Stay Healthy, Work Better!

Work Life Balance

16 November 2016

Stay Healthy, Work Better!

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Does the stress of hard deadlines, impending load of upcoming projects and relentless flow of e-mails dominate your working hours? Do you find yourself stuck at your desk all day long working hard without any breaks? Chances are this lifestyle can take a huge toll on your physical and mental health. However, there are ways in which you can cope with your busy schedule and stay healthy at work.

1. No one can replace a healthy home-cooked meal and fresh fruits

A home-cooked meal is the most customized your meal can get. You and your family know what would benefit your health and appeal your taste buds at the same time. Additionally, if you have a scrumptious meal waiting for you, there would be less chances of you being drawn towards food from the local restaurant or the snacks that your co-worker brought. You can even carry fresh fruits and dry fruits as snacking items rather than having oily and unhealthy food that will only add to your chances of weight gain. If you do decide to have restaurant food, make sure to balance it out with a lot of salad filled with vegetables and sprouts.

Takeaway: A home-cooked meal and fresh fruits makes you feel light and energetic throughout the day reducing your chances of feeling lethargic in the afternoon, thus increasing your productivity.

2. Meditation relaxes your mind

In times of stress and looming deadlines, taking a few moments to breathe deeply go a long way in calming the mind. Just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath makes the impending work take a backseat. Once you have had a few moments to meditate, you will realize that you can focus even better at work and get the same work done in a shorter amount of time. You can even use apps like Headspace to know more about and practice meditation.

Takeaway: Practice meditation for an hour every morning if time permits. If not, even mindful breathing for five minutes at your desk or at lunch will help your mind to focus better.

3. Exercise to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul

It is often difficult to catch even a half hour to go to the gym before or after work. However taking the stairs, walking or cycling to work and walking for ten minutes after lunch are all feasible options you can try at your workplace. You can even host conference calls or calls with clients while you walk up and down your office corridor. This ensures that there is some amount of blood flow in your body even if you are not going to the gym or attending a yoga session. These few moments of exercise can start the pumping of blood to your brain and hence make you feel lighter and more productive. Additionally, it will alleviate setbacks such as back pain and neck strain.

Takeaway: Small bouts of activity at your workplace will help you avoid physical stiffness and increase productivity.

4. Organising your week drastically reduces the work load

Having your whole week planned ahead of you will help you understand what is on priority and needs to be finished first. It will keep you in control of your work and week as well. You can therefore recognise how busy your week looks and take up extra work accordingly. This will also allow you to impress your seniors at work when you are able to meet deadlines and take up additional work when your schedule allows it.

Takeaway: Schedule your week so you know what is on priority.

5. Hydrating yourself continuously reduces lethargy

It is a must to drink at least 2.5-3 litres of water every day. You can set goals for yourself at work in order to achieve this target. Carry a one litre bottle and attempt to finish it before lunch, refill it and finish it by 5 pm and refill it again to sustain through the rest of the day. This practice goes a long way in avoiding lethargy during post-lunch hours. You can even consume fruits rich in water such as oranges, apples and cucumbers.

Takeaway: Drink a lot of water to get rid of toxins and avoid lethargy through dehydration.

6. Sleep well

Sleeping well at night takes away all the stress. It regenerates and relaxes the mind and body. On an average, you need at least 8 hours of sleep. However this is simply an average. Depending on your body, fatigue levels, and many other factors, you might need more or less hours to achieve complete relaxation. Exercising can help you to sleep better while lack of it might make you feel restless at night. Lock out all distractions such as your laptop and your phone, draw the drapes to cut out the light and prepare yourself for a deep and restful sleep every night.

Takeaway: Sleeping well is without a doubt one of the most important steps to staying healthy and achieving your goals at work.

7. Using the Pomodoro helps you concentrate

In the Pomodoro technique, there is an intensive work period for 25 minutes followed by a small break of 5 minutes. This helps you take brief breaks in your work schedule which you can use to refresh yourself. You can take a walk, talk to your co-workers or even practice meditation. This will help increase your concentration and focus as well as reduce procrastination. You can use an online Pomodoro watch to keep a check on how long your work sessions last and how long your breaks last.

Takeaway: Use the Pomodoro technique to increase your attention span and finish more amount of work during the 25 minute intensive work period.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge with an 8 hour job. Make this process easier by following the tips above to stay healthy and work better!

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A healthy lifestyle boosts you to work better. If you are finding a healthy workplace, look for business centre in Hosur Road, Bengaluru or co-working space in Lower Parel, Mumbai.

Agile Versus Activity Based Working: Which One Will You Choose?

Work Life Balance

21 September 2018

Agile Versus Activity Based Working: Which One Will You Choose?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The way the modern world is shaping up is also deciding the way we work. Many organisations have come to realise the importance of, and the need for, flexibility in the workplace. Employers who allow their people to choose how they work are seeing the immense benefits this approach has on the individual as well as on the organisation as a whole.

Two such increasingly popular ways are Agile Working and Activity Based Working. Despite the two being different, they are often mistaken to be one, or people use the terms interchangeably. So, what are the two and how are they different from each other?

Understanding Agile Working

This approach gives employees maximum flexibility in choosing how they want to work. Employees are free to work from home, or from office, or figure out a combination of both. At work too, employees can choose whether they want to work from their fixed desk, or want to shift to a standing desk or work from a non-traditional space, such as the common breakout area.

The idea is to embrace openness and flexibility. Also called ‘smart working’, this allows employees to make the most of smart technology and cloud-based applications. By adopting this autonomous work culture, companies can attract and retain the best talent.

The advantages:

-Greater sense of autonomy and freedom for employees

-Job satisfaction, leading to better engagement and talent retention

-Overall reduction in operating costs

The challenges:

-Calls for a major culture shift for both, employees and management

-Can’t be applied selectively. The entire business needs to buy into the concept

-Requires smart technology and supporting IT infrastructure

Understanding Activity Based Working

Like Agile Working, Activity Based Working also focuses on giving employees the freedom to choose how they work. However, that’s where the similarity ends.

Where Agile Working is about the contribution of an individual employee, Activity Based Working takes into consideration teamwork and group culture. Here a lot of importance is given to changing workplace culture and design to suit team connections and to foster collaboration.

This approach works best around an open-plan office, with a healthy mix of quiet corners, collaboration booths, meeting rooms as well as huddle spaces. Businesses that have adopted the Activity Based Working approach notice improved levels of productivity as individuals can choose to work in workspaces that are best suited to the task at hand.

The advantages:

-This offers employees a choice of different workspaces

-There is greater autonomy for employees which gives them a chance to perform at their best

-Employees are more engaged and there is definite improvement in productivity

The challenges:

-Does not work with every type of industry or job role

-Requires a major shift in office work culture and management techniques

-Could entail physical re-structuring of workspaces

Conclusion

Both, Agile Working and Activity Based Working will give your business a competitive advantage. It is simply a matter of understanding which approach works best, or whether a combination gives your employees a chance to perform at the peak of their potential.

What Are The Factors That Enable A Flexible Work Environment?

Work Life Balance

30 July 2018

What Are The Factors That Enable A Flexible Work Environment?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The way we work is changing, and businesses have to revolutionise how they manage the workplace and their talent to create a positive environment for all to collaborate in.

How do employees want to work? Do they want the privacy of cubicles where they can work without the fear of interruption and disturbances? Or do they prefer open plans which remove all obstacles to collaboration and foster innovation at a wholly new level?

How about a mix of both?

Take this workplace experiment carried out by advertising genius, Jay Chiat, who declared that his office was gong the ‘virtual’ way. Mind you, this was somewhere in 1993, long before words like flexi-hours or ‘work from home’ had entered our workspaces.

In his experiment, he decided to abolish cubicles and dedicated desks. Only open space and freedom. Unfortunately, this radical idea bombed. His workers rebelled, and he had to redo the office design. Yes, his people wanted freedom but not at the expense of losing their privacy entirely. What he needed was flexible working, an idea that was to catch on many years later, now.

Are you looking for ways to incorporate flexible working in your workplace? How do you make it work? By addressing these needs.

Give employees the power to choose how they want to work

As long as the output aligns with the final goal of the company, it does not matter how your employees work. Do not force them to do it ‘your’ way, but rather give them the space and freedom to achieve their goals in the way they deem most convenient.

This distribution of power is what constitutes a truly flexible workplace. When you let go of control, you will see an immediate shift in the way work gets done. It tells your employees that you trust them, which, in turn, empowers them to perform better.

Work is something you do; not some place you go to

A business looking to create a healthy work environment has to understand that every individual performs their best work in their own ways. And for this, businesses must support the employee’s method with the right tools.

About 25 years ago, around the same time that Jay Chiat had tried his virtual office experiment, Erik Eldhoen, a consultant, coined the term Activity Based Working (ABW).

According to this concept, work is an activity rather than a place to go to. And for that to work, workspace should be malleable. Employees should be able to mould and shift their work environments as per their mood, personality or type on work on hand. This is possible only if they have the right tools and technology that allow constant changes or movement. Surprisingly not many businesses, even those that claim to be flexible, are providing that.

Did you know that even today fixed technology outnumbers mobile technology by 2:1? This means that not every employee can take a business call while walking in the garden or concentrate on a project in silence, away from the daily bustle of the office.

By being able to move away from a traditional fixed-desk set-up and giving workers a chance to get the best of both worlds in their workspace, businesses can not only boost creativity but foster unexpected collaborations too.

Enable uninterrupted work

Employees look for a nourishing place where they can achieve their goals, in peace and quiet. As a business, it is your responsibility to create such an environment.

It might shock you to learn that on average, a worker is interrupted every 11 minutes, and that it takes 23 minutes to be able to get back to the task at hand.

Your workspace, whether it has cubicles or open spaces, needs to contain quiet private corners for employees to work from.

Foster innovation, don’t stifle it

There are some businesses that have not yet touched flexible working because they have an unfounded fear of losing control and encouraging chaos. To them we say, done right, a truly flexible work environment will in fact a foster innovation.

 

To conclude…

Those workplaces that combine the design of space and the right technology are today a creative worker’s destination of choice. Work-life balance is a thing of the past now; people are looking for work-life integration. And people who are in the business of workspaces, like coworking spaces and business centres, have recognised this need and cater to it. From private cabins, to flexible desks; from open collaboration zones to sound-proof meeting pods and phone booths; there’s a space for every type of work style.

5 Ways Your Next Vacation Can Improve Your Productivity

Business How To’s

18 June 2018

5 Ways Your Next Vacation Can Improve Your Productivity

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Vacations

It doesn’t matter what kind of a job you do; whether you work full-time or part-time, or even whether you run your own business or are employed in a company. If you are working, then you need to take a break. But therein lies the problem.

Do you believe that taking regular breaks will make you seem less serious about your job? Do you think that you will miss out on what’s happening at work? Or, and this is the biggest pain point, does the thought of the backlog that will be waiting to scare you from taking a well-deserved vacation?

The truth is that when you spend 1/3 of your life, about 90,000 waking hours, working, you need to take a break. All that accumulated leave that you are so proud of needs to be used up and not encashed at the end of the year. If you think that your manager will be pleased to have a workhorse on the team, think again. She probably knows that a vacation is actually a great way to increase productivity and creativity.

Don’t believe it just because we say so. Let’s look at the science behind why taking a vacation can help you get ahead at work.

#1 Daydreaming improves problem-solving skills and enhances creativity

What do you do when you’re on a vacation? No, we don’t mean spending hours on the phone or on the laptop checking emails.

Vacation time means lounging by the beach or the pool or just walking down narrow streets lined with trees. And as your feet wander, so does your mind. Away from the tunnel vision of daily work, wandering gives your subconscious mind a chance to take charge for once.

Daydreaming, it has been shown, uses the complex parts of your brain, those that are associated with problem solving. So when you give your mind a break from work, you can actually think clearer and find creative answers to problems that have been on your mind all along.

#2 Find happiness at work

It doesn’t take a genius to know that a happy person is a more productive person. Make that a happy and relaxed person. And going on vacation allows you to become just that.

The mere fact that you are on a break from work and the humdrum routine of office, raises your happiness levels. You are less stressed, more creative, healthier, more productive and, as a result, also likely to rise up faster in your profession.

Do something nice for yourself for a change; take that break.

#3 A vacation improves performance

Stepping away from work and office could undoubtedly make you better at work.

It gives you a change in perspective. You could meet someone interesting and suddenly view the world or your job from a new angle. A break gives you a chance to recharge your batteries – emotional, mental and physical. The renewed energy is infectious and your entire team’s performance can go up.

Travel can expand your mind and help you push boundaries that you never even knew existed. When you travel, especially to a new place, you will find yourself looking at things differently.

#4 Makes you a better business and thought leader

Besides improving your performance, a holiday can make you a better leader. The travel experience will open up the world to you in ways not possible within the confines of an office.

You could develop (or improve) your communication and teamwork skills. Travel will teach you about different cultures, a crucial asset for any business leader in this global economy.

When you visit a new place, when you step outside your comfort zone, you can reach levels of creativity that you never tapped before. Your decision making, time management and problem solving skills will be tested. Travel is a good teacher who can show you how to adapt to a new place and how to deal with stressful situations beyond your control.

And as a strong leader, polishing these skills could help you challenge the status quo and bring about a change, not just in yourself, but in the way you are perceived at work.

#5 Lose that stress to get the creative juices flowing

No one can be 100% creative, 100% of the time. Not 24 hours, all 7 days of the week.

If you find yourself getting stuck in a rut, the best thing to do is to take some time off. There are some people who take off for months every year just to recharge themselves, but that isn’t possible for the rest of us. However, even a short break can help get those creative juices flowing right away.

Convinced yet? Although it might be difficult to find the numbers that can substantiate the correlation between taking time off and increased productivity, we all know that we are not doing our best when we are exhausted, physically or mentally.

We’ve said this before, and we will say it again. Do something nice for yourself and your work today; take a vacation.