Game rooms. Unlimited vacation time. Free yoga classes. One year of maternity OR paternity leave. Tech companies these days are offering some phenomenal employee benefits, but not every company can afford to offer such lavish options. Sometimes it’s the simple things at a job we love that we need to appreciate. It’s easy to get swept away in the daily grind of a work day, so here is a list of little perks around the office that are worth being thankful for as you enter 2016.
Location, Location, Location. Chances are you probably don’t live right next door to your work, so instead of sitting in traffic right at closing time or riding the rush hour train, why not go for a walk and see what’s around? You’d be surprised how many people work in an area they never take the time to explore. Maybe you’ll find a new happy hour or a restaurant you would have never found otherwise.
Speaking of happy hour, they say that an office that drinks together, succeeds together. They don’t actually say that, but a Gallup study shows that employees with a best friend at work are 21% more likely to report that at work, they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day. So if you have coworkers who enjoy being social after a long, hard week, it could make you much happier and productive in the long run.
Snacks on Snacks on Snacks
Nothing gets you through the end of the day 2:45 like a good afternoon snack. According to USA Today, a study by PeaPod shows that while “56%,of full-time employees are "extremely" or "very" happy with their current job, that number jumps to 67% among those who have access to free food.” If your office provides healthy snacks like green tea, fruit, or vegetables it can make you feel better as well.
Nothing like a nice secure place to put your car every day. No need to worry about meters, street cleaning, or struggling with a tight parallel parking job! Sometimes, depending on the area, you can even park your car there on the weekend and see a show or eat at your favorite restaurants.
Who has time to wander the streets looking for a blue box? Even with apps and maps, it can be so confusing! Not to mention, who can keep track of all those pick-up times. The fact that you can get mail delivered to work is great, even better when they pick up in your building…It’s especially nice this season, because you’ll need someone to sign for all of those packages you’ll be getting after Cyber Monday!
Depending on the size of the office, you’re probably going to eat cake every couple of months. Cookies may get delivered every few weeks. Maybe you’ll get to prank someone by taping balloons all over their workspace, or wrapping everything in gift wrap. It’s all fun and games…until it’s your birthday.
Even if your personal workspace doesn’t have a window, there’s probably one a couple floors up. It’s always a good for the mind and body to watch the sunset. Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the little things in life.
At Workbridge Associates, we sincerely hope that you have many things to be thankful for this holiday season and wish you well into the new year. If your job isn't one of the things you're appreciative of this season, let us help you find one to put on your list to be thankful for next year.
Recently, Workbridge New York put on a job search and resume critique workshop for several students and recent graduates from TurnToTech. TurnToTech is a local engineering school here in NYC with a focus on mobile software education.
When our team of recruiters arrived to TurnToTech Monday afternoon, they gave a quick introduction about Workbridge Associates and what we do. Then the recruiters split up into three different stations for the students to rotate around. At the first station, recruiters walked the students through various job search sites and new ways to find job postings online. Recommended job sites included: Indeed, Simplyhired, We Are Made in New York, LinkedIn, and Joel on Software.
At the second station, recruiters met one-on-one with the students to discuss their resumes and provide a few good examples of junior and mid-level iOS Developer resumes. They conversed about several different features of the resume, including what employers look for when they’re looking to fill an iOS Developer position versus other coding positions. They touched on the importance of having any apps that you've created and uploaded to the App Store featured on your resume when applying to an iOS Development position, just as it's important to have your Github account listed under your contact info if you’re applying to something like a Ruby Developer role. They also suggested the students include a “skills” section on their resumes to highlight and showcase any technologies they are familiar with and have used.
The third team discussed the importance of a sending a “Thank You” note after interviewing with someone. You can fit all of the qualifications for the position, but unless you’re interested, it wouldn’t make sense for an employer to hire you. Whether it’s a formal letter or an email, keep thank you notes short and sweet, and make sure to proof read them before sending. For employers, it’s often the thought and interest in the position that matters the most.
Workbridge Associates had a great time discussing NY tech job search strategies with the students from TurnToTech. If you have any questions regarding your job search, feel free to reach out to any of the recruiters at Workbridge Associates, they would love to help! Also if you’re interested in learning more about TurnToTech, visit their website or email them at [email protected].
Recently, our Workbridge San Francisco office went out to the Ronald McDonald House to bring as much St. Patrick Day cheer as they could. The team was definitely looking the part as a cheerful crew, as they were dressed in character, wearing green and lots of it! They arrived ready to roll-up their sleeves and get to work! Kendal, the supervisor at the Ronal McDonald House, divided the jobs into three areas: crafts, baking, and cleaning. Although, by the end of the day, everyone was pitching in to help in all areas.
There was a sweet aroma of baking cupcakes and cookies filling the air. The green icing, green M&M’s, and of course green sprinkles were all key pieces in bringing out some Irish cheer. The Workbridge team worked hard, carefully decorating each cupcake and cookie with a unique St. Paddy's Day touch. The finished product resulted in a delicious reward. The families were in for quite the surprise when they arrived home.
Two brothers, Ryland and Trent, who decided to hang out with the Workbridge crew, illustrated such a strong resilient sense of hope. Trent, 8 years old, was staying at the house with his family, and he proudly showed off his fresh scars from a recent surgery. His smile was so strong and hopeful. After hearing their story, a few members of the crew took them outside to play.
The Ronald McDonald House works to keep families rested, healthy, strong and by pulling together during their time of need. The House offers a home-like environment where family members find comfort through supportive staff, volunteers, and other families in similar situations. When families stay close to their hospitalized child, the child heals quicker and the family copes better. Giving the families a distraction from a long day of supporting their loved ones, they were greeted with hot cookies, tasty cupcakes, and festive decorations.
On a rainy day in Boston, our Workbridge Boston office traveled to Allston, MA to bring some sunshine to the kids at the West End House Boys and Girls Club. Founded in 1906 to aid immigrant and urban youth, the West End House provides leadership and life skills, academic support, college preparation, sports, fitness, nutrition, and visual and performing arts programs for just $15 a year. Today, the club has over 1,500 members, many of which are decedents of the original members who came to our country from the Dominican Republic, China, Vietnam, Haiti, and Cape Verde.
When the crew first arrived, they met with Aviva Berezin, the club's Community Engagement Coordinator, and a curious young girl named Ava. Ava is the self-appointed volunteer greeter at the Boys and Girls Club. She always introduces herself and loves to be with the groups. After learning some history about the club, Aviva went over the Activity Bored with the recruiters.
For the first hour of each afterschool day, everyone must be in their designated homework “Power Hour”. The WEH takes education seriously, in order to be a member you must be attending school. Workbridge was told that some of the classmates even tattle on each other if a day of school is missed. After homework, the kids can choose from a variety of activities: gym, art, swimming, or music.
The building is equipped with a huge swimming pool, a music room filled with equipment, an art studio complete with a black light room, a fitness center, full size gymnasium, and a dance room. The team was mildly jealous of the facility. After meeting with some of the teachers, two of whom they discovered are original members of the club, the recruiters split up into smaller volunteer groups. They helped during gym time, with homework for grades 1-3 and grades 4-5, art, and food prep.
Our recruiters were a little nervous about homework help. After all, none of them had done long division in a very long time. Nonetheless, they braved the challenge and helped the kids as best they could.
Believe it or not, the West End House serves over 1,200 meals a week to their members and they do it all with only ONE chef, Lisa Smith. It's safe to say she needed some help. Recruiters Liam Pushee and Julia Croyle, along with Marketing Specialist Liz Polom helped prep roasted garlic and applesauce that would accompany the pork chops being served the following day.
During gym time, the recruiters got a bit of a workout themselves. After playing basketball, they participated in sprints and wall-sits.
Usually, when school programs are cut, art is the first to go. This is a shame because the art room was full of creative minds. These kids were full of talent. Occasionally, the art will go on display and even sometimes sold. One girl was working on a landscape piece that was going to be auctioned off.
Needless to say, the team at Workbridge Boston had amazing time volunteering at the West End House. To find out ways to get involved, visit their website at www.westendhouse.org.
Recently, Workbridge LA volunteered at Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House. The team arrived with grocery bags full of cupcake ingredients including frosting, festive sprinkles, marshmallows, and spring-themed candies for decorating. They had the entire four-stove kitchen available exclusively for their afternoon of baking. Once the office washed their hands, they dove right into cracking eggs, mixing, and pouring the batter into the cupcake tins. The smell from the freshly-baked chocolate, strawberry and Funfetti-flavored cupcakes was intoxicating.
Throughout the afternoon, families and children popped in to investigate the delicious smell. While they baked, the team got to know some of the residents. Arseli, a 12 year old girl from Guam, was so appreciative of the care and hospitality that she and her family had received at the Ronald McDonald House.
Once the cupcakes were cool enough to frost and decorate, the recruiters of Workbridge LA got in touch with their inner pastry chef. The variety of cake flavors, frostings, and decorations meant that there was a cupcake for every child to enjoy. At 5pm, the residents started trickling down to the kitchen. They chose their favorite flavored treat and visited with the recruiters as they ate.
The Ronald McDonald House serves as an amazing national charitable organization for families and children in need. They provide housing facilities while loved ones are undergoing care. The purpose is to make the families and patients as comfortable as possible during a devastating and stressful time in their lives. A big thank you to the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House for giving Workbidge LA the opportunity to volunteer!
Right in the middle of the holiday season, five volunteers from Workbridge NY went to Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries on Tuesday, December 3rd to help give back to the local NYC community. Everyone had a great time helping out at the Winter Clothing Closet!
Every Tuesday from November to March, the Rauschenbusch Center holds their Winter Clothing Closet where they provide men and women with free winter clothing, coats, sweaters, and more. On Tuesday mornings, people line up to make the list of around thirty people who get access to the clothing closet, and then return to shop later in the afternoon.
When our recruiters arrived at the Rauschenbusch Center, they were given a tour of the Winter Clothing Closet setup and shown how the clothing closet works.
Everyone got to work hanging up coats and other winter clothing and sorting the winter accessories before the men and women arrived.
Once the shoppers arrived, each volunteer helped one person at a time find a coat, clothing, and winter accessories. In the end, everyone went home with a bag full of clothes to help them stay warm this winter season, and our recruiters were happy to be able to help and get to know more people in the community.
Although we were only able to make a small impact in one afternoon, we hope to have helped make a big difference in the lives we did reach!
If you're interested in learning more about Rauschenbusch Metro or helping their Clothing Closet, visit their website or email [email protected]
On a beautiful Thursday in late October, Workbridge LA spent the afternoon volunteering (for the second time), at the local Lange Foundation, a rescue shelter for cats and dogs.
Once each volunteer picked out their preferred pooch, they headed out for walks along the streets of West Los Angeles. They paused intermittently for glamour shots and much-needed puppy cuddling on grass lawns. The majority of the office chose to partake in walking the K-9’s, however, there was a more mellow option to socialize cats. In the cat cave, the team had the pleasure of meeting Linda, a long-time Lange volunteer who knew all 100+ cats by name. She had some crazy cat stories and definitely added some pizazz to the laid-back cat room.
At the end of the afternoon, the volunteers and dogs were worn out! Workbridge LA said their goodbyes to their new furry friends and went home. But they plan on returning soon to continue providing love and affection to these wonderful companions!
On what could only be described as a perfect fall day, our team in Workbridge Boston set out to lend a hand at one of city’s oldest non-profits, known today as The Home for Little Wanderers.
The Home (for short) is actually a merging of four different Boston organizations; Boston Children’s Services (1799), New England Home for Little Wanderers (1865), Parent’s and Children's Services (1849), and Charles River Health Management. For over two hundred years the Home’s singular focus remains on helping children achieve independence and success from seemingly insurmountable difficulties.
Each year, the Home serves over 7,000 children ages birth to 22 by providing them with a network of services including behavioral health, therapeutic residential help, special education, adoption, foster care, youth transition, and family services. The Home continues to make an impact in the Greater Boston Area and will continue to better the lives of our youth, as stated in their mission statement,
“Our mission is to ensure the healthy behavioral, emotional, and educational development and physical well-being of children and families living in at-risk circumstances.”
The original Home for Little Wanderers was built in 1914 and was used as a way station where children orphaned and left homeless by the Civil War could prepare for a new life. It also sheltered over 250 young refugees during World War II. Since its beginning, the Home has moved its location from Boston to a much larger and more innovative space in Walpole, MA. The organization still owns the 100 year old building located in Jamaica Plain. They’ve been looking to sell the property but it was in need of some serious TLC, and Workbridge was there to help!
The team set out down the Green Line and arrived at the HFLW’s Knight Children’s Center around 2:15. Administrative Specialist Veronica Rosario greeted them with open arms. After learning some history about the organization, they set to work with rakes, brooms, and even a leaf blower (which happened to be a favorite amongst some of the recruiters). Before they started working, the grounds and parking lot were covered in leaves and trash. Through teamwork and coordination, they filled more bags than could fit in a truck bed and had the grounds looking inviting rather than completely abandoned.
To learn more about The Home for Little Wanderers and ways you can help, please visit their website www.thehome.org and be sure to follow them on Twitter @thehomeorg.