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The holiday season is our time to shine!

Concierges are the season’s magical elves committed to making every customer’s dream a reality and this season was no exception.  From collecting enough pine cones for a client to write a marriage proposal in the snow to making custom gift baskets for a someone described as, “strongly self identifies as a Jewish, Chilean Vegan”.  We are the ones convincing the salesperson at a discount retailer to hide the designer handbags when they arrive and call us immediately as a matter of national importance.  We include notes in our contacts with the names of our clients’ relatives and what we bought for Aunt Edna last Christmas.  Please don’t get offended when we remind you of your spouse’s birthday or email you a simple, make ahead recipe for your neighborhood potluck. We just might keep you out of the “dog house” or save you a couple of frantic hours in the kitchen! We are the ones who drive across town for a friend who is under the weather, because we know that nothing has more healing power than receiving your favorite soup and a thoughtful note. Of course, we always include a small box of chocolate …. for medicinal purposes. We are driven to make the magic happen.  I use the word “driven” because it is a calling.  It is something deep within a true concierge.  There is a delight that we feel when we make even the smallest dream come true. So, hug your concierge.  This time of year, they are easy to spot.  They are exhausted but have that satisfied look of a job well done plastered across their merry little face! We look forward to making your life better in 2019! http://TimeSquaredConcierge.com

My answer to “This is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)”

Laura Vanderkam’s article “This Is How Real Working Mothers Are Managing (It’s Not as Complicated as You Think)” states, “The math is straightforward.  There are 168 hours in a week.  If you work fifty and sleep eight per night (fifty-six hours per week in total), that leaves sixty-two hours for other things.” Of course, my first thought is that she was remiss in not mentioning the imperative that you outsource your personal errands to TimeSquared Concierge.  My second that was the realization that my opinion on this matter changes with the day and, if I am truly honest, the difference is the lens through which I am viewing my life.  If I allow myself to be hyper critical, I see the inside of the refrigerator that could benefit from a thorough cleaning.  However, most of the time, I see the smile on my daughter’s face or hear her utter a clever statement that is decades beyond her years or catch the reflection of the two of us attempting to imitate dance moves that clearly should be left to the professionals. Sure, I could benefit from some “me” time and I have my share of “first world” challenges, but I am tremendously grateful for the life I have and the people I share it with! https://verilymag.com/2015/09/working-mothers-i-know-how-she-does-it-laura-vanderkam?utm_source=Verily%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=8bb79406ca-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e08a3e62a0-8bb79406ca-88944549

Quality vs Quantity Time

  Recently, I attended a speech on the topic of parenting.  The speaker was great. I agreed with the majority of what he said, but his suggestion that parents increase the amount of time we spend with our children rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, it all sounds good on paper, but the reality is that most of us are trying to cram 30+ hours into a 24 hour day. If we plan to spend more time with our children and then fail to do so, it creates guilt or anxiety which is no good for anyone. With all the expectations put on us in our professional and private lives, we don’t need any more reasons to feel inadequate. I thought long and hard and, after much deliberation decided that it’s just not possible. I do my very best and give all the attention that I can to my family. In my opinion, what’s most important is the quality of time spent, not the quantity. Being extremely present in the limited time you do have with your family can go a long way. And if they could be doing something better with their time, who am I to prevent them? For example, I love spending time with my daughter Charlie, but I can't teach her how to do a pirouette. She must spend time with her ballet instructor to learn that. Its best to use your limited time together giving what only you can - unconditional love. The most memorable moments with my daughter happen when I am present enough to recognize and seize the opportunity. For example, one morning while driving my daughter Charlie to school, we saw a red fox dart across the road. I

Is Your Life Being Squeezed?

The answer to “Sandwich Generation” retention How do you retain your valuable employees who find themselves in the “Sandwich Generation” - a generation of people who care for their aging parents while supporting their own children? Imagine an employee who leaves work 30 mins early to pick up mom’s prescription, then fights traffic for another 45 minutes to get to the daycare on time and avoid the exorbitant late fee. Once they are home, they whirl around the kitchen, trying to whip together a healthy meal for their family while struggling with the guilt from missed time at the office. I’m sure this is all too familiar for most of you.  After all, the Pew Research Center, reported just over one of every eight Americans aged 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent, in addition to between seven and ten million adults caring for their aging parents from a long distance.  These individuals are at war with themselves - struggling with demands from so many with so few hours in the day.  They know the importance of putting family first, but they also know what is expected of them at the office. For the ones I know, their professional life is a safe haven. It is the place where they can give 100% and reap tremendous rewards with often quantifiable measures of success.  It feeds their sense of accomplishment, pays their bills and hopefully allows them to financially prepare for their own “golden years”.  That is unless it is totally derailed by the competing factors previously mentioned.  Do you doubt for a minute that it happens?  You know it does.  The question isn’t IF it happens, but rather how frequently. 

What Millennials told us they value in the workplace

Because they confound the leadership so much, leaders will say “what do you want?” And millennials will say “we want to work in a place with purpose, we want to make an impact, we want free food and bean bag chairs.” And yet when provided all these things they are still not happy.  ~ Simon Sinek’s interview on Millennials   Millennials get a pretty bad rap. This generation—defined as the group born between 1982 and 2004—have been labeled as lazy, entitled and overly obsessed with their smart phones. Simon Sinek added insecure and monumentally depressed to the list. Even so, Millennials are the leaders of the future.  What these future leaders want most is change. I know what you are going to say. They just want everything handed to them. Participation trophy syndrome! Well, a recent study conducted by Gallup.com shows evidence that Millennials may be more like you than you think. As a matter a fact, the scores for employee engagement and workplace satisfaction were pretty even across the board. Based on the 200,000 Americans surveyed only about 1/3 of people are engaged at work. This number includes all generations currently in the workforce. So the real question is, if everyone feels that they are waiting for employers to provide what they need to keep them engaged, how do Millennials differ from the previous generations? The difference is, Millennials aren’t willing to wait. This dissatisfaction results in the job hopping that Millennials are so famous for. At TimeSquared Concierge it is our job to make sure your employees are well taken care of so they can stay focused at work. That is why we created a survey to find out exactly what millennials really want in

Lessons From the Edge

   “I see hundreds of high-level professionals who are brilliant, achievement-oriented and accomplished, but at the same time exhausted, depleted, depressed and demoralized.  In the pursuit of a great career, they’ve compromised their health and well-being.  …Sacrificing your health and well-being demonstrates your lack of prioritizing yourself as important, failing to understand that you must care for yourself before you can be of true service to anyone else, your organization, yourfamily or your employer.” ~ Kathy Caprino for Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2012/09/05/what-you-should-never-compromise-on-while-building-your-career/#70cbc8a95298   Picture this. I’m at a large consulting firm and meeting an executive client for the first time, I turn to greet her and notice immediately that her eye is twitching so wildly that she can’t even make eye contact with us.  What we learn is she was just notified that she would be traveling out of the country the next day on business and her housekeeper just reported that the washer broke mid spin cycle.  So, the clothes she needed for the trip are submerged in 15 gallons of soapy water. The icing on the cake is that the housekeeper doesn’t speak English.  I explain we will have a Spanish-speaking team member call the housekeeper and ask her to take the wet clothes to the laundromat to wash them.  Meanwhile a member of our team headed to the house to check the warranty and manage the washer repair. When I mentioned we would pick up voltage converters and healthy snacks for her trip on the way, I saw a tear roll down her face.  She said nothing.  I opened my arms and gave her a big hug.  Dare we admit that we have been that executive a time or two?  Perhaps you are surrounded by

Building Your Corporate Culture…one small gesture at a time

The September 2014 Robert Half article titled, “9 Low-Cost Ways to Keep Employee Retention High” reminds us that it is often the small gestures that are important.  But, isn’t that usually the case in life?  Men, don’t get me wrong, expensive jewelry is always appreciated!  However, dare I admit that remembering my favorite dessert or finding a message on a Post It note when I open my laptop can mean almost as much.   This concept reminds me of the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither is your company’s culture.  The foundation may be your Core Values and Mission Statement, but you have an opportunity to lay bricks each day with the small gestures and initiatives that are in complete alignment.  An example of one small initiative at TimeSquared Concierge is that we gather personal information during on-boarding and you never know when that information may be used to surprise you.  For example, your favorite ice cream flavor may be purchased for the office when you make a big sale or your favorite type of flowers might be sent to you when you are out sick.  We are in the business of anticipating needs and making our clients feel special.  Why wouldn’t we do the same for our valued employees. After all, without them, our company simply couldn’t succeed. I’d love to hear some of your signature small gestures that shape your corporate culture. https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/9-low-cost-ways-to-keep-employee-retention-high

Great advice on ways to safeguard our four-legged family members

We are always looking for ways to keep you happy and healthy! So, we'd like to share this blog post from K-9 Coach.  They are a great dog training, grooming, boarding company that we highly recommend.  This particular post is important because it warns all of us about some foods that you probably didn't realize could be harmful to your pet.  For example, grapes could cause renal failure in dogs and Macadamia nuts can be poisonous!  So, heed these warnings...... no matter how much they give you those pleading "puppy dog eyes". http://www.k-9coach.com/category/blog/

What is most important to the success of your company?

“New Tech employees may not be looking for another job right now, but they are not necessarily committed to staying with their company in the medium to long term.” CultureAmp.com 2015 New Tech Benchmark report A key driver of Employee Engagement: Leaders who demonstrate that people are important to the company’s success According to CultureAmp’s 2015 NewTech Benchmark report, Having Leaders who demonstrate that People are important to the company’s success is one of the top 5 Key Drivers of Employee Engagement in New Tech.  That begs the question, “What are you doing to send that message loud and clear to your team?”  Does your team feel that the leadership within your organization directly correlates the firm’s success to their valiant efforts?  Does your leadership speak to their valued contributions?  More importantly, what are you as a firm doing to demonstrate this to your people? If you are stumped by this line of questioning, don’t feel bad.  You are in good company with the majority of firms throughout the US.  But not for much longer, because you were smart enough to read this post!  The solution is not only easy, but it pays for itself time and time again through increased employee productivity, retention, and of course, employee engagement! Are you ready?! Give your employees what they value most – TIME.   TimeSquared Concierge is the personal errand service that corporations offer as an employee benefit.  We handle all of their running around so they can spend their limited amount of “free” time doing what they value most…and I guarantee you it is NOT battling the weekend crowds at Costco, WalMart or even Target as great as Nate Berkus’ home collection may be. We will stock their refrigerator, take their vehicles in for service, meet contractors at their homes; the

Industrious…. not the sexiest quality, but it is one of my favorites

“Industrious” Okay, so, perhaps it is not the quality that you lead with when writing your Match.com profile.  What does that mean? Can she build a Hoverboard out of an old toaster oven? Mock if you want, but it is a word I use to describe myself, and I am, personally, quite fond of it.  Here is why. I always thought the World is a big place.  There will always be someone who is pretty or smarter or perhaps, easier to get along with than I.  Of course; you won’t have to search as long for the later as you would for the first two criteria.  However, I can always find a way to get shit done.  Now, it might get messy, painful, even hard to watch at times, but I Will Not, Can Not Quit….until “it” is done.  People say I am “resilient” and I quietly smile.  The truth is that I am not resilient.  I feel every setback like it is a knife to my heart.  I take everything personally.  At lightning speed, I can surmise 20 reasons how I “failed” in any given situation. Then, I pick myself back up and continue the quest. Why?  Quite honestly, I don’t think it even occurs to me that there is another option.  What is quitting? It is not even in my vocabulary much less my consciousness.  Try another way.  Approach the challenge from another angle. So, “industrious” – it fits my like my favorite pair of designer jeans.  I guess there is no doubt that my new company, TimeSquared Concierge, will succeed. Right?  Come along for the ride.  You won’t be disappointed.