Feng Shui on your very desk

March 7, 2010 | Filed Under Front_Page_News, Life coaching, Life in the office, Work and management |

When Feng Shui came out in the 90s it was a big thing.  Since then it has become a by-word for paying a lot for getting very little.  At relaxedworkplace.com, we asked if there was anything in Feng Shui that could help us out at work and might just give us the edge we need on the phone, in the client project meeting or just getting home on time for once.  We asked health and well-being consultant Samuel Furse to give us his top four tips for Japanese harmony at work.

Tip One – Easy reach. Just like us, the Feng Shui gurus don’t believe in bending over backwards to accomplish simple tasks.  Everyone wants to have enough energy to enjoy life and deliver at work.  So, take a look at your desk.  Is your mouse in a useable place or is it next to a pile of stuff that needs doing but you haven’t got there yet?  If you use the phone a lot, have that in easy reach too.  Phone cables are a fuss, so see if you can get a cordless one.  Check you monitor is at the right height for good posture.  This can only help stop aches and pains creeping in through the day, and let you go home as fresh as when you arrived.

Tip Two – Enough space. Sadly most of us are not blessed with large offices that we can set out just right, but you might be surprised about how your working environment can be altered so that you can have a comfortable space.  Take time to look into space-saving ideas.  These could come under the heading of Health and Safety at work initiatives, so won’t be hard to fund.

Tip three – Air. Getting the air environment just right is difficult in many climates, but we need to battle the elements to keep things consistent and thus maintain client focus, daily output, and project productivity.  Throughout the year the temperature in Britain can change by up to 45-50 °C – and with global warming who knows what’s around the corner for us.  Whatever it is, having systems in place that give you breathable air can only be a plus for managing your objectives.

Tip four – See it coming. If you have a varied work pattern that can change at a moment’s notice, or work for you feels like doing the same thing over and again, remember that you can be ahead of the game too.  Equipment and working practices can fail and change, and if you see this coming, plan and adapt to it.  No one wants a shock to the system, and so if your work station, office, desk or area is as flexible as possible you have a valuable weapon in keeping both yourself happy, as well as your clients, boss and colleagues happy – and you’ll be much more likely to deliver on time.

Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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    Happiness at work is the number 1 productivity booster

    December 14, 2009 | Filed Under Front_Page_News, Life coaching, Life in the office, Work and management |

    happiness_productivityIf you want to get more done at work, it’s all about having the right system. You need to prioritize your tasks, you must keep detailed logs of how you spend your time, todo-lists are of course essential, you must learn to structure your calendar and much, much more.

    But that’s not where you should start. You should start by liking what you do.

    The single most efficient way to increase your productivity is to be happy at work. No system, tool or methodology in the world can beat the productivity boost you get from really, really enjoying your work.

    Here are the 10 most important reasons why happiness at work is the number 1 productivity booster.

    1. Happy people work better with others
    Happy people are a lot more fun to be around and consequently have better relations at work.

    This translates into:
    Better teamwork with your colleagues
    Better employee relations if you’re a manager
    More satisfied customers if you’re in a service job
    Improved sales if you’re a sales person

    2. Happy people are more creative
    If your productivity depends on being able to come up with new ideas, you need to be happy at work. Check out the research of Teresa Amabile for proof. She says:
    If people are in a good mood on a given day, they’re more likely to have creative ideas that day, as well as the next day, even if we take into account their mood that next day.
    There seems to be a cognitive process that gets set up when people are feeling good that leads to more flexible, fluent, and original thinking, and there’s actually a carryover, an incubation effect, to the next day.

    3. Happy people fix problems instead of complaining about them
    When you don’t like your job, every molehill looks like a mountain. It becomes difficult to fix any problem without agonizing over it or complaining about it first. When you’re happy at work and you run into a snafu – you just fix it.

    4. Happy people have more energy
    Happy people have more energy and are therefore more efficient at everything they do.

    5. Happy people are more optimistic
    Happy people have a more positive, optimistic outlook, and as research shows (particularly Martin Seligman’s work in positive psychology), optimists are way more successful and productive. It’s the old saying “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right” all over again.

    6. Happy people are way more motivated
    Low motivation means low productivity, and the only sustainable, reliable way to be motivated at work is to be happy and like what you do. I wrote about this in a previous post called Why “motivation by pizza” doesn’t work.

    7. Happy people get sick less often
    Getting sick is a productivity killer and if you don’t like your job you’re more prone to contract a long list of diseases including ulcers, cancer and diabetes. You’re also more prone to workplace stress and burnout.

    One study assessed the impact of job strain on the health of 21,290 female nurses in the US and found that the women most at risk of ill health were those who didn’t like their jobs. The impact on their health was a great as that associated with smoking and sedentary lifestyles (source).

    8. Happy people learn faster
    When you’re happy and relaxed, you’re much more open to learning new things at work and thereby increasing your productivity.

    9. Happy people worry less about making mistakes – and consequently make fewer mistakes
    When you’re happy at work the occasional mistake doesn’t bother you much. You pick yourself up, learn from it and move on. You also don’t mind admitting to others that you screwed up – you simply take responsibility, apologize and fix it. This relaxed attitude means that less mistakes are made, and that you’re more likely to learn from them.

    10. Happy people make better decisions
    Unhappy people operate in permanent crisis mode. Their focus narrows, they lose sight of the big picture, their survival instincts kick in and they’re more likely to make short-term, here-and-now choices. Conversely, happy people make better, more informed decisions and are better able to prioritize their work.

    The upshot
    Think back to a situation where you felt that you were at peak performance. A situation where your output was among the highest and best it’s ever been. I’m willing to bet that you were working at something that made you happy. Something that you loved doing.

    There’s a clear link between happiness at work and productivity. This only leaves the question of causation: Does being productive make us happy or does being happy make us productive? The answer is, of course, yes! The link goes both ways.

    But the link is strongest from happiness to productivity – which means that it if you want to be more productive, the very best thing you can do is focus on being happy with what you do?

    So how do you get to be happy at work? There are two ways :
    Get happy in the job you have. There are about a million things you can do to improve your work situation – provided you choose to do something, rather than wait for someone else to come along and do it for you.
    Find a new job where you can be happy. If your current job is not fixable, don’t wait – move on now!

    Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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    Work stress ‘changes your body’

    October 25, 2009 | Filed Under Front_Page_News |

    stress_computerA stressful job has a direct biological impact on the body, raising the risk of heart disease, research has indicated.
    The study reported in the European Heart Journal back in 2008 focused on more than 10,000 British civil servants.

    Those under 50 who said their work was stressful were nearly 70% more likely to develop heart disease than the stress-free.

    The stressed had less time to exercise and eat well – but they also showed signs of important biochemical changes.

    The studies of Whitehall employees – from mandarins to messengers – started in the 1960s, but this particular cohort has been followed since 1985.

    As well as documenting how workers felt about their job, researchers monitored heart rate variability, blood pressure, and the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood.

    They also took notes about diet, exercise, smoking and drinking.

    Then they found out how many people had developed coronary heart disease (CHD) or suffered a heart attack and how many had died of it.

    Lead researcher Dr Tarani Chandola, of University College London, said: “During 12 years of follow up, we found that chronic work stress was associated with CHD and this association was stronger both among men and women aged under 50.

    “Among people of retirement age – and therefore less likely to be exposed to work stress – the effect on CHD was less strong.”

    Biological factors

    On the one hand, those who reported stressful jobs appeared less likely to eat sufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables, and were less likely to exercise – although problem drinking did not emerge as a significant problem in this study.

    Lifestyle, the researchers concluded, was nonetheless a key factor in the development of the disease.

    But the team also say they are now confident they understand the biological mechanisms that link stress and disease, a connection widely held to exist but which has been difficult to prove.

    These mechanisms held true regardless of lifestyle.

    Stress appeared to upset the part of the nervous system which controls the heart, telling it how to work and controlling the variability of the heart rate.

    Those who reported stress were also recorded as having poor “vagal tone” – the impulses which regulate heartbeat.

    A major part of the neuroendocrine system – which releases hormones – also seemed to be disturbed by stress, evidenced by the fact that anxious workers had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the morning.

    Worker status

    While the younger worker seemed to be more at risk, the findings were the same regardless of the status of the worker.

    Previous studies had suggested those of lower employment grades may be more at risk.

    “We did not find strong evidence that the effect of work stress on heart disease is worse for those in lower grades – the effect of stress was pretty much the same across different grades,” said Dr Chandola.

    “However, later on in the study, some parts of the civil service underwent considerable change in their working environments, including privatisation.

    “We are currently exploring whether the effects of these changed work stress levels, partly brought about by privatisation, are particularly deleterious for those in the low grades of the civil service.”

    The British Heart Foundation said the research added to our understanding of how stress at work may alter the body’s chemistry.

    “The study also reinforces what has been identified by previous research, that stress at work is often associated with unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, lack of exercise and a poor diet – all which can impact on heart health,” said June Davison.

    “There are many ways that we can help ourselves by learning how to cope with stressful situations.

    “Keeping fit and active also helps to relieve stress and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease.”

    Hello there ! - We offer Corporate office massage in London. We specialise in on-site massage in the office, accupressure massage, seated accupressure, chair massage, head and neck massage and stress management massage. Achieve relaxation in the office with the help of our therapists - Relaxed workplace

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