New Year's Resolutions for the Office

January 4, 2017

Happy New Year! Every year on January 1, people take the opportunity to reset, refresh and resolve to do better, whether at saving money, being healthy, or some other goal they’ve procrastinated on throughout the last year. But those well-intended resolutions don’t have to be restricted to your personal life—in fact, with most people spending more than 40 hours a week at the office, making resolutions for the one place you spend a large amount of every weekday is smart. Do any of the resolutions below strike a chord with you?

Office Resolution #1: Do More Good

The impact of business goes well beyond just financial success or its employees—businesses can have a huge influence in the communities they are based in and serve, as well as the environment around them. The good news is there are some very easy ways to make that influence a positive one.

  • Recycle, and go beyond just recycling paper and plastic. Did you know your old technology can be recycled, giving you a secure way to clean up the office and free up more space?
  • Buy smarter. Many of the products you use in your office, from paper to cleaners to ink and toner, have high quality sustainable alternatives. Each substitution adds up!
  • Get involved. Research shows that today’s professionals want to be part of a greater purpose within their careers, and a workplace culture devoted to giving back to the community can foster loyalty and engagement.

Office Resolution #2: Be More Productive

Productivity is the “white whale” that today’s workers are chasing, and the costs of that hunt can be high, from burnout to seeking a new job. So how can you tackle this resolution?

  • Battle email and meeting overload. This might be easier said than done, but most workers cite meetings and email as big productivity busters. Try to figure out which emails and meetings could be distilled to a short conversation.
  • Utilize the resources at hand. How often do you delegate to or lean on your business partners? Expect your suppliers and other partners to take a strategic, consultative role and act as an extension of your team.
  • Take breaks. Yes, take breaks to be more productive. It sounds counterintuitive, but having a break-positive culture (and office space) can contribute to productivity. How? Well…

Office Resolution #3: Take More Breaks

Being more productive and taking more breaks? Yep. Our Workplace Index found that more than half of workers feel they can’t take a break, primarily due to too much work, feelings of guilt, and managerial pressures. But can taking breaks have benefits?

  • The Workplace Index also found that 75% of workers are more productive after they take a break.

 

  • Research supports this, suggesting a structure of a short break after every block of work to refresh concentration and restore your mental (and physical) energy.
  • Breaks can impact more than you productivity; they can impact your engagement and satisfaction, as well. 52% of workers say that the best way to reduce burnout is by encouraging workers to take more breaks.

Office Resolution #4: Take Better Care of Yourself

This is a natural extension of taking more breaks. Taking better care of yourself means having a better year overall. But this is about more than just eating right and taking breaks. Office life offers up some unique opportunities (and challenges) to taking good care of yourself.

  • Have an eye for ergonomics. Back pain, neck pain and headaches are all just a part of a desk job, right? Ouch. They don’t need to be—ergonomic  office furniture and technology can help battle musculoskeletal discomfort and help you feel (and work) better.
  • Stay on the move. Making time to take a quick walk around the building, or taking meetings mobile, will not only help the common office ailments described above, but it can also spark creativity and combat the doldrums that arise from being in one place for too long.
  • Know how to fight the flu and other germs. This one’s a biggie, from as early as October to as late as May. Proper hand hygiene (including hand soap and sanitizer) and frequent sanitizing of desks and public surfaces with sanitizing wipes and cleaners can go a long way toward keeping you sniffle-free during cold and flu outbreaks.

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