A Happier Workplace Is Only a Cookie Away

cookiesOver the course of a 50-year career, someone who works a typical 40-hour week will spend—depending on vacations, holidays, sick leave, etc.—between 80,000 and 100,000 hours at work. That can feel like a painfully long time if it is spent somewhere unpleasant, which is why it is important to create a work environment that employees look forward to being in.

An office with barren walls, hard chairs and a noticeable absence of any friendly “hellos” is not likely to bring out the best attitude or quality of work from anyone. Fortunately, a little extra effort can go a long way. Here are some simple ways to make any office much more pleasant and enjoyable.

Celebrate Birthdays

Taking time to acknowledge important events in the lives of others helps make them feel noticed and valued. Not only that, it fosters team unity. Passing around a birthday card to sign gives coworkers a chance to express positive sentiments, and bringing everyone into the conference room for some cake provides opportunities for conversation, bonding and celebratory indulgence.


A drab, impersonal office can feel rigid and uncaring. Giving an office a bit of character really helps improve the atmosphere. It also establishes a sense of company identity, contributes to creativity, makes the office feel welcoming and conveys the message that staff members are worthy of pleasant surroundings.

Encourage Politeness

In the hustle of a busy workday it is easy to forget that the people in the office are, in fact, people. They become either assets or obstacles, and courtesy can fall by the wayside. If everyone makes an effort to remember to say “please” and “thank you,” it creates a supportive environment that is much more conducive to effective teamwork.

Make Cookies

Having treats and snacks around the office—whether they are cookies or something else—is just one more way to build a sense of gratitude and community. Plus, it is kind of hard to be unhappy in the presence of yummy food.

The atmosphere of a workplace can make a phenomenal difference in the way employees experience their 80,000 to 100,000 working hours. But, if everyone involved in a company shares the responsibility of creating a positive environment, it is easy to make those hours much more enjoyable and tastefully satisfying.

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Remember 9/11 at Thousand Oaks’ 50th Anniversary Parade

If you are looking for opportunities to commemorate those who lost their lives on 9/11, we encourage you to come to the city of Thousand Oaks’ 50th Anniversary Parade on Saturday, September 27, 2014 to see Fueled By The Fallen’s 9/11 Angel Cruisers—a fleet of Camaros that together display the names of the many heroes lost in the tragedy.

A total of five cars make up the fleet, with one honoring the first responders, another honoring flight victims and the remaining three commemorating those lost at the Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

After the parade, you can get a closer look at the 9/11 Angels in the parking lot in front of The Lakes at Thousand Oaks, where they will be parked for the remainder of the day.  This is truly an excellent opportunity to remember the heroes of 9/11!

For more information about the parade, visit www.TOparade.com.

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Welcome Nerissa Cauthen to the Mustang Team!

Mustang Marketing just continues to grow! We are thrilled to announce that we recently hired Nerissa Cauthen as our new administrative assistant, and she has already exceeded our expectations, actively evolving her job description to include writing, editing, research, third-party media buys and PR work in addition to her litany of front-desk duties.

Nerissa graduated in the top 5 percent of her class as Summa Cum Laude from California Lutheran University, earning a degree in communication. Her exceptional work ethic and experience as a staff writer for her alma mater’s student newspaper has already shown itself to Mustang and clients alike.

Fun fact: Nerissa has an extra vertebrae in her spine. That explains her strong backbone (ba-dum chssh)!

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With All Great Ideas Comes…Jealousy

This afternoon I spent my lunch break as I spend most of my lunch breaks—I took my adorable, feisty, friendly, handful-and-a-half puppy Bandit for a walk, heated up leftovers, and sat at my work desk, eating a fairly healthy meal while perusing the Internet. I work from home, 300-plus miles away from my coworkers and a 25-minute bus ride away from downtown where my boyfriend and most of my friends work. Lunch with my friends gives me only about a ten-minute eating window, and the rest of my lunch break is then spent on a bus.

Today I browsed “The Bold Italic,” where I was met with one of the greatest blog series I’ve read in recent months: four-year-old children reviewing San Francisco fine dining. The results are brilliant.

And a little infuriating. Here I was, stuck on what to write for my own blog post, and someone else came up with a fantastic idea. How adorable would it have been to parade a couple of toddler graduates into the Mustang office and have them review the latest collateral we created for clients? What a great blog post that would have made, or series of blog posts, or e-blasts, or a video. Great fun. Great publicity. Great idea.

Vanquished. Used up. Already put out into the world to be admired by others. Not mine.

I’m met with this emotion often—from creative meetings at work to reading fiction from famous authors or friends to walking into unfamiliar apartments for the first time. There’s always a tagline or a plot twist or an artfully composed shelf that vibrates with that good-idea sensation, a feeling that rides around in my mind, like a freewheeling motorcycle. This motorcycle, however, is saddled with a sidecar: jealousy.

It’s schadenfreude’s mortal enemy: witnessing the success of others’ innovations. Fortunately, the feeling is fleeting (unless it’s a really, really, really good idea), and everything moves on. The good idea becomes either a permanent fixture and you get used to it, or it’s fleeting and you get over it. But what is left in its dusty, war-torn wake either way is something rather wonderful: inspiration.

And fortunately for me, that feeling is not nearly as fleeting, and is far more useful.

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