5 Ideas for Mental Health Initiatives in the Workplace

5 Ideas for Mental Health Initiatives in the Workplace

Employee wellness programs have become more popular over the years, but many of them focus solely on physical wellness. In order to achieve overall good health, mental wellness must also be a priority. Here are five mental health initiatives for the workplace that can be added to employee wellness programs.

1. Eight Hours of Sleep Challenge

Getting the proper amount of rest is important for both mental and physical health. Lack of sleep can cause many physical health issues, one being a weakened immune system. Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, are also linked with poor sleep. In order to assure that employees are getting the right amount of sleep, you can make a fun game out of it. Use activity trackers to monitor sleep and/or have someone keep track of the employees’ sleep data. Whoever gets the most sleep in a month can win some sort of prize which will push everyone to try to get more rest.

2. Birthday Vacation Day

Giving employees a PTO day on their birthday will make them feel appreciated and it will allow them a day to get some mental rest.

3. Bring Your Pet to Work Day

Animals are known to relieve stress and anxiety. Having a day dedicated to being surrounded by furry friends will give the workplace a positive atmosphere.

4. Meditation and Yoga

Dedicating some time to practice meditation and yoga can give employees the physical and mental break they need at work. Meditation and yoga are known to promote relaxation and overall wellness.

5. Volunteer Days

Volunteerism can have many benefits to employees and the community. Employees will feel good about giving back to their community and knowing that they work for a company that supports their local area.

These are just some of the ways to promote good mental health in the workplace. Be creative and come up with your own ideas that are customized to your workplace and employees. Most importantly, have fun with it!

Barrister Executive Suites offers exceptional service, flexibility, and convenience that their tenants need to run their businesses successfully.

Source: Austin Benefits Group

Top Office Amenities You’ll Want After You Find Out They Exist

Sherman Oaks office exterior

Today’s business environment is becoming more demanding now than ever on professionals, leaving less time to take a moment and re-center yourself. If you’ve ever worked in an office with endless rows of gray cubicles and an uninspiring break room, you probably weren’t excited to get to the office each day. Your environment has a profound effect on your mood, mindset and productivity. What is your office missing that could help unlock your potential?

1. On-Site Gym

Working out elevates your energy levels and releases endorphins. This is exactly what you need to get pumped for a great workday, or to release frustration before heading home. Our Torrance office has an on-site gym for tenants to enjoy, and our Mission Valley & Del Mar Office have conveniently located fitness facilities as well.

los angeles office suite dog park

2. Dog Park

A growing number of workplaces are allowing therapy dogs in the office. An office dog can help reduce stress and improve morale. Having a dog park at the office, just as we have at our Los Angeles Airport office suites, is a huge perk for both you and your furry friend.

3. Proximity to Top Restaurants

In today’s business climate, a good percentage of meetings and deals happen outside of the office, making it a must to have nearby restaurants where these meetings can take place. Not to mention, grabbing a delicious lunch can be just what you need if you hit that mid-day slump. Here are a few of our favorite lunch spots near our Executive Suites.

Santa Monica Wilshire Building

4. Relaxing Views

One of the most sought-after features when looking for the perfect office space in Southern California is the view. The sunset and expansive views from some of our locations are spectacular, making a hard day of work all worth it in the end. Love an ocean view? Check out our Santa Monica offices.

5. Convenience

Whether you are seeking a lifelong office space to call home or just need a space for a few hours, Barrister Executive Suites has it. Our offices come furnished or unfurnished and staffed with professional reception services and telephone answering, allowing your day to run smoothly. Most locations are located conveniently next to the freeways for easy access to and from airports. The offices are also equipped with state-of-the-art technology to meet all your business needs. In the spaces, you will also find common areas as well as an updated kitchen/break room. As a Barrister tenant, you will have 24/7 access to the space and access to conference rooms.

Allowing our tenants to enjoy the flexibility and convenience of both on and off-site amenities is why Barrister has been dazzling tenants for decades. We set the bar for exceptional customer service and take pride in each of our Southern California office spaces.

Have any questions?

Work With Barrister!

800-576-0744 Contact Us

Why Consultants, Startups & Entrepreneurs Choose Virtual Offices


Leaving a corporate job to start a new business can be one of the most exciting and terrifying career moves a person can make. The barriers to enter an industry as a new player can be intimidating, and an entrepreneur needs to have a thick skin to ride out the first few years. However, starting a business today is not the same as it was before the rise of the internet. There are endless online tools that can support a business at an affordable price, and overhead can be dramatically reduced by taking advantage of them.

Revolutionizing Working from Home

One of the most important tools in an independent consultant, startup, or entrepreneur’s arsenal is a virtual office. When a services-based business is launched, renting office space is not immediately economical or necessary without a big team to collaborate with. Still, there is a need to impress clients and convey a level of professionalism. That is where a virtual office offers the most value: working from home with the benefit of a prestigious address and answering service can help the business appear larger than it is from the onset.

What a Virtual Office Includes

Having services like a professional receptionist answering the phone with the name of your business sends a message to the caller that the business is legitimate and even exclusive, since they aren’t directly contacting the CEO on the first ring. Additionally, virtual offices offer mail handling services where packages can be received in sought-after zip codes.


Without a long commute in endless traffic, setting up shop in the home is a great way to optimize hours in the day. Not to mention inbound calls won’t slow the business owner down during a busy workday. In more premium virtual office packages, a voicemail notification system can be set up to transcribe messages left throughout the day.

Meeting Clients

When the time comes to wow a potential client, meetings in coffee shops just don’t feel professional. Meeting rooms by the hour and conference room use is a significant perk of having a virtual office. Typically, convenient access to a professional meeting area would cost thousands of dollars in rent each month. With a virtual office, many packages include conference room access at a significantly lower price point.

Finding the right virtual office services for your business can improve your image and elevate your brand. At Barrister Executive Suites, we have hosted hundreds of businesses over the years through our virtual office program. Contact us for more information on the right combination of features to meet your needs.

Have any questions?

Work With Barrister!

800-576-0744 Contact Us

Benefits of Working in The Burbank Media District

entrance to Barrister Executive Suites Burbank office

Working in Los Angeles is the pinnacle of success for countless dreamers in show-business. In an attempt to make it in the entertainment industry, many people have made this bustling city their home. However, daily life in downtown L.A. isn’t for everyone. With the traffic and higher taxes in Los Angeles, businesses have sought out nearby areas to establish their business operations. Thus, the Burbank Media district was formed. Everyone from production studios, web developers, and all the support staff needed to run a renowned studio, work in the Burbank Media District, and for good reason.


Establishing a business address in Burbank has so many benefits, and our recently renovated Burbank office suites have been updated to the excellent standards that our tenants have come to expect.  If you’re curious about making the move to the Burbank Media District, here are just a few of the many reasons to take a tour of our offices soon:

Proximity to the Burbank Airport & Local Studios

Barrister’s Burbank location is directly adjacent to the Warner Brothers main lot. This location has been home to thousands of writers, producers, developers and production companies that need space for a particular project or have “housekeeping” deals with one of the major studios in the area. The proximity to the studios is one of the major features that Burbank offers, with NBC, Disney, Universal and iHeart Radio close by. Musicians serenade Burbank, with local record companies like Sony Music, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records and Warner Brothers Music. Being just a seven-minute drive from the Burbank airport, our tenants love being in the middle of the action.


The Smoke House is an iconic restaurant in Burbank, California. For those who are unaware, the Smoke House sits beside the Warner Brothers lot and has had many television shows and movies filmed there. La La Land, Argo, The Office, and Scandal are just a few major productions that have scenes filmed at the Smoke House. It serves as a great place to have a lunch meeting with clients and business partners.

Grabbing a bite to eat for lunch at Whole Foods is great for those on-the-go. Whether you are headed to your next meeting or have afternoon plans, Whole Foods has a wide selection of foods to choose from, like salads, soups and sandwiches. If you are more of a sit-down and eat type of person, Whole Foods has that too. Within the store, there is a cocktail and wine bar, perfect for those casual lunch meetings.

If you are looking for a more formal, fine dining food experience, Castaway is a great choice. Overlooking the San Fernando Valley, Castaway was designed after the movie Castaway, starring Tom Hanks. Equipped with a full bar and brunch, dinner and dessert menus, Castaway provides the total fine dining experience.

Tax Advantage over Los Angeles

The City of Burbank is offering special business incentives for those who move out of Los Angeles and into Burbank. The most worthwhile incentive is businesses pay no city income tax. Additionally, there is no gross sales receipt tax, which can be huge for a growing business. Other incentives include rebates, recruitment and hiring assistance and a streamlined permitting process. Read more about these valuable incentives on their website.

Access to Public Transportation

The Metrolnk is easily accessible, just 3 miles away from the Burbank office location. Burbank also has its own bus service for commuters, known as the Burbank Bus, and the METRO bus is also available.

Real Estate in Burbank

Finding office space in the Burbank area can be competitive. The vacancy rate in the industrial market is now less than 1% and demand is only increasing. Due to this increase in demand, rental rates in the Burbank area have nearly tripled and are expected to continue increasing through this year. At Barrister, our Executive Suite concept keeps costs down, while providing convenient on-site amenities.

Check out our Burbank office space and contact us for more information:

How a Virtual Office Can Benefit Your Business


Virtual offices offer startups, entrepreneurs and established professionals the ability to amplify their position in the industry in which they compete. Though there may be a small team behind the work they produce, there is nothing small about their passion to constantly improve. A virtual office can give your business the boost it needs to thrive–for many reasons. Here are a few ways a virtual office can benefit your business:

Eliminate the Commute

The traffic in Southern California can be egregious, putting you in a terrible mood just as the morning begins. Cutting out a commute can give you a longer morning to relax with a cup of coffee, giving you a sunnier disposition to start the day. If a long commute is standing in the way of breaking into a new geographic market, a virtual office enables you to work remotely with a team, right from your home.

Mailing Address Without the Rent

Location, location, location—it’s important even if you’re not there physically. All established businesses have a professional mailing address that’s not in a residential neighborhood. You can improve your business’s reputation with a prestigious mailing address, especially in upscale or trendy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Pasadena, or Woodland Hills. A huge advantage of a virtual office is that it costs far less than a month’s worth of rent for a similar location. Barrister Executive Suites offers varying levels of features for virtual offices, each with professional mail and package handling so you don’t miss a thing.

Free Your Budget to Expand Your Business

Stop paying exorbitant rent, utility, and office overhead fees that are a drain on your profitability. Managing your team remotely, collaborating using employees’ own company-approved technology, can put thousands of dollars back in your pocket each month. Reallocating your budget to what really matters can grant your employees, your business, and yourself huge benefits.

Professional Receptionist

Having an answering service is one thing, but a professionally trained receptionist warmly greeting clients and associates creates an incredible first impression. The personalized answering service offered by Barrister Executive Suites is one of the features clients enjoy the most, as it gives their business an increased level of professionalism.

If you’d like to learn about more features of Virtual Offices, visit Barrister’s Virtual Office Space.

Work/Life Balance Goals


How are your 2018 New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re a type-A workaholic, you probably smashed your work-related goals back in February. For others, life might have gotten in the way of your resolutions and they may have faded into the background–and that’s okay, life happens. The new year can usher in a fresh start to meeting your goals in both your personal and professional life. It’s all about balance, though it can be easier said than done. If you have started losing track of your New Year’s resolutions, here’s how to get those work/life balance resolutions back on track.

Take Time to Get Organized

Organization probably doesn’t make it into your checklist, rather it’s something of a necessary evil as your desktop and email clutter beyond the point of what you can handle. In the beginning of a new week, schedule just five to ten minutes per day before or after your workday to straighten things out, file things away, and get yourself ready for the next task at hand. Writing this step down on a checklist makes you more likely to complete it, and it can help you maintain a more efficient workday. Imagine how great it’ll feel to go into a new day with email folders and a clear desktop that will help keep track of obligations! This can also limit those nights spent burning the midnight oil on last-minute work instead of spending time with loved ones.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Have you ever spent time with your family without really being present? Sifting through emails and stressing about deadlines instead of appreciating the company of those right in front of you? It’s common to do that from time to time, always being near a smartphone. To truly disconnect from technology out of work hours, begin practicing mindfulness. Not a pro at meditation yet? Start by focusing on your breath, and begin noticing what each of your senses are feeling. Beginning the day with meditation, whether it’s a workday or a weekend, can help reduce stress over time. Apps that track and guide meditation can help motivate you to continue this practice.

Shift Your Thinking About “Yes” and “No”

How often do you find yourself saying that you can complete a project, no matter the deadline? Saying that you’ll take care of something, when your planner is already bursting at the seams? Compare that to how you approach questions asked of you at home, by your children or spouse. For many, saying “no” to family is somehow easier–no to your six-year-old insisting to wear her Halloween costume to school in March, no to a last-minute dinner with friends–do these responses really improve your quality of life? Reevaluating what you say “yes” to at work and “no” to at home is a great way to shift your perspective and determine what really matters. Work assignments can always be delegated or reprioritized, and really, what’s the harm in letting little Sally wear fairy wings to school?

Plants in the workplace

Plants in the office

Plants in the office do offer more than sprucing up the place.  Decades of research has shown that contact with vegetation and plants, in a variety of contexts, is highly beneficial to human beings.  We invite you to explore some of the benefits that comes from having plants in the workplace.

Provide cleaner air: The natural process of photosynthesis absorbs carbon dioxide in an environment while releasing oxygen into the air. Plants also absorb pollutants!  Several common species of interior plants have the ability to remove compounds such as benzene, formaldehyde, and hexane.

Reduce office noise:  When plants are strategically placed, they can have the effect of quieting an office.  A small indoor hedge placed around a workspace, for example, has been shown to reduce noise by 5 decibels.

Reduce stress:  Some people find that plants reduce their stress levels.  The mere presence of plants help these individuals to feel they are in a natural setting, which can produce a calming effect.  When an employee is less stressed, they are better able to focus on their duties.

Provide a more comfortable environment:  Plants add moisture into the air.  This moisture, in turn, can lower temperatures and increase humidity levels, which can lead to employees feeling more comfortable overall.

Plants and flowers can inspire us:  Natural elements often help to provide humans with illumination and creativity.  Some studies haves demonstrated a clear link between the presence of office plants and the rise of innovative thinking, idea generation, and problem solving.

We here at Barrister Suites know that having plants in the office environment can be beneficial. Many of our Suites have plants in the reception and common areas. You don’t even have to water them! We take care of that.



Learn more about the studies about The Benefits of Plants in the Workplace

How much is too much process?

Policies and procedure documents for business

Processes are designed to help companies grow, develop best practices, and improve efficiency. If they’re not regularly evaluated, however, they can quickly get out of control.  Too much emphasis on process can stifle innovation and creativity.

In a study of U.S. and European companies, the Boston Consulting Group found that “over the past fifteen years, the amount of procedures, vertical layers, interface structures, coordination bodies, and decision approvals needed…has increased by anywhere from 50 percent to 350 percent.” In addition, “managers spend 40 percent of their time writing reports and 30 percent to 60 percent of it in coordination meetings.”*

Businesses use processes because it allows them to measure productivity and progress, which, in turn, makes people feel more accountable and efficient. When processes are used correctly, they should simplify and standardize necessary works tasks that allow a business to operate smoothly. They are meant to enable companies to undertake complex work.

The situation becomes unhealthy and dysfunctional when there are so many processes in place that they restrain the people they’re supposed to help.  Processes should empower people, not make their lives more difficult.   If your employees spend considerable time asking for – or seeking – permission before executing a task, if they’re attending unnecessary or redundant meetings, or if their days are filled with answering irrelevant or unimportant emails, you’ve got a problem.   When this happens, the processes have become a bureaucracy – one that is stifling effectiveness and flexibility, as well as sacrificing creativity and innovation.

Here are five indications that processes has become a problem in your workplace:


  1. Lack of clear vision: Great companies crave a big-picture vision and important goals to strive for. Unfortunately, many companies have vision statements that are filled with jargon and buzz words, but devoid of any actual meaning. This creates a lack of real purpose within the organization.


  1. Empowering with permission—but without action: Often we give our employees more responsibility, but our processes insist they obtain an unreasonable number of approvals (or sign-offs) before they can actually get the work done. This is not empowering, but rather, it signals a lack of trust.


  1. Too much dependence on meetings: Productive and collaborative teamwork does not require meetings for every single decision, task, or action. Employees can become ineffective or overwhelmed when they find themselves constantly stuck in meetings. This dependence on meeting indicates that politics have taken precedence over productivity.


  1. Leaders who focus on process instead of people: Too often managers, supervisors, and other leaders look to processes, and not people, when they want to try to solve problems. This approach doesn’t work! Instead of recognizing that a person needs more training to do a certain task, for example, a new software is purchased to try and do the task for them – or make it easier. This signals a lack of humanity.


  1. Management acts as judge: The purpose of at least some meetings should be to encourage creating, thinking, or building. If managers consistently oppose all new ideas from employees – or balk if/when they question the status quo, then this signals a lack of openness or perspective.


Don’t let process become your company’s culture.  Yes, you want to efficiently – and consistently – produce outstanding results, however if your employees have jobs that depend on meeting metrics and maintaining the status quo, they’ll be reluctant to spend their energy towards invention, innovation, and creating something new.

Are you taking the breaks you need at work?

Relax, refresh and recharge in office

We live in a fast-paced world, and our work environments are no different.   Not surprisingly, many individuals don’t take proper breaks during their average work day. Some even skip a lunch break entirely, or eat while working.  The lack of breaks can increase depending on the industry, a company’s given policy, and if there is someone who is tasked with enforcing breaks.

Taking proper breaks are important… for everyone!


Breaks help with overcoming boredom and increasing concentration
Your brain is NOT a computer. You may be working on a task, and in the groove, but you’ll eventually lose it. The human brain wasn’t built for extended focus, but taking a break will help you to stay focused. Even a 15 to 20 minute break can help to sustain concentration and energy levels throughout the day.

Breaks can increase productivity!

There is a general belief among researchers that employees who take regular breaks are more productive. Allowing time for rejuvenation enables people to complete their tasks more accurately, which leads to fewer errors.

Breaks can lessen physical ailments that can affect an employee’s ability to do his/her job!

As previously discussed, sitting for long periods of time as you work can be unhealthy.  One survey from the American Journal of Epidemiology* revealed that sitting for lengthy time frames (over six hours daily) can cause an individual to be 18% more likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.  Staring at the computer screen for too long – and without a break – can also cause eyestrain.  Any of these conditions can affect an employee in the long term and could create conditions where she or he can’t do certain tasks at all.


Breaks reduce stress!

Again, you’re not a machine, and your mind and body can only take so much.  While perseverance is an admirable quality (and consistent productivity is often a required expectation), you don’t want to push yourself to the point of exhaustion.  Regularly skipping your breaks can cause fatigue and stress to sneak up on you. This, in return, can result in a sudden loss of zeal, passion, or stamina for your work or duties.  When necessary, take a quick break away from those stressful issues, and revisit them again once your mental state is improved.


Breaks are the law!

While federal law does not require employers to give their employee breaks, many states have laws in place.  Consider, for example, the California employee law for meal breaks.


Case study:

Staples Survey Reveals Many Employees Feel Too Guilty to Take Breaks, Despite Spending Longer Hours at Work


What better way to relax than to utilize the employee lounge and break room in your Barrister Suite?  Some locations also have outdoor seating, like our Marina Beach Offices pictured below.

89_marina_5 Marina Del Rey Office Space


Each suite also has periodic tenant mixers and parties, such as last year’s Summer Kick-Off Celebration in Burbank! It’s a great way to kick back and relax, and to get to know your fellow Barrister tenants.


*The Importance of Employee Breaks at http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-employee-breaks-40680.html




Ready for the next step? Transitioning from freelancer to entrepreneur

Transitioning from Freelancer to Entrepreneur

There are 53 million Americans freelancing today, and collectively they are earning $715 billion a year. * While these numbers may look impressive, they actually indicate that a given freelancer is only bringing in $13,490.56 a year.  Not surprisingly, some individuals are wondering if they should make the move from part-time freelancing to full-time entrepreneur.

Making this move can be a scary step, but its potential to bring you many rewards can be quite appealing!  It allows you to work for yourself, on the projects you love, and it has the potential to make the income you need.

Before taking the plunge, however, you need to do some research, analysis, and preparation.  Consider the following steps to help you to begin:

Learn how to work smarter, not harder in this article from Entrepreneur

  1. Develop a vision

    The biggest enemy can be you!  If there’s a small voice inside of your head saying “you can’t do this,” then your first step is to turn off that voice and develop a realistic vision.

    Show yourself that freelancing can be your reality. Your idea isn’t a whim – it’s a business plan. Begin envisioning by creating a business name and a vision for your company. This will help you develop a mental picture of your business and to give yourself a clear path to follow.

  2. Believe in yourself

    Everyone has to take a leap of faith sometimes and it’s okay to have – and to acknowledge – your doubts.  You do also need to be prepared to overcome them, however. It takes practice to overcome doubts, but it’s an important practice. Be sure that you’re mentally invested in your business before you quit your day job.  If you doubt your own ability to find success, you won’t find it.  Believe in yourself!

  3. Decide on a form of business
    You can decide to change the form of your business down the line, but it’s good to have an original plan so you can properly arrange the financial aspects of your business.  You can set up a legal entity for your business (such as a limited liability company) or you can operate your business as a sole proprietorship.  The choice is yours, but do the research first.  Ask yourself:  What are my business goals?  What are the benefits that would come with each model?

  4.  Set up the financial processes
    You can’t begin to bring in work if you’re not fully prepared for it.  Develop your prices and invoice templates.  Create an accounting plan and figure out how much you need to set aside for taxes.

  5. Work on your portfolio
    You shouldn’t launch a business before you have experienced with the work and can demonstrate those experiences to others.  If necessary, delay the launch of your business until you have quality samples of the work you will sell.  If you find you can’t create a solid portfolio of samples that accurately represent your work, then it may not be the right time for you to develop your own business.

  6. Create marketing materials and advertise your business.
    You need to have at least some initial marketing goals as you launch your business.  Develop and launch a website and social media profiles.  Reach out through your business and personal networks and let everyone know that you’ve started a new venture.  Have business cards and/or literature to hand out to them.


The bottom line is that, with proper planning, research, and hard work, you can make a go at creating a business that you are really passionate about. Be brave and take the leap when you’re ready!