Work Is Killing You (Or 10 Reasons To Try Cohere’s Standing Desk)

sleeping at desk

Happy Monday Morning Coworkers!!

How’re you feeling today? Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Or is that tail dragging on the ground?

Even though we work in a much cooler space than most people, the truth of the matter is even entrepreneurs spend the vast majority of their day/week/weekend/life seated in front of a computer screen.

And it’s KILLING US. No, not metaphorically. Literally.

Why? Because we aren’t moving any more. Oh yes, our brains (and fingers) might be going a mile a minute, but unfortunately that does burn nearly enough calories to keep us healthy. More shocking truths about what our awesome-but-sedentary jobs are doing to us in the infographic below.

We like our coworkers alive here at Cohere, so that’s why we installed a Ninja Standing Desk in the pink room. As this article explains, “Standing allows your body to adjust and move easily flexing your muscles continuously. It also keeps your blood circulating well. All this keeps your blood sugar better regulated and keeps your blood pressure lower. And it lets you live longer.” Hooray.

So if you find your legs (or brain) going numb this week, take and hour or two at the standing desk. Your body will thank you.

workismurderinfographic

Image: indi.ca

 

5 Things Every Freelancer Should Know About The Affordable Care Act

ACA Logo

 

The past week has been hard, politically and economically, on America. The Government shutdown is having adverse effects on all of us, in many subtle ways that no one expected…and it’s all because of that pesky thing we call healthcare.

The Affordable Care Act (often referred to as Obamacare, though most Americans don’t realize they’re one in the same) is a big change for our healthcare system. Much has been made of its effect on small business owners, though precious few have broken it down for the smallest business owner: the freelancer or solopreneur.

So, setting the politics aside for a moment, let’s take a look at some important things freelancers should know about the Affordable Care Act:

1. Yes, It’s For You – The ACA is designed to (among other things) create a series of online marketplaces where individual consumers are able to choose which plan and provider works best for them. “Individuals, in this case, are sole proprietors, individual consumers, freelancers, and anyone else who isn’t already insured by an employer, a parent, or a government sponsored program such as Medicare,” writes Under30CEO.

2. Less Is More – “If your earnings fall between 100 and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), the most you’ll have to pay for health insurance is 9.5% of your annual income. So if you’re not making a lot, you won’t have to pay a lot. Your tax credits will cover the difference between what you are charged and the actual cost,” reports The Renegade Writer. Also, having more dependents increases the subsidy for which you may be eligible.

3. Variable Income Matters – If you’re new to freelancing, or just work in an industry where income may vary wildly year to year, the ACA has elements designed to facilitate a flexible assessment of your income.

As Wonkblog explains, “if your income changes drastically you’re supposed to go online and report the shift in income. Any subsidies you’re receiving will be adjusted to reflect your new income. If you don’t report the new income (or lack therof), the government will assess the difference when you file taxes the next year and you could have to pay back some of the tax credits you received. Make sure to plan ahead for tax time.”

4. Haste Makes Waste – We all got better things to do, so it can be tempting to pick something fast to get it out of the way. This could mean missing out on great coverage and/or savings. “When shopping for health insurance options for freelancers, it’s important to compare apples to apples rather than apples to oranges. This means making a spreadsheet and listing the features of various options in separate rows across multiple columns, so that you can be sure you’re looking at the same features when it comes to comparing cost and coverage,” explains Planting Money Seeds.

5. Deadline? – Freelancers live and die by the deadline, and the ACA is no different. Although the state health insurance exchanges opened on October 1st, you have until March 31, 2014 to look at the plans and enroll. After that, however, you’ll be out of luck for getting a plan until the next enrollment period, which starts October 7, 2014.

Related Reading Recommended by Freelance Folder:

 

Featured Member Monday: Meet Rosalie Rae Robinson

Rosalie Rae Robinson
Copywriter, international marketing manager, and
 the managing director of Physique: Body of Tea
www.physiquetea.com 

As freelancers, we’re often guilty of neglecting our physical bodies while pursuing more cerebral activities. This is bad news because without healthy bodies, our creativity and productivity will always suffer. Part of the struggle of being a member of the independent workforce is that we’re responsible for everything, and that means the work (almost) never ends. Entrepreneurs sometimes have trouble making time for the rest, relaxation and nutrition that keeps us delivering our best day after day. That’s why Cohere is thrilled to count a health-conscious member like Rosalie Rae Robinson among our number.

Rosalie is a wellness and fitness freak. She’s also pretty darn good at copywriting and marketing. Through her work with Physique, she’s creating awareness about how organic, non-GMO, and fair trade tea can be the secret to unlocking the healthiest you. Here’s more about Rosalie:

How did you hear about Cohere?
I was looking into renting an office space for myself, and then found out that such a thing as coworking. I liked that idea much better than sitting alone in an office all by myself … which is what I was doing at home anyway. From there, Cohere was just a Google search away!

What’s your favorite part about Cohere?
Being around other people who are working makes me want to work harder … that, and I get an extra guilt trip when I know someone’s just seen me on Facebook.

Favorite past time?
At the moment, calligraphy, cello, and reading.

What’s something we don’t know about you?
I have a first degree black belt in tae kwan do.

What was your life like before Cohere?
Full of sweat pants and distractions.

How has it changed since joining?
Dress pants and … well, different and more enjoyable distractions. ;)

Sit Up Straight! It Could Help Land Your Dream Gig

Ann Cuddy, TEDx

What’s your body position like right now? Slouched in a chair? Hunched over your desk with elbows on the table? Prostrate on the couch or (gasp!) still in bed?

I recently came across an interesting video from TEDGlobal 2012. The speaker, Harvard business professor Amy Cuddy, suggests that body posture can influence mood more than one might expect. Cuddy also suggests that altering your body posture before professional engagements, such as an interview or client meeting, might have an impact on whether those meetings go like you want them to.

“We used to think that emotion ended on the face,” states Cuddy on the Harvard Business School website. “Now there is established research showing that while it’s true that facial expressions reflect how you feel, you can also ‘fake it until you make it.’ In other words, you can smile long enough that it makes you feel happy. This work extends that finding on facial feedback, which is decades old, by focusing on postures and measuring neuroendocrine levels.”

Learn more about how assuming a “power pose” for two minutes before a professionally significant event could help swing the odds in your favor by watching the video below.

Image: TEDGlobal 2012 – June 25 – 29, 2012, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

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