A few months ago I read an article discussing the all-round benefits of laughter in the workplace which really struck a chord with me. The article caught my eye not because the content surprised me (laughter = happiness = productivity) but because I was surprised more businesses hadn’t caught onto this simple and healthy way to boost staff morale.
I have been super organised this year with my Christmas shopping and, being a big fan of shopping online, my first present for a dear friend was delivered to me from America this week. I must admit though I love online shopping, there is always a level of trepidation in purchasing this way – will it arrive, will it be as I imagined, etc, etc. Well I needn’t have worried about this gift, it arrived in record time, the packaging protecting the gift was perfect, the gift itself was perfect! I was one happy shopper. Then I noticed it. A small handwritten note attached to the bubble wrap from the artist thanking me for my purchase.
When was the last time you analysed your reasons for purchasing a product? I don’t mean the purely fundamental or functional reason for buying something but the implicit reason for choosing one product over another. Why do we choose branded products over no-name items of ostensibly similar quality?
Okay folks, I am going to tell it how it is. Business confidence is down, consumer confidence is down, the sharemarket closed today at a four year low, things are starting to look a little hairy. Without being overly dramatic the business landscape, for the time being, has changed considerably, consumers are tightening the purse strings and are more picky than ever with where they spend their money. And as consumer spending habits start to change businesses invariably start realising just how important consumer loyalty is to their survival.
It’s hard for me to say, but I think I may be a cynic. This is not a statement I make lightly, indeed I very much dislike those who love nothing more than finding fault, pointing fingers and generally being dream killers. For awhile I thought I may have finally curbed my cynical tendencies, and you know what? It actually felt really good. But then, last night, I saw an advert on tv which filled every inch of my being with such intense dissonance I nearly choked on my tea. Let me tell you this story from the beginning…
I am not the world’s most active person. I enjoy good food, fine wine and lazing about on a Sunday afternoon with a interesting book and a tasty snack. It’s not that I don’t exercise – I do – but my dedication to gym visits could definitely do with a little (okay, large) bolster now and then. There is one form of exercise I enjoy, actually I enjoy it so much I don’t really see it as exercise, and that is riding my bike.
Each week when sitting down to write my blog I stop and start about fifteen times before actually getting a whole sentence down. I know this because I have counted the amount of times I have laboured over a paragraph, a sentence, a word even, before re-reading my work and unceremoniously selecting the lot and hitting delete.