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.

5 Mental Health Hacks for Entrepreneurs

Work Life Balance

30 September 2019

5 Mental Health Hacks for Entrepreneurs

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The contribution of entrepreneurs to a society’s growth, both socially and economically, is unparalleled. And yet, recent studies by Michael Freeman, an award-winning journalist, have revealed that entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report having a mental health condition. While there is a lot of debate going on around the topic of mental health, it is still treated as a secondary issue. How many times have you taken a day off because you weren’t in the right state-of-mind? You would most probably reject it as a lame excuse, right? The same cannot be said of a gnawing back pain, though.

While it is totally understandable that your job as an entrepreneur is riddled with stress and burn-out, ignoring them is never the right solution. On the contrary, it may lead to chronic conditions that does no good to anyone. Well, fret not; here are 5 mental health hacks that can help you enjoy a fruitful work life.

Build mental resilience

People generally view entrepreneurship as a cool job; you’re your own boss, after all! However, no one realizes the amount of responsibilities that comes with the job. Running a business is tough and may get to you at some point. This is why, it is extremely important to understand right from the beginning that entrepreneurship is much more than just having an optimistic outlook. You must be ready for all the failures and setbacks that are part of the entrepreneurial journey. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes at any stage in the journey. Patience and focus are crucial in dire situations, and only a strong mind can give you the emotional stability to stay put even when nothing seems to be going your way.

Involving in constructive hobbies can help you build mental resilience and cultivate an attitude of taking things in your stride. So, the next time you feel overwhelmed, just switch off and tend to your backyard garden.

Identify the stress triggers

Anxiety and depression are common outcomes of extreme pressure, and they are not to be taken lightly for they have the potential to shut you off to your job and even yourself. You might sometimes feel a compulsive drive to get things going, unfortunately at the cost of relationships and health. Also, irregular eating and sleeping habits and losing touch with friends because of work may seem natural, but they can very well be the early signs of impending mental health issues.

Hence, it is crucial that you proactively identify the triggers that leave you stressed and anxious. Once you have put a finger on the triggers, find out ways around them. For example, if working on complex reports is what triggers anxiety, allocate a time of day when you’re in a relatively fresh state of mind and don’t have too much on your plate, such as in the morning. Take breaks or even sabbaticals. If need be, seek professional help. Understand that there’s no shame in admitting that you can’t take it anymore.

Manage your workload effectively

Managing deadlines and dealing with unpredictability at work are two of the biggest causes of stress, as your success depends on how effectively you manage them. As an entrepreneur, you juggle a lot of things and sometimes, it may all seem too much to handle.

Therefore, you should understand the importance of working smarter, instead of harder. Prioritizing your goals, assigning small tasks to each goal, and scheduling them properly can make things a lot easier. For example, set out two days in a week for all your meetings, so you don’t end up wasting precious time in the logistics of it all, which is mostly unproductive. Also, efficiency is something that entrepreneurs live by. So, investing in solutions that can automate most of the menial work can help a lot.

Nurture a support system

Entrepreneurship is nothing short of a roller-coaster ride with as many lows as highs. Failures and setbacks are part and parcel of the trip. And most of all, it is a lonely job – of course, you have a team to support you but the brunt of it all is eventually yours to bear. This is why it is incredibly important for you to have people you can fall back on. It can be anyone – your wife, parents, friends, mentor, or even colleagues. Just make sure you don’t hesitate in reaching out to them. Conversations and dialogue have always proven to be the best solution to dire situations.

Take out time for yourself

In addition to being your own boss, don’t forget that you are also your best friend. Entrepreneurship is a demanding job, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you don’t give time to yourself. It is as important to invest in yourself as in your business.

Exercising and eating healthy can have a positive impact on your mental health. Ensure that you do something every day that makes you happy, be it reading, watching movies, or exploring new places – whichever suits you. Get involved in projects outside of your work – it can be anything, from cooking and cleaning your room to being involved in outdoor activities like football or trekking. Just make sure you enjoy the process more than the results and, most important of all, give yourself the room to make mistakes. It will keep you motivated and certainly help you deal with stress and anxiety.

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of passion and commitment, and along come incredible amounts of stress that can affect your peace of mind. There is so much at stake; therefore, taking care of your mental health is crucial. After all, if you are not fit, the health of your business is also bound to take a hit.

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.