How to Be A Happier and More Efficient Worker in The Office
By TOI Staff November 10, 2022 Update on : November 10, 2022
This short post will not take too much of your time to read and digest but if you absorb the message and deploy a few of the strategies we’ve outlined below they should without fail have a tangible effect on the productivity, motivation and general happiness of anyone who is working in an office environment.
This works regardless of whether you are the big scary boss looking to extract higher profits from your business through more efficient workers or if you’re simply an office worker yourself who is concerned about remaining in healthy condition within the work environment. It’s safe to say few of us really consider the office to be a place of health and well being and this costs the average UK SME over £5000 annually. So it’s more important than ever that we all take proactive steps to make the office a more hospitable environment.
Step one: plan ahead
We’ve been taught this one from our primary school days but as adults we often lose sight of how important this is quite frequently. If it’s within your power always look to plan ahead regarding your deadlines and schedule. The more pre-emptive you can be at discovering potential bottlenecks or delays the better chance you have of resolving the issue before it impacts on the productivity of the office.
While we don’t have control over our work loads and the efficiency of the co-workers we depend on we can at least amend our own work habits to better integrate with the rest of the office system, for example if you know someone’s role on your project is complicated and takes a long time, be sure to prioritise that they have everything they need to begin their side of the work as early as possible. Time management leads to efficiency and reduced stress so practise it every day with every task you’re responsible for.
Step two: give your body the right fuel
Another simple point here that can have a colossal impact on your overall health. It’s easier than it has ever been to keep your body loaded with the fresh water and fruit it needs to operate at peak efficiency throughout the day. Talk to your boss about the potential of arranging a delivery of office fruit to your building on a daily basis.
There are many websites now (check out these guys if you’re in London) that can deliver fresh fruit straight to your office building for the staff to enjoy. You’ll find your mood and concentration improve significantly with the increased vitamins and water found in the fruit when compared to the sugar spikes people usually seek out from their usual coffee and doughnuts.
Step three: leave it at the office
This is an offshoot from step one really, by all means work hard and delegate your time correctly and efficiently but always remember when it comes time to leave the office that your brain leaves as well as your body. While this is definitely easier said than done, it’s so important to be able to detach yourself from the professional environment and enjoy your time outside your work without carrying the stress and worries you might have about something at work.
You’re not going to help the situation by continuing to stress about it while you are away from the desk and you’re actually more likely to become less effective while you’re at work if you’re not relaxing and resting properly during your time off. It’s worth noting that this is much easier to do if you’re still working in a physical office environment. However there are many of us still working from home as part of a work culture change post-Covid. So how do you ‘leave it at the office’ when you’re working from home? The best advice we can offer here is (space permitting) have a room or section of space that is explicitly for work purposes. A spare room that serves as a work study is ideal, but not a luxury we all have.
If you’re working at your kitchen table for example it’s going to be much harder to ‘switch off’ but there are still some tricks you can employ. For example, tidy your laptop into a drawer then take a brisk walk once you’ve finished your work for the day. This way you can finish and ‘commute’ away from your work space and when you return your brain can reset to ‘at home’ mode. You can also wear your ‘work clothes’ that you then change out of once you’re done for the day. These subtle changes will help your brain differentiate between when you’re using your home as a work space versus a relaxing home space.