My Career 24/11/2016 by "Veronica Reading"

10 Tips for Achieving Wellness at Work

wellness at work

Wellness is the key to maintaining the energy and focus we need to be fulfilled and reach our personal and professional goals. Many of us spend a lot of time at work, and our working environment can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. How we feel, what we eat, how we sit, exposure to light, avoiding work burnout and keeping active all have a considerable impact on our energy levels, motivation and productivity. Taking advantage of workplace health initiatives and supporting ourselves from the inside out are the key to keeping on top it all and staying happy and healthy, both during the work day and in the longer term.

10 Tips for Ensuring Work Wellness

1. Take advantage of workplace health initiatives – Staff health is a priority for many employers, and those that provide a supportive workplace with their employees’ health in mind can reap the many benefits of happier, more productive staff. Prior to joining Launch, I researched what the company had to offer in regards to employee health. Paid maternity leave, robust educational programs, fitness initiatives and a social culture were clear indicators that employee health is valued by the company.

Our team has participated in a number of wellness initiatives this year, such as coaching sessions with mental toughness coach Dr Corey Middleton to help us find our ‘A Game’ and get the most from ourselves personally and professionally. These sessions have taught us how positive inner dialogue plays an integral role in helping to achieve the right mind frame for success, and how goal setting helps maintain focus and purpose.

Employers can support their staff by taking advantage of similar wellness initiatives. A well-rounded resource for employers is the article, “149 Easy Steps to Happier, Healthier and Fitter Employees”.

2. Be self-aware – Mindfulness, or ‘checking in’ with your state of mind, is a good way to regroup and maintain inner balance. Focusing on one task at a time and taking 2 or 3 minutes between tasks to ‘find yourself’ can help keep you on track throughout the day [1]. If you’re mindful of how you’re feeling, chances are you have the opportunity to adjust your mindset and self-correct.

3. Feed productivity – Coffee and sugar can be great pick-me-ups to get you through the morning, but they’re no substitute for nutritious food that boosts your energy levels and long-term health. Bringing food from home is a cost saver and a great way to encourage good eating habits. Making healthy choices when buying lunch or snacking on fruit between meals are also good options. In a short space of time, you should start to feel the benefits.

4. Keep the wheels turning – Many of us are quite active on the weekends but get chained to our desks when there’s a deadline looming. Moving around, whether it’s grabbing a cup of tea, walking around the office or power walking around the block at lunch, helps to clear the mind and push oxygen around the body. Stretching your muscles eases aches and pains, and taking a break from your computer can help avoid fatigue, RSI and eyestrain.

Following our office move in August, new ergonomic sit-stand desks are enabling our team with added flexibility and mobility whilst working. To boost activity levels, we kick-started a 10,000 steps per week FitBit challenge and we’ve seen some great results, not just from the obvious benefits of more physical activity, but from aiming to meet and exceed a fixed goal. Kayaking together has also been a great opportunity to get outdoors and spend time together outside of the office.

5. See the light – Our August blog looked at how lighting, air quality, noise, and the basic layout of an office are all proven to affect productivity at work. Low levels of natural light can directly affect mood, alertness and metabolism, as light is an important synchronising agent for the brain and body. Exposure to sunlight throughout the day, whether through windows or gained during breaks, is also important in promoting good sleep and keeping up Vitamin D levels in the body.

6. Rest for success – It’s hard to be truly productive when you’re overtired, as lack of sleep affects energy levels and can impact decision making and performance. Research shows that lack of sleep can contribute to a 30% decline in concentration as well as the amount and quality of work performed [2], so it’s important to get plenty of sleep and rest when you can. Keeping your room dark, maintaining a comfortable temperature and ensuring no screen time for an hour before bed, are three easy ways to promote good sleep.

7. Stay connected – Life is getting busier, and it’s important to nourish personal connections with friends and family who keep us grounded and happy. An ‘I’ll get to it later’ mentality means that we sometimes don’t get back to people as planned, so scheduling in time with friends and family can be a great way to ensure that you don’t miss important dates and opportunities to connect.

8. Team togetherness – Spending time together as a team provides opportunities for collaboration and social interaction. Team activities can be a fun and enjoyable way to step outside of the office and get to know your colleagues on a more personal level.

9. Take time for reflection – It’s important to make time for personal planning and reflection every day. For some people, the commute to work can be a great opportunity to let your mind wander and reflect on your goals, objectives and life. Reflection is valuable and can help you focus on what’s most important to you.

10. Do what you love – There’s no substitute for loving what you do. Whether it’s challenging yourself, learning a new skill, meeting new colleagues or excelling at a task, there are many ways to feel positive and rewarded every day. Tapping into what motivates you and what you enjoy at work will ultimately help you to be happier, healthier and more productive.