With work hours certainly not diminishing the 8-hour work day seems to be a thing of the past. As the days go by, simply concentrating for 8-10 (sometimes 12) hours a day can be an arduous task in itself and productivity can definitely take a hit.
Offices can be a hotbed of distractions. From loud co-workers to constantly ringing phones or busy doorbells, there is always something to disrupt your workflow.
Medibank Medical Director, Dr Kevin Cheng, says there are a number of simple ways Australians can improve their wellbeing, performance and productivity, while at work.
“Each and every year, we see Aussies make a plethora of New Year’s resolutions focused on fitness and health, yet most are based on dieting or exercise regimes.
“With more than half of our waking day spent at work – it’s important to consider how we can better our health during this time too,” said Dr Cheng.
So what can we do to ensure we get the most out of our working week and avoid burnout?
Prep by turning off alerts
Have you ever sat down to complete a task only to be bombarded with various email, message and social media alerts? Turning off all of these during the day can help you remain on task and stay focussed without becoming tempted to check your phone every two minutes.
Plan ahead and bring adequate snacks to keep you from losing energy or running out for that 3pm chocolate bar.
“Bringing your own snacks and lunch to work can help you control the type of food you eat. If you find it hard to find time to make lunch, aim to at least bring healthy snacks such as fruits and nuts to maintain energy and concentration while at work,” says Dr Cheng.
It may sound counterintuitive to tell you to move around more when you’re trying to concentrate, but by maintaining physical activity throughout the day you can avoid a slump in energy and productivity. It’s not healthy to stay chained to your desk all day so we recommend regrouping by moving around the office, stretching and focussing on movement.
Standing desks at work have also been trending around the world. If this isn’t a reality for your workplace, then make it your daily goal to stand up, stretch and go for a quick walk for one to three minutes every half hour. If you need help remembering, set an alarm on your phone or desktop computer.
Take your break
“Taking a lunch break will not only improve your health, but also reduce your levels of stress and improve productivity,” says Dr Cheng.
Whilst taking a lunch break at work can seem like a daunting task that brings with it an unshakable feeling of (unnecessary) guilt, it can be key to promoting productivity and increasing your ability to stay focused and healthy during work hours.