Taking A Minute For Mindfulness

In a time where many peoples jobs take them outside the traditional 9-5 hours, taking time for oneself can often be forgotten. This non-stop lifestyle can also mean people lose track of what they are actually achieving in their work day, and mindfulness is something that can help with this.

Taking some time during the day, whether it be one minute or ten, has a range of benefits for both personal health and workplace productivity. Practicing mindfulness is about being more aware of the actions in your daily routine, and taking time to slow-down and focus your energy. When someone is too focused on task completion rather than the task itself, the quality of the work done is often poor.

Taking time for mindfulness helps bring your full attention to the tasks your are performing and allows you to see situations more clearly, thus achieving better results. Having a greater awareness of how you spend your time helps achieve a better work/life balance, which has been proven to create happier and more productive workplaces.

Looking at one’s personal health, the activities involved in practicing mindfulness lowers blood pressure and reduces the stress hormone. In addition to this, it helps improve positive mindset and helps in being present in the moment. This is why Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is being incorporated into many companies wellness programs.

If you’re wondering how you can start practicing mindfulness during your day, the answer is simple. Taking some time to perform some simple breathing exercises, yoga or a short walk are all great ways, and you don’t even have to leave your desk.

Why Companies Should Embrace The Flexible Workplace Trend

The concept of a flexible workplace is not necessarily a new one, but the number of companies choosing to embrace it is. Innovations in technology have made the idea of a flexible workplace more and more attainable, with a bricks and mortar office no longer necessary to bring together a team.

Despite the many obvious benefits of adopting a more flexible workplace culture, many companies are still opting to keep in line with more traditional models. The reason isn’t that they don’t see the upside, but it is that many organisations do not trust their employees to get the job done at home. This feeling of mistrust is reflected by the ⅕ of employees who report feeling that they need to be in the office to be ‘seen’ working by their superiors.

The demographic of employees seeking flexible workplaces are often still viewed as mostly parents with young children, which is simply not the case. There is a diverse group of people, that is quickly growing, that are choosing to look for employers who offering more flexible workplace arrangements, and for a broad range of reasons.

Offering a flexible workplace makes for a more inclusive and considerate company culture, as it caters to people with disabilities or mobility concerns, family commitments and those living in rural areas. Such arrangements allow people to establish a work environment and schedule that meets both their needs and the needs of the company.

In addition to this, operating with flexibility has been known to attract high quality individuals and lifts any geographic restrictions placed upon the company when hiring. As a result companies who embrace this culture often operate with high performing teams, who are more productive as a result of better work-life balance.

If you’re company doesn’t want to go fully remote, but still offer some level of flexibility, the benefits can still be realised. Offering your employees the opportunity to work out of the office or adapt their work hours, whilst still maintaining a physical office space, encourages the same boost in productivity. This can also help lower the overhead costs of running the office, which in the long-term can be invested back into company development.

Looking at the bigger picture, the flexible working trend is doing good things for our society as whole. Remote workers results in less cars in the road, helping reduce the environmental impact of commuters and improve traffic conditions during peak hour. As well as this, flexible working arrangements offer older employees more choices when it comes to their involvement in the workforce. Studies show that older workers would be more open to taking on more hours and staying in the workforce for longer is more flexible options were available.

If getting on board with the flexible workplace trend is something that your company hasn’t considered, maybe they should. As technology progresses faster than we can keep up, the reality of what forms a workplace is quickly changing, and the results mean happier employees and a more productive team.

Are Productivity Tools Working Against Us?

If you work in, well, any job, you have likely encountered productivity tools and software. These tools have been created to try and make our lives easier, and us more productive in the workplace. Very quickly the concept became popular, with many companies adopting at least one of the programs and encouraging its use among employees.

In order to be effective, you have to actively use the tools and make sure you integrate them into your everyday work habits. This may take a little time at the start of each week, or each day, but in the long-run the hope is that they ultimately inject more time into your day. However, if you have to schedule in time just to sort out your productivity tools, maybe they aren’t really making you more productive?

With the market for productivity tools becoming oversaturated, some people have found themselves managing 3 different task planner tools, all with slightly different roles, in a bid to be more organised. If anything, this sounds counterproductive. Now, we are certainly not claiming that you should ditch all of your productivity solutions for a good old fashioned pad and pen. However, scaling back to a level where ‘Update Productivity Tools’ isn’t something on your daily to do list, will likely benefit your task completion rates and their quality.

Everyone has their own habits and mindset when it comes to work, and if you happen to find a tool that fits into your routine, then by all means use it. However, if forcing yourself to use productivity tools is taking away from you focusing on the task at hand, maybe it’s not for you! The best question to ask is, what value does using this tool deliver add? If the answer is that it genuinely helps you keep on top of your work, stay focused during large-scale projects and reminds you of those tasks you always forget, then it is likely worth sticking with it.

If you’re looking to start using a productivity tool, there are some great ones on the market. However, it is important to shop around before committing, as setting up some of the tools can take time. Todoist is all around crowd favorite, offering a more basic ‘To-Do’ style platform, where you can establish different projects and tasks within them, and assign them to yourself or others.

You may be also looking for something that integrates the tools you already use, rather than introducing a whole new one. Platforms such as Zapier offer free integrations with some of the most commonly used workplace tools, including Gmail, Slack, Google Calendar, Todoist and thousands of others. Zapier allows you to create tasks or actions based off trigger, so that you don’t have to remember to do it yourself!

The tools we mentioned above are a small selection of what is available in the marketplace. So if you’re interested in adding a productivity tool to your daily routine be sure to do your research and find the best fit. However, if you find yourself stressing about the thought of sorting out your productivity tools at the start of every workday, maybe it is time to reconsider exactly how much value they are adding.