preference while you are having a conversation.

3. Schedule some time to use social media
Instead of grabbing your phone or computer to check on social media every time you have a moment off, consider scheduling a set time every day, or every other day, to check different social media platforms. With time, you will enjoy social media much more this way and your productivity levels will increase.

4. Avoid using your phone before you go to bed
Since you won’t be using your phone as an alarm clock, there’s really no need for you to have your phone under your pillow or on your nightstand. Keep your in your closet, your dresser or another room when you go to bed. You’ll get a much better night’s sleep for it.

5. Don’t compare
Social media doesn’t accurately represent our lives. To keep your feet grounded and to keep your mental health in check, don’t compare yourself and your life to what you see on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other social media platform. 

Extra tip: Need an excuse to motivate you to meet people face to face? Come check us out or attend some of our events. You can find our community events on our Facebook page.

 

Health and Fitness Mistakes You Should Avoid

Leading a healthy lifestyle can have positive effects in your personal and professional lives. Often, our ideas and perceptions of “healthy” tend to be mistaken, leading to health problems and complications.

A healthy lifestyle is one that is balanced. Healthy shouldn’t mean that you deprive yourself of things that you enjoy doing–like every now and then indulging in chocolate or pizza or taking a day off to watch Netflix or read.

Here are five of the most common health and fitness mistakes you should avoid:

1- Not Sleeping Enough: Our bodies need rest. Whether you are a gym enthusiast or enjoy strolling during the day, your body, muscles, joints, and mind all need a break. Getting enough sleep is key in making sure you will perform your best in physical and mental activities.

2- Over or Under Eating: Our bodies need nourishment to recover and keep performing at optimal levels. Under or over eating can have negative consequences like weakened immune system, lack of energy, and weight gain. Make sure you are getting enough of the necessary nutrients to keep your body and mind going.

3- Being Afraid to Ask: If you’re uncertain about any health, food, or fitness issues don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t know how a machine works at the gym, ask! Otherwise you risk injuring yourself. The same goes around any other topic related to your health, there’s no shame in consulting an expert about what foods to eat and when, when to work out, when to rest, etc.

4- Lack of Discipline: If you start a program, make sure you stick to it, otherwise you won’t see the expected results. This goes both for active days as well as for rest days. Don’t try to over or under do it. This also goes for your diet program; respect your eating times and your portions. A cheat meal and a cheat day are far from the same thing. On a similar note, make sure you are not changing from program to program every other week or month; give your body enough time to experience the results before switching to a new program.

5- Not Having a Goal: Training or dieting for the sake of training or dieting is not good enough. You need to establish personal goals (i.e. to lose weight, gain weight, define muscles, tone, etc.). Having a goal will make it easier for you to focus on what you need to work on, it will help you be accountable, and it will help you in following and sticking to a program.

Work and life have become fully integrated, which is why leading a healthy lifestyle is key to professional success. Flexible workspaces such as Shift Workspaces have become a valuable tool in helping professionals blur the line between work and life.

 

The Physical and Mental Benefits of Biking and Why Denver is a Great City for it

Riding a bike, just as walking, has various physical and mental benefits. Most physical activity is good for the heart, increases muscle, reduces fat, and reduces stress. It also helps to clear one’s mind and has the added benefit of being easy on the joints.

Yet, biking doesn’t have to be all about ‘exercising’. In fact, biking can very well be a social activity–you can bike with family, friends or colleagues; biking gets you outside and can take you to paths less traveled (literally and metaphorically speaking).

One of the great advantages of biking is that it takes you outside; meaning that you are breathing fresh air. You might be wondering what is so great about this? Well, let us tell you. A 2011 study found that exercising outdoors is associated with greater feelings of revitalization, energy, and positive engagement. The same study found while exercising outside is best for mental health, as it reduces tension, anger, and feelings of depression.

Now, if you’re in Denver, you should consider biking as a main form of transportation. While Denver is not the most bikeable city in the US, it is certainly getting there. Last year, after the Bike to Work Day, Denver’s urban mobility manager Emily Snyder told the Denver Post that “We’re not at the top, but are very close and we are striving to get to the top. There’s really nothing standing in our way as far as geography and climate.”

In fact, when it comes to bikeability ratings, Denver often lands in the top 10, if not the top 5 among similarly sized cities, Snyder explained to the Denver Post. One of the reasons Denver is a great city for biking, both for commuting purposes as well as recreational ones is because the city has actively worked on projects that have resulted in the creation of more protected bike lanes. In her Denver Post interview, Snyder mentioned that the city takes on 15 to 20 miles of bike improvements a year!

Denver has several trails and paths, and you can find a detailed biking map in the Denver government page. Because the city is hoping to encourage residents to bike more, the government has made it easy for residents to combine biking with public transportation by providing bike station lockers and by allowing people to take their bikes inside certain buses and light rail systems.

Think of it this way: instead of spending hours sitting in traffic frustrated with it, you’ll be pedaling your way to better physical and mental health. It’s also more economical and environmentally friendly, and it will help you discover areas of the city that you might not be familiar with.

At Shift Workspaces, we care about our members overall wellness, it’s why we give them access to a fitness center and bike storage. Bike to Work Day 2017 exceeded its pre-event prediction of 34,000 participants across the city, growing over 35% over the past 5 years. There’s a good reason for it; people have tried it for themselves and experienced the benefits–mental, physical, and economical.

4 Tips to Achieve Work-Life Balance

While technology has enabled us to work more effectively from anywhere and at any time, it has also made work-life balance more difficult to achieve. Technology, combined with remote work policies and flexible schedules has created what some describe as “always being at work”.

With our emails and work apps on our phones, as well as 24/7 access to internet or buildings, what’s going to stop us from working at 3a.m.?

The only possible answer here is: yourself. Work-life balance is key to perform your best both at a personal and professional level; it will also prevent you from burning out and experiencing increased stress levels.

Yet, with all the stimuli around you encouraging you to work all the time, how do you achieve, and more importantly maintain, work-life balance?

Learn the art of prioritizing

Though there are times where you might feel you’re on top of the world and can achieve everything, truth is we are only human. Learn to prioritize activities and tasks–depending on your abilities, deadlines, and other compromises, establish realistically what you can achieve in one day, one week, one month, and one year. Though you might be tempted to get everything done in a short-period of time, doing so will lead to quick burnout and stress.

Organize tasks, set yourself realistic goals and deadlines, and work accordingly.  

Set boundaries

Like prioritizing tasks, it’s important you set boundaries when it comes to work-life and home-life. While it’s OK to bring home some work every now and then, you must also set boundaries to refrain yourself (and others) from overstepping certain tacit lines. These boundaries might be as simple as not checking your email from 9pm to 6am, not working while eating lunch (or breakfast for that matter), or the like.

While these are small actions, they will go a long way. You need to set and respect your own boundaries, or you will find people will constantly reach out to you, regardless of the time or day.

Learn to unplug

If you’re going on vacation, unplug. If it’s the weekend and there’s no need for you to check up on work things, unplug. We all need a break every now and then, we all need to recharge our energies and relax our minds. Trust us, you will feel much better for it. We all sometimes need to power off to refresh and perform our best…think of this as an analogy of the “have you turned it off and on again?” of your WIFI router or computer. There’s a reason powering off our devices does the trick. Your body and mind sometimes also need this, so don’t feel bad about unplugging fully occasionally.

Take care of your body

This doesn’t mean you have to sign up to a gym or a yoga class. Taking care of your body means listening to it and what it’s asking for; this could be rest, movement, food, water, or even sunlight. Make sure you eat breakfast, that you’re moving, that you’re not slouching while at work, that you’re keeping hydrated, etc.

Listen to your body and fuel it accordingly.

In the end, work-life balance is about balance itself and about finding that balance on your own terms.