How Should An Employee Maintain Their Well-being And Work Productivity?


Tips on how to increase the wellbeing of the employees are on every corner. But what should we as employees need to do to maintain not just our physical health but our mental health and wellbeing as well. Most of us spend a big part of our day in the offices so how keeping our mind and body healthy will affect our productivity?

As an employee how should you maintain your well-being and work productivity? Having meaningful relationships with friends and family, positive self-esteem, a system for coping with stressful events, being active, relaxation, eating and sleeping well will help you in functioning and feeling well, which will boost your productivity. Of course, sometimes you won’t be able to achieve everything, but make sure to attend the areas that you have the most control.

Having a job that makes you happy is also good for your mental health. But not everyone is lucky to have the job of their dreams. Thus, investing in our well being should be our priority.  

Sometimes it’s easier for someone to tell you the areas that need improvement rather than constantly assessing yourself. However, focusing on new ways to improve your skillset or new strategies for managing your time, will help you boost your confidence.

Having a sense of purpose, being involved in important decisions, and having numerous connections, will positively affect your mental health. However, there are numerous times when work problems or toxic work environment can stress you out and lower your ability to think clearly and do your job. 

It’s vital to protect our wellbeing by addressing the cause that disrupts our wellbeing. With creating an organizational culture where everybody contributes to having a thriving environment, the levels of productivity will increase exponentially.

Part 1 – Improving Your Well-being

Everyone should contribute to creating a healthy work environment; this way the time spent at work will be less stressful and more motivating. 

The process of creating a healthy environment should start by every employee taking care of their own physical and mental health. We all have periods when we are stressed, we feel down of frightened, and sometimes these feelings can grow in some serious problems like depression or anxiety. 

We need to take steps to improve our resilience to cope with different unpleasant situations. Self-care is one of the most difficult skills that need to be learned.

Try not to sacrifice your health or personal life for work, educate yourself how to take care of your mental health, make the most out of your day, work smart, not hard and last but just as important – remember what are your goals, what and who is important to you. 

8 Steps, Goals or Challenges that can Encourage You to Practice Self-Care:

1. Talk about how you feel

2. Ask for help

3. Be active

4. Proper nutrition

5. Take regular breaks

6. Accept who you are will all of your strengths and weaknesses

7. Relaxation

8. Create a positive working environment for yourself

 

1. Talk about how you feel

Sharing your thoughts and feelings is one of the ways of keeping your mental health. It is a great way to deal with everyday situations, especially when you feel troubled. 

Talking about your feelings doesn’t make you weak; it’s just one step toward taking control of your own well-being and doing everything that is necessary to stay healthy.

Sometimes can be hard to find some colleague that you’d feel comfortable talking about your feelings. Usually, this is connected with the fear of what to disclose, when, and where to share your feelings. 

If you’re open to talking about how work makes you feel, especially if you are from the management, it might encourage other employees to do the same.

If you can’t identify colleagues to whom you can confide in, make sure to have someone either a partner, family member or friend, that you can discuss the stress and pressures of your job. Venting out the negative thoughts out loud is a great way to deal with stress. 

2. Ask for help

As an addition to talking your feelings is to seek help when you feel overwhelmed, discriminated or bullied at work. 

Unfortunately, a lot of workplaces have unfair treatment to some of the employees. Luckily there are many services that can provide support, counsel, and protection for the victims. Some of the employers even have programs for employee assistance. These programs are confidential. 

Whether these services are within the company or outside agencies, don’t suffer in silence. Ask for help! 

3. Be active

Being active is one of the most promoted aspects of taking care of your health. Why is that? Regular exercises produce hormones that will reduce the negative effects of stress; allowing your body to be normal again. 

It also can boost your self-esteem, after all, you’ll be in better shape. It will help you to sleep better and be more concentrated. 

Exercising doesn’t just mean going to the gym or doing some sport. Any type of physical movement from taking walks and getting some fresh air, cycling, doing yoga to taking the stairs instead of the elevator and making home exercises can prove to be quite refreshing. 

Choose an activity that you will enjoy. The biggest obstacle of being active is the lack of commitment. You don’t have to spend too much time exercising, 30 minutes per day will be more than enough. Incorporate those 30 minutes into your schedule before or after work.

If your workplace has gym or offers some discounts in nearby gyms, take advantage of that and use them. 

4. Proper Nutrition

Eating well is also one of the most promoted aspects of maintaining your health. All of us know that a proper and healthy diet is good not just for our physical health but for our mental health as well. 

What we eat directly affects how we feel. Regular meals and plenty of water would be ideal. Keeping the body hydrated will enable it to stay balanced throughout the day and will increase the energy levels. 

However, sometimes can be very hard to maintain healthy patterns in the office. The temptation of sugary snacks and coffee/tea can often be all around you. By reducing these artificial stimulants, we can help our body and mind not to swing between highs and lows during the day.

I usually forget to drink water, especially in my stressed days, so I use stickers on my desktop to remind me of how many glasses of water I drank so far. 

Try to plan your meals upfront- whether you cook them or buy them, get away from the desk to eat, reduce caffeine, eat more fresh vegetables, fruits and snacks like trail mix or nuts. 

5. Take regular breaks

Take regular breaks in terms of lunch breaks, five-minute pause from your tasks, and vacations or some time off. Even a few minutes away from the desk can sometimes be enough for de-stressing. 

Taking a break, even a short one allows your mind and body to refresh and relax. Your mind will have the chance to restart and increase the concentration level. 

It’s very common to see people working on their lunch break with a sandwich in their hands or eating as they go between meetings. This way the process of digestion will get slower and your body will not absorb efficiently all the nutrients and energy from your food. 

This behavior is counterproductive in the long term which will eventually affect your wellbeing and productivity. If you are spending your lunch to work, you are probably not going to use another opportunity or a break to rest your mind.

When we are stressed, we need some break the most. Sometimes can be hard to take time off or holidays from work. So try to schedule several breaks throughout the year so you will always have a holiday or trip to look forward to. 

Change of scenery will be good for your mental health. Allow yourself some ‘me time’. Listen to your body. It needs rest and proper sleep; without it, our wellbeing suffers.

Most importantly, resist the temptation to check your tasks when you are at home or on leave. If you can’t break from work even when you are at home, you need to re-examine your workload and how that’s affecting your stress levels. 

6. Accept who you are will all of your strengths and weaknesses

Everyone is unique. A key element of our wellbeing is to accept that and not trying to be like someone else. Self-acceptance is a hard process but it will boost your confidence and make you strong to cope with difficult situations. 

Feeling good about yourself will encourage you to learn new skills, have new experiences, visit new places, etc.

Don’t try to be perfect. You will waste your time chasing the illusion of perfection. Do each task to the best of your ability and move on after its completion. 

Acknowledging your weaknesses will help you to identify the things that are lowering your performance and improve them. Do whatever is in your power to be the best version of yourself all the time. 

7. Relaxation

Define time in the day for relaxation. Relaxing for some time after work will help you to separate your work life and personal life and create balance. 

Do anything that will help you to turn your mind off work, whether is listening to music, meditating, mindfulness, pursuing some hobbies, or running a hot bath. Everything that will re-energize you.

8. Create a positive working environment for yourself

Personalize your desk space or office with different pleasing elements that will increase your positive energy throughout the day. Such elements are:

– Photographs of your family or pets; it will create a feeling of support;

– Fresh flowers or potted plants; it will brighten your environment and at the same time will decrease the negative effects of electromagnetic pollution by the computer screen;

– Meaningful and powerful quotes; it will increase your motivation through stressful times.

Clearing the clutter on your desk has the same energizing effect. Throwing the rubbish away such as paperwork, stickers, reminders, and notes that you no longer need will give you a sense of control. 

Best Sitting to Standing Ratio

Part 2 – Improve your productivity

1. Track how much time you are spending on certain tasks

2. Setting milestones

3. Take control of your schedule

4. Set self-imposed deadlines

5. 2-minute rule

6. Learn to say No 

7. Don’t multitask!

8. Take advantage of your commuting time

9. Work in intervals of 90-minutes

10. Lower your distractions

 

1. Track how much time you are spending on certain tasks

Usually, we are certain regarding the time we will spend on certain tasks, but in most cases we’re wrong. There are numerous tools that can let you know how much time you spend on your daily tasks, apps, social media, etc. 

2. Setting milestones

Most of us have a tendency of establishing challenging goals, both professional and personal. Setting goals indeed help in improving work performance. However, big projects can sometimes become very overwhelming. By breaking these projects into smaller milestones, you’ll be even more motivated after the completion of each one.

Find a way to track your progress and don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest victories. It will boost your confidence. 

3. Take control of your schedule

Taking control of your schedule means that you have to plan, organize and prioritize the tasks in your schedule. 

By establishing the due date of each task, the required time for completing it, its priority- which tasks are urgent, which tasks can be postponed or delegated, you can organize and plan your schedule for the following day or week. While creating your to-do list, make sure to set realistic goals of what you can actually achieve. 

4. Set self-imposed deadlines

Being exposed to stressful situations all the time is bad. Although, enough level of self-imposed stress can sometimes help us in being more focused and meet our goals. 

By giving yourself a reasonable deadline you might be surprised by how productive and focused you can be, trying to meet your deadline.  

5. 2-minute rule

Many successful entrepreneurs have implemented the 2-minute rule in their schedule. The idea of this rule is that if you have a task that can be done in 2 minutes or less, do it right away. 

6. Learn to say No 

In order to complete your tasks, you have to learn to say no. You can’t make everyone happy by doing what they’ve asked you to, at the expense of your own work. 

Another aspect of learning to say no is to unproductive meetings. Meetings are unquestioningly one of the biggest time-consumers. Ask yourself, before booking a meeting, if you can accomplish the same effect via email, phone, etc. 

7. Don’t multitask!

The illusion of being more productive and efficient while multitasking proved to be quite wrong. Trying to work on several tasks at once usually results in losing time and compromising the work quality.

While multitasking you get the idea of accomplishing more, but it’s quite the contrary. You’ll end up with unfinished projects piling up on your to-do list. 

Working on one task at a time will allow you to finish it faster, be less stressed, and less prone to making a mistake. 

8. Take advantage of your commuting time

Use your commuting to read something new relevant to your industry. You can use this bonus time for upgrading your skills, learning about new tools, technologies, trends, etc. This way you’ll always be updated.

Even if it’s not work-related content, you can use this time to read or listen to something that will relax you and take your mind off your daily tasks. 

9. Work in intervals of 90-minutes

Recent research has found that people are more productive when working in 90-minute intervals. With deadlines around the corner, you’ll say it’s hard to work in 90-minute intervals. It is at first, but with short breaks between these intervals, you’ll find that you’ll become more efficient. 

10. Lower your distractions

Have you ever thought how many times during your working hours you have been interrupted? Distractions are an inevitable part of working in an office, whether it is a colleague popping up in your office or on your desk, a Slack notification, email, message, or your family knocking on the door of your office. 

Interruptions come in different shapes and sizes. They are dangerous; make you waste your time and lose your focus. 

Learning how to minimize and avoid them is critical for maintaining your productivity. 

Check out our article – 100 Ways to be productive at workOpens in a new tab.

What is workplace stress?

Workplace stress occurs when a person feels overwhelmed by the demands of their role; especially if those demands are greater than their skills and abilities. Having a certain amount of stress can prove to be good in a short period of time, but when that stress becomes prolonged and excessive it can be quite dangerous. 

How to cope with everyday stress?

Everyone responds to stress in a different way. Here are some tips on how to cope with everyday stress:

1. Identify what are your stress triggers – Here can be deadlines, lack of sleep, relationships, particular task, money, etc. When you know what triggers your stress, you can prepare with some calming techniques.

2. Recognize the warning signs – signs such as grinding your teeth, tensing your jaw, feeling irritable, etc, might be some of the warning signs that you start to feel stressed;

3. Have some routine throughout the day – regular time for meals, relaxation, exercise, everything that will turn into a good habit;

4. Find support whether from a friend or a professional when you feel overwhelmed. You will feel a lot more at ease talking out the things that bother you.

Check out our article: 50 Workplace Stress Relief ActivitiesOpens in a new tab.

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