Hong Kong is proud of its hardworking ethics, so sometimes it is almost a badge of honour to be seen at your desk working till all hours of the day (and night). Whilst this is sometimes unavoidable due to work pressures, there are some simple steps that you can follow to help make your workplace a bit healthier.
Here are 10 simple yet important tips that anyone can follow and does not require expensive gym memberships, drastic diets, or run a marathon! How many of these do you embrace in your work day? Make a challenge to yourself to tick off all 10 next week.
1) Drink More Water
Every person knows this, but who acts on it? We need to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. So get yourself a 900ml bottle, and keep it by your desk. Make a point to get up 3-4 times a day at least to refill the bottle and ensure it is empty at the end of the day. Simply doing this will ensure you stay hydrated, and you will feel more energised. Whilst you are at it, do try and cut down on the coffee intake too!
2) Keep Moving
Again a common sense action, but too easily we overlook. Make a point of getting up from your chair if you are seated for over 1 hour. Learn some stretches and do a 2 minute stretch each time you get up. It will help improve posture, circulation, flexibility and reduce muscle tension, backaches and neck pain, as well as eye strain.
Do you catch the lift if you are going to the first floor of a building? Or going to a meeting between adjacent floors? Why not take the stairs instead if you can? Those extra steps could help your blood circulation, and build a healthier heart.
3) Keep a Healthy Snack Drawer
We all get the afternoon cravings for snacks sometimes. Keep a drawer full of healthy nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, heath bars and herbal teas. Enjoy these when you have the 3pm cravings. These can draw you away from high sugar or salt content snacks or fizzy drinks.
4) Temperature Control
How many times have you been caught by the 10 degrees+ temperature difference between the office and the outside? Try not to rush between the two by letting your body adjust to the outside or inside temperature around the lobby. A couple of minutes relaxation could be the difference between you fighting off the next cold.
And on the note of feeling sick – if you are not well, do stay at home and rest for the day, no matter how urgent things are. Don’t be a hero and infect all your work colleagues too – your boss is not going to thank you for your germ spreading crusade.
Staring at a computer screen for long periods will tire and dry your eyes out. If you are staring at a screen for more than 30 minutes, look away and blink slowly 10 times. You will be surprised how less tired you will be.
This is not a feng shui tip, but any working environment that is messy and full of clutter is not going to be productive. It adds to the stress of the workplace and zaps your energies.
Keep your workstation or office clean and clutter-free: it is well documented that the average workstation can be home to more germs than a toilet seat! Make a point each day to file away unnecessary files, and keep your desk space clean. You will at least feel good sitting down at your desk each day rather than looking at the dreaded piles of paperwork!
No one can operate at 100% efficiency all the time, so it is important that we all take some time out each day. All you need to start is 10-15 minutes, where you can just walk away from the stress, and have some “me-time”, ideally with a quick meditation session. Every successful business person will tell you they do this every day. It will dramatically improve your productivity, give you clarity and you will get a lot more things done.
8) Manage Your To-do List.
One of the greatest stress is when we feel we still have a million things to-do at the end of each day. Try this simple action – at the end of each day, identify 3 things that you must finish tomorrow. Make sure you give those 3 tasks the top priority and whatever you do, ensure that you will complete them the next day. Then identify 3 more at the end of the day for the next day, and so on.
This simple and proven time management technique has helped numerous workplaces improve their productivity and you can put this into action. You will be surprised that in a couple of weeks how much more “on top of things” you will be.
9) “Walk a Mile in My Shoes”, or to the next MTR station!
Why not stretch your legs at the end of the working day, and walk to the next MTR station or bus stop? It gives you a chance to do some light exercises, reflect on the day, and enable you to switch off from the day’s work and relax.
10) Maintain a Happy Workplace.
If your workplace is highly tense, no one wants to be there and let alone be productive. Whether you are the boss or the junior staff, do what you can to defuse any negative situations, and try to help produce a happy and cheerful workplace. We cannot all be working at Google, but at least we should feel a healthy and happy vibe in the workplace, to ensure we are all feeling positive and productive towards helping achieve the goals of businesses.
Ten simple tips - how do you rate yourself against these? Put these into action and you will feel energised, motivated and feeling good about your work and health. Challenge your work colleagues to do the same with you and watch your workplace transform.