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Anna Greenwald of On The Goga Believes Health Culture Is Good Business

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Anna Greenwald

Anna Greenwald is the founder and CEO of On the Goga, a company that specializes in helping corporations focus their corporate culture on mindfulness and wellbeing. On the Goga offers a variety of services like corporate yoga, meditation, nutrition workshops, company retreats, and more. Anna Greenwald has built a mobile corporate yoga studio that takes care of all their clients’ corporate wellness needs. Her holistic approach has brought her clients like L’Oréal, Drexel University, and the Philadelphia Eagles. She uses evidence based practices that increase employee well being, creativity, and productivity. 

People sitting together

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the corporate wellness sector?

I came into this sector completely by accident. I trained most of my life as a classically trained singer. When I was a sophomore in college, I got a vocal injury that prevented me from talking or singing. To help recover, my voice teacher recommended I do anything possible to relax my muscles including yoga. I had never tried yoga before – in fact, I hated the idea of it – but that first class in a small studio in West Philadelphia changed my entire mindset. Within a year, I was practicing 4-6 times a week and the practice changed my mind and body. It helped me realize so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I wanted share that experience with others, and from that came the original idea for On the Goga: make yoga and mindfulness accessible to people who wouldn’t normally go to a yoga studio.People in Nature

What was your biggest challenge in founding On The Goga and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge in founding On the Goga has been to discover exactly how to present yoga and mindfulness to individuals who haven’t already experienced its benefits. Even I only tried it when I was told it would help my singing. In actuality, yoga is the physical practice of mindfulness, and mindfulness is simply the practice of noticing what is happening right now. This can apply to sweating it out on a yoga mat, or noticing the temperature of the cold beer in your hand when you’re at a happy hour with coworkers. So we teach yoga and mindfulness both ways now. We meet people where they are in terms of physicality level and interests. We teach the tools of mindfulness through traditional yoga, mindful happy hours, hikes, retreats, cooking classes, and more. People doing yoga

What, if any, connection exists between productivity at work and yoga in your opinion?

Yoga improves employees performance through improving their mental and physical health. But since all of our programming is research-based, rather than give you my opinion I’ll share some research on the subject:

  • “In a randomized study of employees from a British government authority… in comparison to the control group, the yoga [group’s] scores were significantly lower for perceived stress, back pain, sadness and hostility, and substantially higher for feeling self-assured, attentive and serene.” – Journal: Occupational Medicine (Lond), 2012
  • “Yoga practices improved neural performance and reduced fatigue and stress level. Yoga reduced rescue medication use in bronchial asthma, and achieved the reduction earlier than conventional treatment alone. Yoga produced a reduction in resting pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial blood pressure irrespective of age, gender, and BMI.” – summarized from an article in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences 2012
  • After a 6-week yoga intervention for a randomized group of employees, “The yoga group reported marked improvements in feelings of clear-mindedness, composure, elation, energy, and confidence. In addition, the yoga group reported increased life purpose and satisfaction, and feelings of greater self-confidence during stressful situations.” – Summary and excerpt from the Scandinavian Journal of Environmental Science, 2011 People in Nature

What kinds of benefits can a business expect from participating in On The Goga classes?

 

We look at wellness as a form of professional development. In fact our driving principle is: Happy People Do Great Things. Each one of our programs are designed to make every employee feel cared about and supported, in turn increasing their loyalty to their company and pride in their work. We are also helping employees to learn sustainable habits of wellness that improve their performance at work and physical health over time. It’s a win-win situation for employers and employees. What’s the return on this investment? Again, I’ll point to some research sources:

  • Happy employees are 3x more creative, 31% more productive, and have 37% better sales – Harvard Business Review, Positive Intelligence, 2012
  • “Highly engaged teams… saw significantly lower turnover (25% in high turnover, 65% in low turnover organizations).” – Gallup, 2013

On an individual level, mindfulness has been shown to achieve the following benefits in as little as 10 sessions:

  • DECREASE STRESS LEVELS – Source: “What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness,” a Meta Analysis from American Psychological Association, 2012
  • INCREASE FOCUS – Source: “Meditation, Mindfulness, and Cognitive Flexibility,” The Journal of Consciousness and Cognition, 2009
  • LOWER OVERALL ANXIETY – Source: “Short-Term Meditation Training Improves Attention and Self-Regulation,” PNAS, 2007
  • REDUCE EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY – Source: “Mindfulness Meditation and Reduced Emotional Interference on a Cognitive Task,” Journal of Motivation and Emotion, 2007
  • INCREASE QUALITY OF LIFE – Source: Study from Massachusetts General Hospital, 2011
  • INCREASE HAPPINESS- Source: “A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation,” The Journal of Motivation and Emotion, 2014 On the Goga Classes

What are some memorable On The Goga milestones, and what developments do you project for this year?

We’ve had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing organizations and individuals so far. Some of our past clients and partners include L’Oreal and Pureology, Philadelphia Eagles players, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 2018 is shaping up to be a big growth year for us. We’ve got an amazing team of top-notch coaches, and have forged some tremendous strategic partnerships that are helping us bring our services to more and more companies.

What is one character trait that defines you and why?

Resilience. This is a character trait I have grown over the years through my yoga practice. I wasn’t always as resilient to failure, rejection, or criticism as I am today (and I still work to strengthen this personality trait). Through my yoga practice, I’ve come to realize the beauty of resilience: you don’t have to do well. You don’t have to handle each failure perfectly, each rejection with grace, or each criticism humbly – you just have to try. Over time, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you get better at all these things. When you look back down the road, you realize that the only differentiator between you and the people who have dropped off along the way, is that you kept walking.

What are your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My two mottos since the start of this business have remained the same:

  • Value courage, not success. You can’t practice success, but you can practice courage, and if you practice courage over and over and over again, success happens.
  • The difference between people who do cool shit and the people who don’t, is that the people who do cool shit do it.

Aaditi Tamhankar is a student at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. In her free time she can be found cooking healthy food, running, and watching too much Youtube.

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Business

Home Office Safety Tips

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home office safety

Here’s some home office safety tips. In today’s digital world more and more companies are allowing their employees to work from home. The employees can increase their productivity when they do not need to commute daily. The only requirement is an internet connection. However, there come some security issues with this freedom and flexibility. You need to create a safe home office environment to reap the benefits of telecommuting.

Security of sensitive data (Home Office Safety)

Cyber security is a big concern for the business houses as more and more people are electing the ‘work from home’ option for freedom and flexibility. It is vital to work from a secured Wi-Fi connection to keep all the sensitive data away from the prying eyes. The companies provide VPN access to its employees, but if someone hacks the home Wi-fi connection or public hotspot, your data could be compromised. Make sure you secure your sensitive data to have proper home office safety.

So, you need to be extra cautious about other devices connected to your wi-fi. You should also invest in a robust anti-virus software. Do not let your family members use your work laptop. You should always follow the company policy of accessing the company network remotely. Your computer should have up-to-date operating systems, antivirus software and regular scanning programs. You should take extra care about storing office files and backup. The storing location should be approved and accessible by your company.

Workstation safety

Many organizations ask their employees to read and sign a telework agreement. These agreements clearly mention the home safely checklist. People who want to telecommute must have a separate and secure workstation. The work area should be peaceful and quiet. Your desk height and chair should be proper. You cannot work for longer periods if your table and chair are not comfortable. Your back should be adequately supported. Floors should be dry and free of hazards. You must also keep a first aid kit at your workplace. To avoid fire hazards, there should be more than one exit. You should keep a fire extinguisher too. The workspace should be free of clutter and trash. You should keep your work devices far from flammable items. Your office furniture and equipment should be ergonomically correct. Your table should have enough space for computer, printer, document holder, and phone.

Electrical safety

In recent years, computer-related accidents and falls have increased quite a bit. Experts suggest placing the computer or any other work devices away from the edges of desks. You need to organize and secure the open wires to avoid tripping over them. You should install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. You should keep your computer equipment connected to a surge protector. You should not keep any damaged or exposed wiring. Avoid use of extension cords. Keep the electrical plugs and panels in good condition.

The employer often overlooks the health and safety issues of a telecommuter. The teleworkers should have a proper understanding of the hazards of working alone at home. There should be a safety surveillance program to check the ‘work-at-home’ arrangement. Monitoring the safety of every telecommuter is difficult for the company, but they can provide proper safety guidelines to every teleworker. The employees can do self-inspections and send in regular reports to the company HR department.

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Business

Customer Satisfaction Should Be Your Number One Priority

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customer service

No matter what your product or service is, without customers you don’t have a business. This is because customers are the backbone of any business. In fact, customers are so important many businesses have adopted a “customer is always right” policy. Many companies strive to keep their clients happy. However, there are businesses that do not know why customers are important. Here are reasons why your customers should be your number one priority.

No Business

Let’s say that your product is so cool it solves many problems. This is very good but without customers to patronize it, you have no business. Customers are important because without them, your company does not need to exist. Businesses exist to provide products and services to customers. In the entrepreneur world, businesses exist to provide products and service that customers consume. Prioritizing customers will let you learn what they want so that the cycle is unbroken.

Helps You Improve

Customers are important not only because they consume your goods and services, but also because they help you improve. By listening to their feedback, you will learn what can make your product/service better. Many companies spend millions of dollars on R&D but there is no better source than the people who patronize your product. By listening to your customer’s feedback regularly, you can improve and tweak your product so that it gets better each time.

More Customers

Loyal customers are the best brand ambassadors for your products. If they really like your product, they will tell their friends about it. This is good news for businesses because it is free advertising and because it will bring in more customers. Having loyal customers rave about your product to other people is a good way to measure success. By listening to what they want, you are establishing a relationship with your customers. Prioritizing their feedback will gain their trust and they in turn will recommend you to other people.

Quality Feedback

Customers are also the best source of quality feedback. Remember that they are the ones who are using your products on a regular basis. Prioritizing customers means that you are engaging them. You will have good sources for feedback which allows you to analyze quality information. Following this strategy will let your company analyze and respond better to make your products or services improve which could help boost sales.

Make You Rich

When consumers are happy they consume more of your products which can make you rich. How? Customers like to buy from a brand they trust. They are happy to use a product that is of good quality and will recommend your product so that their friends are happy thereby expanding your customer base. The more people that buy from you, the more potential for profit. Most of the time, more profit means more money inside your pocket.

Ensuring that customers are happy and are prioritized is a good marketing plan. Making them number one is a good way to make your business successful. Prioritizing them could start a chain reaction that can propel your business forward.

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Business

Business Insurance And Why You Need It

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business insurance

Business insurance is a requirement that you should not ignore even if you are in a low-risk workplace. For certain business sectors such as healthcare industries, mechanical workshops or amusement parks, getting a liability insurance is essential. Finding the best insurance can be a challenging and complicated process, but it is better to get an insurance coverage. Disasters happen, and you need an authorized protection to save you from severe economic loss.

Why is business insurance necessary?

If you start a business and employ some people, you need to have business insurance. It is a legal requirement. The insurance coverage varies from one country to another. Almost all countries have made it compulsory for the companies to get a liability insurance. You may think that your business is small and has less risk. You can also think that you can afford the losses your companies might face. The business experts always advise getting a proper insurance for every kind of business. There can be natural disasters like floods or earthquakes. Fire accidents and thefts are not the only risks. Your business can incur massive losses due to disruption of work. There can be cash crunch, skilled labor crisis, road work, police barricades and criminal acts too. You should consider all the aspects before buying an insurance coverage for your company.

General Liability Insurance

Almost all trades have some liabilities. So, a general liability insurance is essential. Before you hire some employees for your business, get a liability insurance first. Your company becomes the ‘employer.’ It becomes a legal need if you wish to make your business a limited company. If any of your staff falls ill or faces any fatal accident during working hours, your company becomes liable. You need to discuss with your insurance broker about the amount of liability insurance cover your business needs. If there is any death because of their work in your company, you need to arrange appropriate compensation. So, you should avoid any expense trimming while buying insurance for the company.

Professional Liability Insurance

It is also known as errors & omissions (E&O) insurance. This is not a one-size-fits-all insurance. Each industry has different concerns while running the business. So, you need customized coverage for your business. The professional liability insurance protects the business from the claims that the company was negligent in performing their services accurately. When you buy the E&O insurance, make sure you appoint an attorney for your company who can defend the lawsuits filed against the company.

Property Insurance

Property Insurance is a must when you run a business. Be it your own building or leased property, you need coverage. This insurance covers your business inventory, equipment, signage, and furniture from any losses due to fire, storm or burglary. Home based businesses still do not get much coverage from property insurance. You need to ask your insurer for extra coverage.

Product insurance

Apart from the above-mentioned insurance policies, you should get an additional product insurance to cover your manufacturing business. It covers any loss due to manufacturing, distributing and retailing hitches.

Buying insurance for your business is complex. You need a trustworthy insurer. Every business needs a unique package based on the requirements of the company. You should always review your insurance policies and keep them in active status.

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