9 Healthy Ways To Maximize Your Productivity In The Workplace

November 12, 2020

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Corporate workers and business owners often have to manage hectic work schedules. So, how do you balance your work and lifestyle to increase your productivity? Just by taking care of your health and wellness, you can boost your engagement and performance by immense proportions. According to Leigh Stringer, a specialist in workplace design, it’s not that workers aren’t working hard enough - the basic needs of their minds and bodies sometimes conflict with their work style, and that is what affects their productivity. That being said, here are some healthy habits that can boost your productivity in the workplace.

  1. Try not to sit down for extended periods

You have probably read some news articles about the dangers of sitting for long hours at the worktable, without taking a break. Unfortunately, extended sitting has been linked to several issues such as deep vein thrombosis, reduced heart health, and low metabolism. Sitting itself is not the main problem with corporate workers today; the troubling fact is that many workers tie themselves to their seats for far too long without making any attempts to get up and move. It is better to stand up after every 30 minutes and take a walk at least every 1.5 hours. You can consider requesting that your boss provide you with a standing work desk. This can help you improve your productivity without exposing yourself to the risks of sitting for too long. Moreover, reading, phone calls, and watching presentations are all useful activities that you can do while standing up.

  1. Skip the elevator once a while

In many modern buildings, elevators are typically installed at the front and center of the building. This universal design is suitable for people with different physical conditions. Having said that, if you do not have a physical condition that requires the use of a lift, you may want to skip the elevator once in a while. Staircases provide an opportunity for you to choose a more active and hence a healthier lifestyle. So, take the stairs when you are not in a hurry to get something done. 

As a business leader, you can add fantastic artwork to your staircase to spark visual interest and encourage workers to use it. Psychologically, it has been proven that having beautiful and open staircases increase the frequency of use. Studies have also shown that just by placing signposts explaining the importance of the stairs to people's health, you can increase their usage by 54%. Indeed, workers will be encouraged to use staircases if they know how many calories they burn with each climb.

  1. Say no to mindless eating

Mindless eating is when you take your meals haphazardly without dedicating your full attention to the food. This typically results in people eating more calories than they actually need. For example, instead of taking time off to dine at the lunch table, some people eat at their desks. Mindless eating does not only constitute a poor health habit; it is also considered inappropriate. As a CEO, it is your responsibility to discourage this behavior by establishing rules and regulations surrounding the topic. As an employee, it will also do you some good to not engage in such activities. Doing so will also reduce the risk of littering the office space with food debris, which could destroy your expensive equipment such as computer keyboards.

  1. Do not skip your breakfast

Even if there is a meal you want to miss, it should not be your breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast is linked with improved brain activity, increased energy, and reduced risks of chronic diseases. The Harvard Medical School has noted that when you keep skipping your breakfast, you increase your risk of becoming obese by up to four times. The rich fiber in healthy breakfast cereals can lower your chances of suffering from diabetes and cardiac problems. However, since too much sugar is dangerous for your health, you should try to limit the sugar content in your breakfast. When you eat your regular breakfast, it promotes fullness and helps control your urge to eat more calories later in the day.

  1. Get enough sleep

How much sleep have you been getting? According to the Great British Bedtime Report, over one-third of people go to bed around 10-11 pm, and about 40% of Americans do not enjoy the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per day. If you belong to that category, you are probably experiencing mild sleep deprivation. According to Dr. Marc Weissuth, a sleep researcher and experienced paediatrician, if you clock seven hours of sleep per day but fall short by just 20-30 minutes, that can still impair your cognitive abilities and performance. This suggests that each minute of rest is critical for your well-being and productivity. He adds that you may not even realize it when that happens. 

Numerous research studies on the effects of sleep deprivation on adults have linked it to various impairments. However, when you shift your sleep schedule to 30-60 minutes earlier for a long time, you will experience the full benefits of getting enough rest. Your alertness at the workplace will increase, and you will be more productive.

  1. Use a comfortable office chair

Chairs play a significant role in the comfort and productivity of workers, especially in the corporate field, and one lousy office chair can ruin an employees' health. The chair you sit on can also impact your feelings during working hours. Although as an employee, you may not have a say in the furniture purchased by the company, fighting for your comfort also matters. Stay-at-home workers may have the freedom to invest in ergonomically convenient chairs to maximize their comfort and productivity. 

One Office Depot survey discovered that for 87% of small businesses, almost half of all the employees suffer from back pain and other forms of physical discomfort. These are all associated with the nature of the office chairs they use. Office Depot also notes that apart from hampering your productivity at the workplace, your personal life at home can also be affected by back pain. Workers are encouraged to check their current chairs to ensure that they have the right seat height, seat pan, as well as lumbar support. 

  1. Go for exercise breaks

The workplace is different from a gym, but you may not want to stay inactive the whole day in your office. Taking routine exercise breaks is also beneficial for your productivity. Following the Coronavirus pandemic, many people have had to adjust to working from home. However, with 24/7 internet connectivity, workers are now seeing their tablets and phones increase their working hours. When you consider this plus the existing reality of sedentary lifestyles at the workplace, you will understand the need to take exercise breaks. 

For the majority of workers, going to the gym before or after work sounds like the best choice. Well, midday exercise routines are equally suitable for your well-being and productivity. Assuming your office lacks an attached gym, try to make time to keep fit during the day. Short exercise breaks boost your circulatory system and enhance productivity. The icing on the cake is that when you step away from a challenging task, you can come back with a new perspective.

  1. Exercise your brain

Doing mental exercises can make you more productive as a worker. In particular, meditation is an effective workout for your brain as it makes it more adaptable. The good news is that, in the early morning, it only takes you about 20-30 minutes to adopt healthy practices to manage your day effectively. It has been proven over and over that meditation is useful for reducing stress and improving the fluidity of your mental power. There are different techniques to strengthen your mental capacity. Examples may include reading books, playing good games, and taking IQ tests. You will need your brain functioning at maximum ability to make the most out of your workday. So, make time to do things that challenge your mind to get better at solving problems.

  1. Disconnect from your work and connect with your family and friends

Being a workaholic is not necessarily a bad thing — it only becomes harmful when you allow your work to separate you from your loved ones. When you close from work in the evening, reserve time to socialize with your friends and family; see it as a crucial habit for you to bond and socialize when you get any least opportunity to do so. It may not seem necessary or practical, but how you spend your time away from work can affect your working days' performance. And this is based on the point of view that an individual is a product of their environment. Accordingly, you may want to give your social life as much attention. Having a healthy lifestyle outside of work can positively transform your productivity at the workplace.

It takes the best practices both at home and at work, to increase your performance. Fortunately, there are many ways to become more productive at work, starting with these.

*contributed post*

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