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Managing Office Morale


The last 18 months have been a roller coaster for many of us: ups, downs, and lots of unexpected loops. At some point, many of us have thought, “I can’t wait for things to get back to “normal.” Well that time is upon us. Higher education institutions around the country are well into the fall semester and many schools have opted to return to primarily in-person classes this fall. This means an increasing number of faculty and staff are in the office, in both hybrid and full-week capacities. If you have seen my last two write-ups in this series, you know feelings regarding the return to the office run the gamete; and even those who were enthusiastic about being in the office again, have needed time to adjust. This means office morale may not be at its highest. To help you boost your team (or your own) mood I have compiled a list of tips and activities that are sure to lessen the stress and boost confidence and enthusiasm in the office while we’re getting back in the swing of things.

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CAPACRAO Wellness Webinar May 20, 2021


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Spring Forward with CAPACRAO

Hello March 2021! Hard to believe what transpired and has continued to unfold started a year ago. Wow! How everything it feels has changed. While the effects of the COVID pandemic are still present, many colleagues are getting vaccinated, businesses and educational facilities are re-opening, and we are all doing continual reflection and trying to balance mental, physical and emotional health. As best we can. I commend you for doing your part in the global, collective efforts to stay safe.

If the pandemic has taught me anything, it is the power in slowing down and enjoying little moments. Little moments can create big memories especially for our overall health and wellbeing. It can expand compassion and spark a thought when we let go of hurried thoughts. I am an early riser and ode I give to my grandmother, may she rest in power, who never believed in wasting a moment of daylight. During the pandemic, I've gained an affinity for walking. It was the only thing I was willing to do at one point. My best walking record was in July when I walked almost 97 miles. I digressed. My apologies. Anyhoo, I love watching the sun rise in the spring during my early morning walks. I enjoy watching the sun change the landscape from darkness as it peaks over the trees to light the earth with golden tones. Around me I can feel the briskness of the cool, morning air. I breathe. I take in my ability to walk, and the iphone which plays the audiobook I am listening too (currently, 400 Souls). I've immersed myself in so many good books on my walks. On a recent trek, I stopped listening to my audiobook for a moment to gain a new moment. A new perspective. The sounds of birds chirping overpowered my audiobook volume. The birds reminded me that they, and nature, wanted and craved some of my attention. In that moment, I expanded my appreciation for walking and nature. 

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What Is Re-Boarding?

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The release of the coronavirus vaccinations has undoubtedly increased the frequency and depth of conversations surrounding businesses reopening. And while reopening procedures vary geographically and between companies, there is at least one consistent that companies and supervisors should consider: reboarding. Reboarding is a modified version of onboarding that seeks to refamiliarize employees who have been off or teleworking with general office procedures while encouraging managers to relearn their employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed the way people and organizations function, their priorities, and in some instances, what they value. Below are a few tips to make bringing your employees back into the office a smoother process.

  1. Be prepared to reorient your employees and retrain them on office basics. After all, some people have been working from home for nearly a year.
  2. Recognize that your employees and coworkers have changed and grown. People’s mindsets and circumstances have changed, which has changed their wants and needs. Additionally, your employees may have gained self-awareness and undergone a professional growth spurt.1
  3. Know which employees are more productive in the office versus who works best at home?1
  4.  “Guard against ‘Prove-it’ Burnout.” Encourage employees to take breaks; likewise, discourage those teleworking from working more than they work in the office.1
  5. Communication is key. Frequent and honest communication helps people feel more comfortable and less anxious about change.2,3
  6. Be empathic: consider that not everyone’s feelings are the same regarding the pandemic or about returning to the office.2

To conclude, for many of us, much has changed both personally and professionally. Thus, it is advantageous for employers to be conscious of how these changes have manifested in their employees and respond accordingly. 

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CAPACRAO Supports Local

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Celebrations are the punctuation marks that make sense of the passage of time; without them, there are no beginnings and endings. Life becomes an endless series of Wednesdays.” -
James Kouzes & Barry Posner

CAPACRAO members take great pride in the work we do and the students we serve: but we like to have fun too! We have created an initiative that will surely provoke nostalgia and generate conversation about the places and things we love, have discovered and re-discovered and things we miss. Our local businesses need our support. Let's promote our local gems among one another. Join us all year as we #CAPACRAOShopsLocal!

Each month we will introduce a theme via our social media accounts and ask that you share your recommendations/memories associated with the theme for that month. Each suggestion gives you an entry into our quarterly raffle drawing!

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February is American Heart Month

COVID aside, during the winter months, we tend to engage in less physical activities that can get our hearts engaged. February is American Heart Month. CAPACRAO challenges you this month to encourage you, your family, your coworkers, and anyone else you are in constant communication with to boost your awareness about heart health.

Heart Healthy Ideas

  • Wear Red! Friday, February 5 doesn't have to be the only day we wear red! Suggest it for your next staff meeting.
  • Exercise! Support a local gym by attending their live virtual classes. Or find a video via YouTube.
  • Make Valentine's Day Heart Healthy! Plan a date to go on a hike or cook a heart-healthy meal with your loved one on Valentine’s Day.
  • Walk! Commit to a walking schedule with a friend or family member, even if you can’t walk together. We are virtual nowadays anyway.
    • Walking outside? There is an app called Charity Miles that donate resources based on your walking. Learn more here.
    • Walking inside? Search "walking exercises" via Youtube for tons of inspiration.
  • Create a Department Team Builder! Challenge your office, department, or unit to participate in a “steps” contest. Use activity trackers (hint, Charity Miles is free - learn more here) to see which team takes the most steps.
  • Flip Your Team Staff Meeting! Ask health care providers or members of your Student Wellness Center to give a presentation to your office, department, or unit about ways to prevent heart disease.
  • Get Social! Join the #OurHearts movement by sharing on social media how you’re working with friends or family to be heart healthy. Encourage your friends and family to as well. Be sure to use the hashtag!
Thanks for reading. Explore more ways to help encourage heart-healthy behaviors for yourselves or others. 
Do you have insights for other heart-healthy ideas this month? Don't be shy! Feel free to comment below and share.