Tag: tips

Top tips for total productivity

Post-holiday gloom, the 3pm slump, stiffness from sitting down all day, annoying colleagues … whatever the cause, everybody experiences a lag in productivity in the workplace from time to time.

But Richard Andrews, MD of Inspiration Office, says the responsibility of managing staff health and well-being falls on both employer and employees.

“Often neither party knows how to get the most out of a working day.

“So we’ve put together this handy guide to help boost happiness, health and productivity, and achieve more each day:

Step away from the desk
No matter how fit you are, sitting for more than an hour at a time raises your risk of heart failure, diabetes and obesity. “We recommend taking at least a two-minute break from the desk every half-hour to stretch the legs, hydrate, get some natural light, and clear your thoughts,“ says Andrews.

Being active can improve output and work satisfaction by 80% according to the UK’s Business in the Community.

Test alternative meeting styles
Meetings that lack focus are a drain on productivity, time and motivation.

Says Andrews: ”Conducting a meeting while walking, standing or even exercising encourages employees to step away from their desks, inspires ideas and introduces exercise into a typically sedentary day,” Methods such as this let you exercise, brainstorm, refresh and build relationships while being part of a meeting.

Fuel body and mind
The food that you eat has a real impact on your energy levels.

Sugary snacks and caffeinated drinks give you a spike in energy, but this is often followed by a crash where you feel more tired than before.

Berries, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain cereals, yoghurt and biltong are better than junky snacks. If you feel the need for something sweeter, a few squares of dark chocolate is a good compromise.

Choose perks wisely
An office games console and on-site bar may win you likes on Instagram, but it’s important to consider about whether your work-space perks will benefit your staff in the long term.

“Rather than always spending funds on boozy nights out, introduce fresh fruit, flexible working, gym memberships or healthy away days,“ Andrews advised.

An interesting UK survey by Labour Force shows that 30.4 million working days were lost in Britain in 2015-2016 through sickness. Stress, depression and anxiety caused 11.7 million days to be lost, while musculoskeletal problems accounted for 8.8 million sick days. With such losses at stake, looking after staff health has to be a priority.

Being efficient at work helps staff to reach their targets and keeps clients happy.

“However, efficiency levels can fall when staff are stressed, constantly reaching to meet high expectations, lacking in confidence or under the weather. Maintaining a friendly atmosphere, having clearly defined roles, and setting realistic goals are essential for an efficient workspace, “Andrews concludes.

Don’t let your desk do you in

Long hours, slouching, slumping, and straining can dominate the office. Clean up your act around the computer, before bad habits lead to poor health.

Here are five ways to make sure your computer desk doesn’t become the death of you.

  1. Give your monitor a second look
    If your screen is planted directly on your desktop, it’s time to ask management for a raise — for your computer’s display. According to Dr. Jim Sheedy, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University, the top of your the screen should be level with your eyes. The ideas is to get the eyes looking down about 10 degrees. If it’s any lower or higher, computer users will adapt to it by moving their head. If your screen is to low, your head points down, causing neck and back aches. High displays, meanwhile, contribute to dry eye syndrome.
  2. Poor posture? Take it on the chin
    Poor posture is something that every office-based employee should consider throughout their day. Most people sitting at a computer get drawn into the screen, which means they crane their necks forward. This imbalance puts strain on the neck and spine. It’s like holding a bowling ball with one hand, says Dr. James Bowman, of Portland, Ore.-based Solutions Chiropractic. If your arm is vertical underneath, it puts less strain on the muscles, but lean that ball forward and your muscles have to compensate to keep it aloft. Sitting at a desk, that bowling ball is actually our head, so Bowman recommends chin retractions, or making a double chin, to keep the neck and spine lined up underneath.
    “It’s probably the most effective single exercise you can do for the upper back and neck,” he says.
  3. Stand up for yourself
    The modern workplace was built around the concept of sitting, but humans’ ability to stand goes back millions of years. Buck the trend of the office era with a standing desk — or, if that’s too radical, a sit-stand workstation. According to research out of the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, sit-stand workstations helped workers replace 25% of their sitting time with standing up, which can increase their sense of well being and decreased their fatigue and appetite. The Jarvis Desk can go from 26-inches to 51-inches at the push of a button, lifting up to 350 pounds of whatever’s on your desk—including multiple monitors.
    “I definitely feel healthier standing while working as it causes me to be more focused on my posture and ‘hold’ myself better in terms of my stomach and shoulders especially,” says Dan McCormack, who uses a Jarvis Desk at his home office in Austin, Texas.
  4. Move it or lose it
    But why stand when you could walk? Many offices around the country are getting wise to treadmill desks, which can help workers burn 100 calories more per hour over sitting, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health.
    “The most important thing is to switch it up and work in different positions throughout the day,” says Emily Couey, Eventbrite’s vice president of people. The online event ticketing service offers multiple workspace options including traditional sitting desks, standing desks, and treadmill desks, which Couey says “people love, because it allows them move while they work — especially those with fitness trackers counting their daily steps.”
  5. Pace yourself
    All work and no play makes Jack a bad employee. Whether it’s on their phone in the bathroom or on the computer in their cube, everyone takes sanity breaks to check their Facebook or read some news. The Pomodoro Technique even encourages this kind of behavior by breaking tasks into “pomodoros,” intense 25 minute work bursts, followed by five-minute breaks. Named because they can be measured using little tomato-shaped kitchen timers (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato), this method lets people work intensely and stave off distraction, yet rewards them with time to goof off, as well. If you don’t have a tomato timer handy, there are a lot of apps online to keep track of your sessions. But Francesco Cirillo, the technique’s founder, recommends using the real deal.

By John Patrick Pullen for www.motto.time.com

Kick-starting an e-commerce site

Joining the world of electronic commerce may seem daunting if you’re running a small business, but it is easier than ever to get up-and-running with a digital storefront. And with consumers looking for online convenience, allowing them to browse, order and pay online can give your business an edge in a competitive market, says Charles Pittaway, MD at Sage Pay.

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