Hello desk jockeys, cubicle curmudgeons, open space operators, corner office carousers, home den dwellers and coffee shop squatters. My name is Brock Armstrong and I am… not the Workplace Hero. No no. I know you probably expected me to say that I was but no. I am not. The goal of this podcast is to in fact make you into a Workplace Hero. I am merely your guide on this journey. Perhaps I am more of a sherpa or concierge… but in any case, no matter what you w ant to call me, you are the true hero here.
The aim of this podcast is for me to arm you, my amazing workplace-casual army, with the weapons needed to combat the potential and perhaps inherent downsides of our chosen lifestyle. And let’s not beat around the bush here, it is a lifestyle and we did choose it. We could all quit or jobs and move to the mountains to harvest our own veggies and catch our own fish and grow a beard down to our navel but honestly, how many of you want that? For more than a week anyway. Right?
One of my largest pet peeves in life is hearing people state, as if that were an indisputable fact, that in order to be happy you must bust out of the corporate world and throw off the shackles of an office job. Or that you can’t truly be creative in a cubicle. Or that being your own boss is the only way to be healthy, happy and fulfilled in your work life. This is patently not true. There are so many people, like you and me, who enjoy their day job, kick ass in the cubicle and flourish in the 9-to-5. We pounce on the chance to get stuff done and can’t wait to knock the next item off of our to-do list — but we might also be gaining weight from sitting at a desk all day. We can’t wait wait for our next assignment and thrive on getting lost in the flow of a job well done but we also worry about dozing off in our afternoon meeting. We are email ninjas who have inbox zero within our grasp but also have an inkling that we could be more productive overall and less stressed on a daily basis. If any of those thoughts have crossed your mind, this podcast is for you.
What qualifies me to guide you on this journey? Well, I won’t lie. I have had many, many jobs over the years which have involved many, many desks of every shape and size in every configuration you can imagine. I am also a health and wellness coach and have been involved in the fitness industry since graduating from high school (as a professional ballet dancer) all the way to now where I coach elite athletes and every day Joes cross the finish lines of marathons, triathlons and fitness competitions. The intersection of these two interests is where I live! The constant conundrum of how to stay fit and healthy, productive and creative, focussed and sharp in an atmosphere that can be viewed as oppressive, stale and stagnant is what I live for.
What topics will we cover in Workplace Hero? We’ll tackle the easy ones like managing email (before it manages you), avoiding unnecessary snacks (even the donuts in the break room), staying adequately hydrated (is it really that tricky?), and incorporating movement into your day (movement snacks rather than snack snacks). We’ll also get into bigger wins like weekly meal planning and prep, alleviating muscle tension, avoiding eye strain, making the most of your weekends, vacations and sick days, and even the pros and cons of working remotely. We’ll also get into some of the more cutting edge, fringe and potentially woo-woo ideas out there that may make your co-workers snicker, wonder, laugh, get intrigued, ask questions and likely eventually join in.
If you go to the website at www.workplacehero.me you will see a photo of me, taken a few years ago in my home office. The first thing you will notice is that I am standing at my desk with no chair to be seen. The second thing you will notice is that I am wearing yellow tinted glasses that block the blue light spectrum from hitting my eye balls. The third thing (or maybe this is the first thing you noticed - hard to say) is that I am wearing a vest that is filled with ice packs. Yes, you heard that right - ice packs. I am also wearing some rather fancy boxershorts… but that is not the important part. The important part is that there is so much more you can do with your work habitat aside from installing an ergonomic keyboard, a gluten free sun lamp, and a pleasing picture of your dog from that vacation you took three years ago to perk up your workspace. I acknowledge that some of what I talk about may not be 100% for you but I bet it will spark some of your own ideas and creativity.
Rest assured that not every episode will feature my smooth Canadian vocal tones 100% of the time. I have a roster of guest experts lined up to not only enhance your listening experience but also boost the knowledge base and lend credibility to our workplace heroics. I will have experts in mindset, nutrition, fitness, mobility, biohacking, nature, business, productivity and so on and so on and so on.
Which brings me to my final point. This podcast is not just about me passing information to you. I want to hear from you guys! What have you tried? What have you heard about? What would you like me to investigate, research, or find an expert on? Let’s make this a conversation. After all, I am not the Workplace Hero - you are. Or at least, you will be if I do my job. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a note on Facebook or Twitter.
Let’s get started.
As I mentioned earlier, the website for this podcast is www.workplacehero.me and there you will find the show notes where I will post the synopsis of the podcast along with any links to resources, studies, articles, products and so on so you don’t have to be madly scribbling down notes as you listen. The easiest way to make sure you receive each and every episode of the podcast, aside from coming to the website each week, is to subscribe. If you are an iTunes user, just go to the iTunes app and search for Workplace Hero and hit the subscribe button. The podcast is also available on Stitcher, GooglePlay, Tunein, YouTube and the good old fashioned RSS feed.
Seeing as this is the first episode, I don’t expect you to dash out and give the show a review or 5-star rating quite yet but once you have listened enough to form an opinion, I would love it if you left me a review, rating, like, thumb or heart. It is a great way to spread the word and support the podcast without opening your wallet. If you didn’t enjoy what you have heard, I urge you to be honest while also keeping in mind that unsubscribing is always an option. My feelings will not be hurt if you quietly remove me from your ears. If you have constructive feedback - bring it on! If you just really hate the sound of my voice or don’t find the information useful, that is when unsubscribing from this free podcast is the best solution.
That’s it for this episode. Thank you for listening. Now here is your assignment for this business week: for the next 5 days, when you arrive at your desk, before you sit down, I want you to scan the area and look for anything that you didn’t put there with intent, purpose, forethought and comfort. Is your telephone in an awkward spot? Is your keyboard centred on the desk but not centred to your body? Is there a box of tissues lounging where you would really prefer to plop your coffee cup? Find at least one thing to rearrange every day this week. Extra points if you discover after a few days that the original location was indeed the correct one. Subtract points if you have the thought “I don’t have time for that.” But being the master of your own time is a topic for another episode.
Workplace Hero is researched, written, narrated and recorded by me Brock Armstrong in rainy downtown Vancouver. Additional research and editing by Eleanor Cohen. Artwork by Ken Cunningham. Today’s heroic idea is courtesy of author and mindset guru, Dean Dwyer, who’s insistence and encouragement prompted me to pull the trigger on this podcast. Do yourself a favour and check out the interview I did with Dean for the Primal Blueprint podcast at http://blog.primalblueprint.com/episode-65-dean-dwyer/