The Importance of Taking Time Off

 

pool-690034_1280The perks and pains of a small business are well-chronicled: the intimacy and camaraderie that comes with knowing your coworkers so well is often met with high-pressure demands and everyone wearing multiple hats to get the job done. When one member of the team isn’t at their best, the company as a whole suffers.

This presents an oft-ignored conundrum: the importance of taking time off. Vacation time is there so employees can attend major life events and holidays, but it also provides critical relief from the day-to-day stressors of the job, so employees can return refreshed, recharged and ready to get back to work.

For any company, but particularly a small business, an employee taking time off comes at a cost. When one employee is unavailable, it is felt, and the rest of the team has to pull together to get all the extra work done.

Still, the ends typically justify the means. It may be more challenging while the employee is out, but they return grateful for the time off and ready to jump back into the swing of things. As long as the vacations remain balanced across the team—and don’t consistently overlap or happen back-to-back, which results in overall team-wide fatigue (and occasional grumpiness)—the company as a whole benefits from rested, happy members.

Some vacation timing can’t be helped, but sometimes employees take their coworkers’ needs into consideration and use up their vacation time with individual days off peppered throughout the year; in spite of what many may think, this is often both more disruptive and less beneficial than taking a week off. One day isn’t usually enough time to turn off mentally (or at least switch gears) and reap the rewards from being away from the office, and it’s more likely that your work will just pile on your desk rather than be dealt with if your team only has to wait one day.

Of course, vacations should be thought out and not come at the cost of coworker sanity or project completion. But do put the thought into them, do take them, and do help when your coworkers do the same.

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Team Building

What you do for a living is a big part of your life. In fact, according to statistics company GALLUP, the average full-time employed adult in the United States spends approximately 47 hours at work each week. So, when you drive to the office each morning, what’s the best way to have a smile on your face instead of white knuckles around your steering wheel? The answer is simple: teamwork—more specifically, friends, increased productivity and a feeling of communal purpose.

Whether you’re top dog or low man on the totem pole, in finance or in marketing, you’re a team, working towards a common company goal. And, small, medium or massive, organizations always function best when “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” When applied to teamwork, this quote from Aristotle essentially means that as we work together, our potential is increased as well.

Here are a few easy activities to help your office better function as a team:

  1. Get to know your coworkers: individually and outside of work. Learn their names, their interests, their roles and their contributions to the company. Internal networking creates comradery, but it may also be that boost you need as you climb the corporate ladder.
  1. Make lunch a team activity. Lunch doesn’t have to be that awkward period in your workday where you go from one task to another to eating alone at your desk. Invite your colleagues out for lunch or eat in the break room and hope that someone joins you. Eventually, they will.
  1. Don’t turn small talk with your coworkers into “work talk.” Talk about the weather, talk about weekend plans or even ask questions, but when an opportunity arises to fill a silent void, don’t make it about work.
  1. Don’t sit at your desk all day. Get up, walk around, smile and make conversations happen. Does a colleague have a personal knickknack or family photo on their desk? Ask them about it! It’s a great way to break the ice.
  1. Have a free minute? Ask a colleague if there’s anything that you can help them with. Totally swamped without time to spare? Over lunch, ask a colleague if they have time to help you out. Sharing the load is a cornerstone of a great team.

Now, you don’t have to be “best friends” with your entire office, but something as simple as learning the name of your coworker’s cat could start a conversation, lead to a lunch, finish a project faster, prompt a promotion and ultimately, create a stronger, more productive team. It may even make the 99,117 hours that you’ll spend in your lifetime at work some of your most fulfilling.

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Mustang Wins 14 Awards at the 2015 American Advertising Awards

Mustang Marketing is honored to have won 14 awards at this year’s American Advertising Awards in Santa Barbara, a competition that recognizes and rewards creative excellence in advertising across Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties.

Time to make more room on our award shelf! Thank you to all of our clients involved in these projects, who pushed us to be our creative best!

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People’s Choice Award

The Mustang Marketing Website

Gold Awards

The Workrite Uniform Infographic

The Mustang Marketing Fortune Teller

Silver Awards

The Dickies® FR Ad

The Workrite Uniform Company Folder

The Mustang Marketing Website

The Workrite Fire Service Ad

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation Website

The Ventura County Credit Union “Below Average” Campaign

Bronze Awards

The Workrite Uniform MHP Ad

The Aera Recruiting Booth Display

The S2K Promotional Box

The Workrite Uniform MHP Video

The Pindler Website

Mustang Mktg_AAF Awards

The night was made extra special with the gala’s casino theme, and our team took the opportunity to dust off our gambling skills. Production manager Jess Williams won the most chips of the night, securing her an additional prize that was all her own!

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Mustang’s Winning Streak Continues

We are thrilled to announce that only one month after bringing home 13 American Advertising Awards, Mustang Marketing and three of our fantastic clients were honored in the 2015 American Web Design Awards, hosted by Graphic Design USA Magazine.

The winning websites, for which the Mustang team proudly executed the design and development, were:

These three websites were selected from more than 1,100 entries, only 20 percent of which received recognition. Delivering our best possible work for each and every client is tremendously rewarding, and having our efforts acknowledged in the American Web Design Awards is definitely icing on the cake!

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