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Category: Lifestyle

Lifestyle Management – corporates can benefit, too!

Usually, when we talk about lifestyle Management, our minds instinctively jump to how it can benefit the individual. Which is natural enough really; after all, there are many obvious ways that a personal concierge can make life easier, and altogether more enjoyable, for busy individuals. What’s perhaps slightly less obvious is that lifestyle management can benefit businesses, too – and in a big way. How? Well that’s the subject of this post – we’re going to look at how corporate customers can also benefits from personal concierge services, by using them to balance the demands of work and life for executives, employees and customers. The rewards, in terms of increased productivity, improved staff retention and higher client loyalty can be huge.

To see why this should be the case, consider a few basic, if rather disconcerting, statistics. Take, for example, the fact that, according to a recent (2018) study, the average worker in the UK admits to spending around 3 hours a day, not counting lunch, on chatting with colleagues, engaging with social media, and carrying out other ‘personal business’. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this could affect business performance. Or take the fact that, in 2019, 59% workers reported some level of workplace stress, resulting in the loss of an estimated 12 million working days. Although some of this stress was found, inevitably, to result from the pressures of the workplace, much of it was also from sources outside the workplace – anxieties concerning the tasks and chores of home and family.  The pressures of home life, in other words, often distract employees, and prevent them from giving maximum attention to their job. It makes sense, therefore, that relieving staff of some, or all, of these sources of stress, is likely to improve staff – and therefore, business – performance. This is where a Corporate Concierge, from a company such as ReQuest, can help.

How it works

At ReQuest, we can act as an extension to your organisation, to help your staff and selected clients improve their work/life balance through a wide range of concierge and assistance options. Once we’ve agreed which services of ours you’d like to use, the rest is easy: your employees or customers (or any other personnel you decide are eligible) simply contact us by phone or email with their request. Our concierge or Lifestyle Management staff will take care of their request in a professional and efficient way. The result is that your employees feel less stress and anxiety about issues outside of work, and feel more appreciated and valued, leading to significant increases in staff productivity, morale and loyalty. This, in turn, leads to improvements in many aspects of company performance, such as enhanced customer service, higher profits and much more.  In short, by employing the bespoke services of a Corporate Concierge company, companies can reap a wide range of benefits – including gaining a competitive advantage over their rivals.

Who can benefit from a Corporate Concierge?

The answer to this is straightforward – almost any type of company can realise real and significant benefits in investing in a Corporate Concierge service – especially when that service is provided by a company such as ReQuest. Our Lifestyle managers have such vast experience in providing client support, that we can add value to almost any kind of business operation.

If you’d like to explore the possibilities of using a corporate concierge in more depth, we’d be delighted to talk to you. We can design a package which is perfectly matched to your needs, whatever they may be. So, if you want to take your business performance to the next level – give us a call!

Loss aversion – don’t miss out because of it!

Suppose you and a couple of friends enter a competition. Which of the following two outcomes would you prefer: (a) you win £1000 but both friends win £2000 each, OR (b) you win £500 but each friend only wins £100. It’s a no-brainer, right? Any half-sane person would choose (a). After all, you get twice the amount of money! Surprisingly, though, many studies show that most people prefer (b). Strange, but true.

Actually, it’s not so strange: it’s a well-known phenomenon in the world of psychology. It’s an effect called ‘Loss aversion’, which means that there is a human tendency to hate losing more than we like winning. In the above example, you may get more money, but you perceive yourself to be ‘losing’ to your friends, so you opt for (b), where you ‘win’ – even though you get less money.

It may seem weird, but loss aversion is very powerful. In fact, according to various studies, we find that losses hurt about twice as much as gains make us feel good. And it’s an effect which shows up in almost every aspect of life. In consumer behaviour, for example, shoppers react more negatively to a price increase (losing) than they react positively to a price decrease (winning). And in personal relationships, it generally takes at several kind comments (wins) to make up for one critical comment (loss).

And loss aversion doesn’t just effect our behaviour, it affects our ability to perform, too. A good example of this is in golf. An analysis of millions of putts has shown that golfers are roughly twice as likely to hole a putt for par (missing would represent a loss) than they are to hole a birdie putt (which represents a gain). It’s estimated that, without loss aversion, Tiger Woods would have won approximately $3.5million more, over his career!

Why are we so afraid of losing? Well, essentially, it’s an expression of fear that has its roots in human evolution. Millions of years ago, when proto-humans had few possessions, the main ‘loss’ they could sustain was that of their life. A bad decision (e.g. to attack an animal for food) could result in death, so they learned to be risk-averse and weigh decisions very carefully. Today, the result of that adaptive pressure is a negative emotional response to loss. As Charles Darwin once said, “Everyone feels blame more acutely than praise.”

But if this is true (that loss aversion is a negative emotional response to loss), does it help if you’re wealthy? Answer – no. Being wealthy doesn’t help. For rich people, the pain of losing their fortune exceeds the emotional gain of getting additional wealth, so the rich often become vulnerable, anxious and over-cautious. Ironically, the more we have, the more vulnerable we are. Having accumulated wealth implies that we have more to lose than to gain.

And yet, this is a misperception: a result of an unconscious cognitive bias (loss aversion) that is causing poor decision-making (like choosing option A at the beginning of this piece). The reality is that, often, we will be better off if we are aware of the emotional impact of loss aversion, and take action to counteract it. Loss aversion is not a rule that must be obeyed – it is an unconscious process to be overcome!

And that’s the point of this article. It’s that we could all benefit from being aware of how loss aversion can pressure us to make a wrong decision. In the current context (Lifestyle Management), this particularly applies to relatively wealthy people. If you consider yourself among their number, it’s easy to leap to the conclusion (assisted by loss aversion) that taking on a personal Lifestyle Manager would lead to monetary losses and no significant gain. But, very often, the opposite is true: very significant gains in lifestyle quality are there to be had.

So if you’ve been considering taking on a personal Lifestyle Manager, and have decided against, ask yourself: what’s the reality here? Am I a victim of loss aversion? Am I missing out? There’s a good chance that you are!

Want to pamper yourself? Try these ideas!

For anyone that leads a busy life, the benefits of a personal concierge can be massive. All of a sudden you find your daily routine is no longer dominated by drudge tasks and cluttered with the process of planning and organising. Now, you have time to enjoy yourself: to do all those things which, before, you could never really find the time to do. In short, you can pamper yourself.

But this raises the question – by doing what? Of course, most people have a pretty clear idea of how they prefer to spend their leisure time, and you’re probably no different. Occasionally though, it’s great to be able to push the envelope of familiarity; to do something just a little away from the norm. But what? Here, we list a few ideas that, if you live around London, you might like to try.   

Get a new view – take a helicopter ride  

We’ve done this at ReQuest, and – hand on heart – it’s a pretty cool experience! Fly over London’s capital and experience the aerial view of its many world-famous landmarks in your own helicopter! It’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry – especially if you take care to capture a few dramatic snaps for your social media feed! Prices typically vary from £150, depending on minutes airborne.

Sky-high yoga at the Shard

Talking of experiences at height, why not try this – it is, we’re assured, Europe’s highest yoga class. And at a hight of 1,016 feet, it’s easy to believe. It’s hard to think of a more extravagant way to pamper your mind and body – and, into the bargain, you’ll get a panoramic view of the city like no other. On hot days, the class is held on an open deck on the 72nd floor, which sounds pretty amazing!

Murder Mystery experience on Belmond British Pullman

If we had to choose our favourite on this list, this would be it. Hop aboard this amazing 1920s inspired train (the sister train of the famous Orient-Express) and enjoy champagne upon arrival, a delicious five-course lunch, and a terrific murder mystery experience. Starting from London Victoria, the whole experience lasts about 5 hours, but it’s so much fun that it’s over in a flash! Spaces are limited, so make sure your concierge books in advance!

Take a (spa) break!

If you’re into body massage , or facials, this is definitely for you. After all, what better way to pamper yourself than relaxing in one of London’s top spas! There are literally dozens – even hundreds – to choose from, but three of the best are the Bulgari Hotel (Knightsbridge), Akasha Spa (Regent St) and Como Shambhala (Mayfair).

Everyman Cinema

We know what you’re thinking  – a trip to the cinema is hardly pushing the boundaries of experience. But this is no ordinary cinema – it’s a boutique cinema chain that specialises in delivering a home-style experience with ultra-comfy sofa–style seats, plus food and (alcoholic) drinks served where you sit. A truly relaxing experience! 

Afternoon tea at the Ritz

Cute mini-sandwiches, wonderfully delicious cakes, a drop of Darjeeling and plush surroundings isn’t everyone’s thing. But if they’re yours, well, you won’t do better than this. It’s a very British thing to do, and it can make for a very relaxing afternoon out.  The Ritz is also right next door to Harrods, so you can always make a day of it and get a bit of retail therapy in before you go – if, that is, you don’t prefer your ReQuest personal Lifestyle Manager to do your shopping for you!  

It doesn’t have to be this way…

Money-rich, time-poor. It’s a phrase that comes from a book by Rob Parsons, called The Heart of Success: Making it in business without losing in life. And it’s a phrase which probably doesn’t need an explanation. Basically, though, it’s about achieving a proper balance between achieving business goals and maintaining a high quality of life. If you’re reading this, the chances are that it’s a problem you’re very familiar with.

But being familiar with a problem doesn’t necessarily make it easier to solve. Which is why so many people in this position fail to solve it – they make lots of money, but they continue to do all the drudge work. As a result, they miss out on many important aspects of life, such as having quality time with family and friends, and enjoying the downtime they deserve.

Of course, it’s a problem that been around for decades, even centuries. And the concept of a concierge dates back just as long. In fact, the roots of the word, “concierge” come from the Latin conserves, meaning “fellow slave”, though the word itself (“concierge”) is French, and means “keeper of the keys.” During the Middle Ages, you see, when the nobility entertained guests at their castles, someone (a concierge) was appointed to look after the keys to the rooms, and ensure that guests had everything they needed. This evolved into a more general role, so that, by the 1800s, many European organisations, ranging from government offices to prisons, employed their own concierge.

Today, of course, the word “concierge” is essentially just another term for personal assistant. And it’s a service that has proved so popular that it’s given rise to an entire industry. As more and more people find themselves victim of the money-rich, time-poor phenomenon, the demand for personal concierges have skyrocketed.  The (2018) global concierge services market size was valued at over half a billion pounds (£500 million) and is expected to grow by about 5% year-on-year, from 2019 to 2025. This should be no surprise when you consider that many top managers, VIPs, celebrities and other high net-worth individuals have recognised the enormous benefits of outsourcing routine or specialised tasks to help them achieve a better work-life balance.

Interestingly, though, the very popularity of the concept among the rich and famous has led, in recent years, to a misunderstanding. Most people think that a personal concierge is something which is affordable only by the ultra-wealthy. This may have been true once, but it’s no longer the case. True, a personal concierge isn’t within the means of everyone, but they are surprisingly affordable – especially when they are made available through specialist companies like ReQuest which offered tailored packages to suit individual budgets. If you’re looking for someone to work closely with you on every aspect of your life, and assume key responsibilities on a 24/7 basis, we can provide that person. However if you’re looking for somebody to work in a more limited capacity and take responsibility for the tasks you hate most , we can supply someone to meet those needs too. Basically, whatever your budget, we can work to it.

So, if you’ve been thinking for a while that it’s time you gave yourself more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the things you enjoy doing most – give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.

Learn to let go – and lead a fuller life!

Here’s a question: are you – right now – living the best life you could? And if the answer is ‘no’, why is that the case? There’s a good chance it’s because you’ve got a lot on, and you find it hard to let go. To delegate. You insist on doing everything yourself. Which is understandable, as ours is a culture which, historically, has rewarded – both financially and socially – a hectic, crowded lifestyle. But things are changing. Today, there is a significant body of research which shows that working long hours with little rest takes a high physical and mental toll, with a negative impact on life expectancy.

All the same, many people find it hard to let go. Often, even those who can easily afford to delegate routine tasks are reluctant to do so. Again, this is understandable. After all, letting go – which is often symbolic of losing control – can be a painful and difficult process. But the rewards can be high: less stress, a better work-life balance, and a more relaxed lifestyle are all likely results of entrusting someone else with your everyday tasks.

So, once again, why aren’t you letting go? Here are the principle reasons which, according to psychologists, could be behind your reluctance to hand over the reins. 

Guilt

We live in a culture with attitudes dominated by received wisdom. And that received wisdom is heavily, if not wholly, shaped by advertising. And according to the narrative of advertising, you’re not a real man or a real woman unless you do everything yourself. It’s a DIY world. According to the world of advertising, you should be able to work full-time (and be brilliant at whatever job you do), while managing every aspect of domestic life, from car repairs to major home improvements. It’s hardly surprising that so many people feel as though they’re a failure if they reach out for help.

But nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, a strong work ethic is a good thing. But a relentless focus on having and doing everything yourself can lead to intense feelings of inadequacy and – therefore – guilt. It can also make us forget that there’s a better way: delegation. By handing off tasks we don’t really need to do, we can feel happier and more fulfilled. A good Lifestyle manager can help you take a step back and inject some calm into the chaos.

Perfectionism

On the face of it, perfectionism sounds like a good thing. But it can also create procrastination and displacement – in other words, cause you to avoid tasks you don’t like doing on the pretext of not having the time to do them properly. If you recognise this in yourself, outside help could be major step forward for you, and help you increase your sense of wellbeing, even if you fear that you may lose control.

Why? Simple. It’s because you don’t have to do everything yourself in order to feel in control. Our Lifestyle managers are experts at partnering with clients to help them better manage their time and can live the life they prefer.

Privacy and Trust Concerns

As well as perfectionism, many people have have privacy and trust concerns that keep them from partnering with someone who could help them live more enjoyable lives. However, there are huge benefits to working with a full-service Lifestyle manager. While the virtual assistants made available by today’s technology may be able to carry out a limited number of tasks around the home, a personal Lifestyle manager can help you fundamentally reimagine your life.    

In summary, don’t put off having fun! Enjoy life now, rather than kowtow to the abstract expectations of cultural norms. Bringing a lifestyle management company like ReQuest into your life will make a tangible and significant difference. Basically, you’ll have lots more fun!

New Year Resolutions: how a Lifestyle manager can help

So. Another year dawns. And as it does, millions will make – or have already made – a New Year resolution. But do they really work, or are they just a social cliché that we go along with for form’s sake, with no real intention of sticking to them? The evidence seems to point to the latter – a recent YouGov poll showed that only a quarter (24%) of Britons who made resolutions in 2018 kept all of them, while 28% said they kept none of them.

Despite this, though, few would deny that New Year resolutions are a good idea in principle. After all, the beginning of a new year is a great time – both psychologically and practically – to implement changes for the better in our lives. But, although most people recognise this, few – as we’ve noted – seem able to follow through on their commitment to themselves. Why should this be?

Well, according to recent studies, your chances of success in carrying out a NY resolution depends heavily on where you are in the ‘acceptance process’ of change. In other words, those who are still in the ‘contemplation phase’ (still thinking about making a change) are much less likely to succeed than those who have reached the ‘action phase’ (that is, they have already accepted the idea of change, and are ready to take action). So progressing from the Contemplation stage to the Action stage is critical. Interestingly, studies also show that help from an external partner, such as a professional lifestyle manager, who can share in accountability, can help this progression enormously. That’s where we can help.

If you’ve decided that you could benefit from a fresh start in some area or another of your life, and you want to kick things off with a New Year Resolution, you’ll find that one of our Lifestyle managers can play a key role in helping you achieve your goal. Below are three of the most common areas in which people set resolutions with some suggestions about how you can be successful in staying on track.

Health and wellbeing

Health objectives – such as losing weight – are extremely popular goals, but they’re also among the first to be ditched when life gets busy. The key is to be specific, and to plan. Decide things like: How much weight you want to lose, and by when? How often will you exercise, and in what way? Next make a contingency plan – decide what you’ll do if you ‘fall off the wagon’ – being mentally ready for this to happen will make you less prone to despair and giving up if it does (and it’s likely to!). A Lifestyle manager can help with all these things – by creating an eating plan, for example, or helping with the shopping, or accompanying you to, and motivating you at, gym sessions.

Making your Bucket List happen

No matter what your Bucket List contains, a Lifestyle manager can help you tick off the items on it. Once you’ve decided on the item, and what’s required to make it happen, your Lifestyle manager can take over the planning, while keeping you in the loop at every step.  You can have as much, or as little, involvement as you want. This way, you’ll ensure that you bucket list event is everything you dreamed it would be.

Learning something new

This could be anything from reading more, to learning a new language.  But, whatever it is, remember that it helps to be specific. How many books will you read each month? Will you visit the country of your chosen language for some real-life practice? If so, when? How, exactly, will you learn – online self-study, for example, or by using a specialist coach or tutor? Once you’ve made your plan, your Lifestyle manager can help you carry it out – by picking up books, for instance, or enrolling you in local classes, or by researching other opportunities that will help you reach your goal.

To find out more about how our Lifestyle managers can help you – simply call us!

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