Employees typically work from 9 to 5 in a day, which means that they spend almost one-third of their time in the office. Given that lengthy duration, no wonder that being in healthy workspace is just as crucial as having healthy residents. Owing to that reason, encouraging employees to adopt healthy lifestyle is among top concerns for dedicated employers who want to establish healthy workforce.

A survey conducted by Harvard suggested that majority employers (91 percent) believe that adopting healthier lifestyle at work is beneficial to reduce the costs for employee healthcare. Not only does it bring financial advantage, healthy work habits will also shrink sickness-related absences as well as boost greater productivity. If you need some aspirations to begin your healthy campaign, below we share 5 healthy work habits for healthier office life you can start right now:

1. Enough sleep

It is common knowledge that people need at least eight hours of sleep in a day. Unfortunately, not many people actually have the privilege to do that. Owing to one reason and another, people often go to bad late and end up getting less than eight hours of slumber. While in fact, sleep deprivation will cost your concentration, performance, and cognition. Therefore, make sure that you get enough amount of sleep, as this will help you to be more aware and alert in the workplace, and thus increase your productivity.

2. Exercise breaks

Every once and a while, you should take some time to do some stretching at work. Exercise breaks will help your body relax and refresh your mind during tight schedule. Even simple stretching without leaving your desk, or take couple of minutes to walk around the office could help you stay awake at work.

3. Healthy snacking

Often craving for some additional snacks before lunch? Be careful of what you munch! Replace unhealthy snacks full of calories such as potato chips, candy bars, and cookies with better ones such as protein bars, oats, and nuts. You can also store fruits for healthy refreshments. Then for healthier beverages, move from soda or syrup to mineral water, infused water, or iced tea with less sugar.

4. Good teamwork

When co-workers build a solid camaraderie, they can work and collaborate side by side in harmony. Such good teamwork will create healthy relationships among employees, which will help them overcome strain and anxiety in their jobs that might come as the result of conflicts with coworker or unhealthy workplace politics.

5. Work-life balance

If one day you feel like under the weather, do not push yourself to go to work just because of nearing deadline or busy schedule. There is no need to work through the day when you feel that you cannot give your best performance. Being professional and showing dedication to your work can mean anything, but showing up when you are sick does not count. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance by not taking work-related calls or emails after working hours. This practice will help you relax at home, while reducing unnecessary fatigue and stress from being overworked.

The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

Next read: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

Is Work-Life Balance a Myth?

People keep trying to reach work-life balance. But, how many has achieved it? You may have heard that work-life balance is a total myth, because how can you be sure that you did split work and life equally? Most likely, there would be a ‘side’ you prefer.

 

Work or Life more?

Some people are just plainly workaholics. Workaholics enjoy their job or for some, feel compelled to do it. Thus, working on off days are pretty common for them. While others who don’t think their job as everything, put more attention on family, friends, significant others and their personal well-being.

 

The idea of Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance can happen when you have it sorted out. The idea is to compartmentalise “work” activities (working in the office, meetings, business trips) and “life” activities (spending time with your loved ones, keeping healthy by sleeping or do some sports). Realistically, it is impossible to make it a 50-50.

If you analyse “work-life balance” itself, you will figure out two assumptions which are:

  1. Work and life are separate entities
  2. The “life” are equal, if not more, important than the “work”.

With this knowing, you would realise the difficulty to reach work-life balance.

 

Is “work-life balance” really a myth?

If you agree with the definitions above, then yes, work-life balance is a myth. Work-life balance only can be present if you stop regarding work as a separate entity. Wherever you go, you can work. Thanks to technology.

In the end, work-life balance can only happen when there is no line dividing work and life. You can have work-life balance, as long as those two things are one in the same for your end.

 

The tips for work-life balance

The key is to understand your priorities. There are moments when work requires more of your time, yet there are moments when your loved ones need your presence. Always ask yourself “What are your priorities for the day?”, Then focus on that. During workdays, focus on what needs to be accomplished and perhaps there might be times where you need to do a little overtime. It’s alright! As long as you make sure, you did make time for your “life” activities.

Another question to answer is: “What is the best you can do today?”. Today, you may spend 9 hours at work, and only 60 minutes to gather with your family. Tomorrow, you might perhaps spend half a day on your “life” activities and possibly only 10-minutes for work (emails, etc.).

The idea of balance is that you will adequately spread out yourself with the various activities and ensure a healthy well-being overall.

Dancing to a Better Work-Life Balance

You’ve just arrived in the office; a mountain load of work welcomes your arrival. Your boss gets up to you and orders you to complete them by tomorrow. However, at the end of the day, there’s still a long way to what they call completion; you head for home with that stack of files and documents to accompany you through the night. At home, your 6 year old keeps pestering for a bedtime story; your new born cries non-stop. While having to settle things on this side, you still remember that you have lots of work to do.

Does this scenario ring a bell?

You can’t possibly tell your boss that you didn’t complete the work as you had to take care of your children or didn’t have time. Or else, he would show you the way out.  Many working adults today are torn between the two: life and job.

These are tips that can help you to improve your work-life balance.

1. Organise

Work is never ending and demands are overwhelming. Prioritize what is important to you: family, work and even your personal interests.

 

2. To-do list and avoid distractions

Create a to-do list for yourself every day. Set a time to complete them. While you are trying your very best to keep to the list that you have created, put away distractions. Close tabs that cause you to drift away while concentrating on your tasks and put your phone away. These can really help you to reduce the amount of time that you waste and allow you to complete tasks efficiently.

 

3. Take breaks

Did I read it wrongly? Take breaks? No, you didn’t. You may think that taking breaks are a waste of time but it helps you to work better. By gluing yourselves to your seats the entire day isn’t going to help much. Instead, take a short ten-minute break after 1-2 hours of work. Standing up to stretch, grabbing a snack (preferably a healthy one like an apple) or reading a blog post on Jobiness are ways to take a short break.

 

4. Don’t think of work after you leave the office

When you leave from work, stop thinking about the projects or tasks that you have. Neither should you check any emails related to work. With work kept out of your mind, you would be able to focus on other things that matter too such as family.

 

It is a challenge for many to maintain work-life balance. At the end of the day, many sacrifice either side of the scale. Work-life balance is very important, be careful not to overlook it!