Productivity

How to Maximize Your Efficiency While Working From Home

October 12, 2022
The Wellness Tribe

It can be challenging for many of us to work remotely or in the office when productivity drops, and with it come new obstacles in the workplace. In the face of distractions, interruptions, and the constant need to maintain an adaptable mentality, it may be challenging to manage, pursue, and commit to new strategies to increase job performance.

Regardless of where you are in your career or how you got there, growing yourself professionally should be an ongoing exercise that challenges and inspires you.

Putting it off is a bad idea until your manager brings it up in your performance review. By following these strategies, you can elevate your professional game and become your most productive self, in addition to improving your health and wellbeing at workplace.

Why Remote Work Is a Good Idea

Why Remote Work Is a Good Idea
Photo by Windows on Unsplash

There is a preferred work environment for everyone. Some prefer complete solitude, while others need the hustle of a coffee shop to stay focused. But, no matter our individual preferences, none of us enjoy working with noisy colleagues.

Here are some statistics to consider: 

  • There is a 61 percent belief that noisy coworkers are the most distracting factor at work; 
  • To maximize efficiency, 86% prefer working alone; and 
  • There is a 40% perception that spontaneous meetings are a huge distraction in the workplace.

The good thing about working remotely is you don't have to deal with all these distractions. Although it may sound harsh, the best advice is to solve your own problems. Do not ask questions that Google cannot answer. Don't put yourself in a position where you need to be micromanaged.

The Pomodoro Method

Working nonstop for a long time starts to fry your brain. On the other hand, experts claim that working in 90-minute increments increases productivity.

There is a limit to how long the human mind can work before it has to rest, which is 90 to 120 minutes in reality. So give yourself a break after 90 minutes and focus entirely on the most critical item on your priority list.

You may want to explore the Pomodoro Technique if you aren't satisfied with recurring 90-minute work periods. Focus on one assignment for 25 minutes. Then, take five minutes to rest. Make three more repetitions of this method.

In case your workplace has an employee wellbeing program, chances are you've already introduced the Pomodoro method. If not, consider doing so in the future. 

How to Overcome Procrastination

‍How to Overcome Procrastination
Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash

Typical workers spend 2 hours a day procrastinating. A typical individual takes 23 minutes to regain focus after being sidetracked. Sound familiar, doesn't it?

Some of the distractions we enjoy are keeping an eye on Twitter, reading the news, organizing our inboxes, and cleaning our desks. A frightening aspect of our behavior is that we are quite adept at convincing ourselves that such distractions are part of our job description. With the increasing size and importance of assignments, most people are becoming more prone to procrastinating.

However, we should not let ourselves be fooled: when we delay, we focus on the worst aspects of our endeavor, which makes the task seem even bigger. Rather, follow our favorite advertising campaign: Simply do it and consider your priorities list.

Don't let email be your afternoon escape, even if you avoided it in the morning. Individuals check their email 36 times per hour on average. This amounts to 13 hours spent reading, deleting, sorting, and sending weekly emails. You don't have to respond to an incoming email immediately. Keep a regular schedule of checking your email throughout the day instead of rushing.

Creative Exhaustion

Creativity is a crucial trait of a successful employee, whether you spend your days creating art in Illustrator or crunching figures in Excel. But how can you stop an afternoon brain cramp when creative thoughts appear out of reach? 

Keep your research time limited so that you can overcome procrastination. Getting lost in a sea of GIFs and further away from your starting point can be an easy trap. So to jumpstart your momentum and prevent afternoon headaches, turn your gaze away from your device.

On average, people spend 7.4 hours per day in front of a computer screen. Taking a diary into a brainstorming session will prevent dry eyes. Consider drawing a flowchart or doodling to get a better sense of the scale of your project. 

Finally, use your downtime to brainstorm. There is no denying the fact that many of our best ideas come while driving or taking a shower, so it is important to be able to leave work at work.

Mastering the Art of Working Remotely

In recent years, remote labor has been on the rise. But, in addition to its apparent advantages, working remotely also has its disadvantages. The benefits are a 30-second commute, greater flexibility, and more control over your surroundings.

Remote work can be difficult to separate professional and family lives without physically separating them.

Additionally, you may find it difficult to focus while roommates, children, and spouses are in the background. 

Establish a Home Office or Desk

If you feel like working from your bed or sofa, we recommend doing so for a change of scenery. Working from home, however, requires consistency. Establish your main workstation at the kitchen table or at a desk during the day.

It will help you associate that location with efficiency, productivity, and work. In addition, you get bonus points if you equip the site with dual monitors, a charging station, and anything else you need to get the job done.

Prepare Yourself for a Lot of Communication

Working remotely makes your team members and management less likely to become entangled in unexpected verbal brainstorming sessions. Consider checking in with them more often than usual. Communicate your objectives and initiatives to your team or collaborators.

Get your coworkers together for a coffee chat or remote Zoom meeting. Be sure to clarify any unclear details in emails or virtual meetings. Despite being away from your workplace, don't let yourself go unnoticed.

Setting Your Logoff Time

There are many challenges associated with working from home. For example, some days, you'll want to log out at 3, while on other days, you'll want to work until 8 p.m. Having the freedom to work from home is excellent, but don't let it compromise your well-being. 

By setting a logoff time, you’ll be able to stay productive until the end of the day, and you’ll know exactly when it’s time to watch TV, cook dinner, or go for a walk with your spouse.

Occupational Wellbeing

Beyond the Bottom Line: Empathetic Layoffs Guide for Companies

March 8, 2023
The Wellness Tribe Team

As the month of March 2023 draws to a close, the tech industry is currently experiencing a storm of layoffs, leaving a trail of job losses and uncertainty in its wake.

But the impact is not limited to Tech companies, as the shockwaves of these layoffs will be felt across the industry and beyond. It is in such times of crisis that the importance of empathy in conducting layoffs cannot be overstated. 

Companies that prioritize the well-being of their employees and conduct layoffs with compassion and respect can minimize the negative impacts of these difficult decisions, both on the affected employees and on the company's reputation. 

By embracing the gentle art of farewells and adopting empathetic layoff practices, companies can navigate this challenging time while providing much-needed support to those who are leaving the organization.

The Negative Impacts of Unempathetic Layoffs

The Negative Impacts of Unempathetic Layoffs
Image by master1305 on Freepik

When companies conduct layoffs in an unempathetic manner, it can have a devastating impact on the employees who are losing their jobs, as well as those who remain. 

Unempathetic layoffs can cause psychological trauma, anxiety, and stress for the affected employees, who may feel betrayed and unsupported. The resulting sense of loss of identity and financial insecurity can lead to long-term negative effects on their mental and physical health.

Furthermore, unempathetic layoffs can also negatively impact the remaining employees. They may fear for their own job security and feel demoralized by the company's lack of compassion. The sudden loss of colleagues and friends can lead to a decrease in morale and productivity. 

These effects can also spread beyond the company, affecting the broader community and even the industry as a whole. Unempathetic layoffs can also severely damage the company's reputation, resulting in a loss of customer loyalty, a decline in brand trust, and decreased sales.

"Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself." - Mohsin Hamid.

The Importance of Empathy in Layoffs

At the heart of any successful layoff is empathy. But what exactly is empathy, and why is it so important during layoffs? Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. 

In the context of layoffs, empathy means acknowledging and addressing the emotional impact that losing a job can have on employees. This includes recognizing the stress, fear, and uncertainty that employees may experience and providing support to help them through the transition.

The benefits of empathetic layoffs are numerous. Firstly, it helps to maintain a positive company culture by demonstrating that employees are valued and respected, even in the face of difficult decisions. 

Empathy can also foster a sense of trust and loyalty between the company and its remaining employees, who may be worried about their own job security in the wake of layoffs. In addition, empathetic layoffs can help to protect the company's reputation and reduce the risk of negative press or backlash from the public.

Therefore, it is essential for companies to prioritize empathy when conducting layoffs. By doing so, they can not only minimize the negative impacts of the layoff but also create a more supportive and positive work environment in the long run.

Preparing for Empathetic Layoffs

Preparing for Empathetic Layoffs
Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Layoffs are never easy, and preparing for them can be just as challenging. However, when done with empathy and care, companies can ease the transition for employees and help them navigate the job market during difficult times. Here are some important considerations for preparing for empathetic layoffs:

Communication with affected employees

Open and honest communication is key when preparing for layoffs. Employees should be informed about the impending layoffs as soon as possible and provided with clear and transparent reasons for the decision. Companies can also offer resources and support to help employees through the process, such as providing counseling services or financial advice.

Providing outplacement services

Outplacement services can be a valuable resource for laid-off employees, providing them with guidance and support as they search for new job opportunities. Companies can work with outplacement firms to provide services such as resume writing, interview preparation, and networking support.

Assisting with job searches

In addition to outplacement services, companies can assist with job searches by providing references, making introductions, and even hosting job fairs. Companies can also provide training and education opportunities for employees to help them acquire new skills and become more competitive in the job market.

By preparing for empathetic layoffs, companies can help their employees navigate the transition with as much support and care as possible. With open communication, resources and support, and a commitment to helping employees find new opportunities, companies can make a difficult situation a little bit easier for everyone involved.

Conducting Empathetic Layoffs

Choosing the right time and place

When it comes to conducting layoffs with empathy, the timing and location of the announcement can make a big difference. Ideally, companies should choose a time that allows affected employees to process the news without having to leave work immediately. 

Additionally, the location of the announcement should be private and conducive to a calm and respectful discussion.

Providing a clear explanation for the layoff

Transparency is key when conducting empathetic layoffs. It's essential to provide a clear explanation for the decision to lay off employees, along with any relevant details about severance packages, outplacement services, and other forms of support. This can help to alleviate confusion and uncertainty among the affected employees.

Being honest and transparent

Honesty is the best policy, even in the context of layoffs. Being upfront about the situation and the reasons behind the decision can help to establish trust and demonstrate empathy towards the employees. This can go a long way towards minimizing the negative impact of the layoff on the employees' well-being and morale.

Supporting Employees After Layoffs

Following the layoff, companies should maintain open lines of communication with the affected employees. This can include providing them with access to career coaching, resume building, and other job search resources. 

Additionally, companies can organize alumni groups or other networking opportunities to help former employees stay connected with the organization and with each other.

Providing support for remaining employees

It's important not to overlook the impact that layoffs can have on the remaining employees. To help employees cope with the stress and uncertainty that often accompany layoffs, companies must provide them with training and support to take on new responsibilities, as well as emotional support via corporate wellness programs. 

This can include counseling, team-building activities, or other initiatives designed to boost morale and promote a sense of camaraderie among the remaining employees.

Addressing negative impacts on the company's reputation

Finally, companies should take steps to address any negative impacts on the company's reputation that may have resulted from the layoffs. This can involve communicating openly and transparently with customers, partners, and other stakeholders about the reasons behind the decision and the steps being taken to support the affected employees. 

Companies can also consider public relations initiatives or other outreach efforts to help repair any damage that may have been done to the company's image.

Conclusion

While no one wants to conduct layoffs, they can be necessary in certain situations. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, companies can minimize the harm caused by layoffs and demonstrate their commitment to treating their employees with respect and compassion. 

It's also important to remember that layoffs are just one aspect of a company's broader culture and employee relations and that companies can take steps to prevent or mitigate the need for layoffs in the first place by prioritizing employee engagement, satisfaction, and growth.

As a corporate wellness company, The Wellness Tribe is committed to supporting the well-being of both employees and companies. If your organization is facing the difficult process of layoffs, we want to help. 

Our team of experienced wellness professionals can provide support, resources, and guidance to help employees navigate this challenging time with resilience and grace. 

Whether you need counseling services, stress-management tools, or team-building activities, we have the expertise and experience to help you and your employees thrive. 

Reach out to us today to learn more about how The Wellness Tribe can support your organization and its employees during this tough time.

Workplace

Navigating Tough Conversations without Torching Relationships

June 2, 2023
Nitesh Padghan

Understanding how to manage tricky conversations in a professional environment without harming your relationships is key to success. Whether you encounter prejudice in corporate communication, find yourself at odds with your CEO's stance on a matter you hold dear, or witness subtle biases in team meetings, voicing your concerns is vital. However, the skill lies in doing so effectively.

Global survey data of 2,600 Gen Z employees indicates that only 20% would work for a company that doesn't align with their values. It's also noted that at least 70% of Gen Z actively participate in social or political causes. Moreover, evidence suggests those who can relate their social purpose to their jobs are more engaged and satisfied in their roles.

To explore how one can express their views and navigate challenging conversations without damaging professional relationships, we consulted a few of our experts. Here are their insights.

Embrace others as allies, not enemies.

When addressing an issue, like a subtle bias, approach the individual involved as an ally, not an adversary. Social advocacy is most effective when you initiate conversations by "inviting people in" instead of "calling them out" or outright criticism.

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others." - Tony Robbins

Aim for a dialogue, striving to comprehend the other party's perspective. Focus on assisting them in understanding their error rather than chastising them for it. Such conversations are not just ideologically sound but also pragmatic and practical. By inviting a person to discuss an issue rather than attempting to win a battle, they're more likely to listen and positively move forward from the conversation.

Understanding intent is vital; listen to their viewpoint.

Once on equal terms, actively listen to and consider the other person's perspective. Research indicates that we tend to overestimate how radical our adversaries' views are.

Clarify intentions by actively listening and displaying curiosity. Ask specific questions to comprehend their viewpoint better. After listening attentively, summarize what you've heard to avoid misunderstandings and confirm the facts. This will help you understand where you differ in your beliefs, their views' origins, and whether they're open to new information or prone to change.

Our ability to hear others increases when we listen and make them feel heard. As a basic human behavior, reciprocity - doing unto others as they do unto me - is a norm we should follow. Recognizing this reciprocity can make conveying your stance easier.

The human element is paramount.

It's crucial to remember you're interacting with a fellow human, a person with feelings, experiences, aspirations, and a shared desire to be understood and respected. Labeling others as narcissists, gaslighters, or toxic can lead to their dehumanization, especially when their views diverge from ours.

By listening to others and understanding their perspective, we respect their capacity for growth and change. Minson underscores that when we acknowledge the potential for change in those we disagree with, our engagement with them becomes more productive. Avoid the binary view of people as either "good" or "bad." Extending grace and empathy can go a long way.

Exclusion, on the other hand, can lead to the entrenchment of extreme views. If an individual feels marginalized, they might seek out like-minded individuals, thereby creating echo-chambers and perpetuating polarization. Treating people as humans, with their unique flaws and fundamental needs, is essential to the changes we hope to achieve.

Humor can be a potent tool.

Contrary to what one might expect, a sense of humor can play a critical role in social advocacy. Kashdan cites Loretta Rose's experience as an example of grace. In 2017, as a professor, she mistakenly used the wrong pronoun for a student. Instead of reacting negatively, the student lightened the situation with humor, saying, "That's all right; I misgender myself sometimes."

Humor allows us to connect on a human level, disarm others, and mitigate embarrassment. It invites dialogue and doesn't presuppose negative intentions. However, this approach depends on the situation and your comfort level with the individuals involved.

Don't hesitate to seek help.

Confronting broad organizational issues or engaging in difficult conversations with senior leadership can seem daunting. However, finding allies can prove invaluable in these circumstances. Look for individuals in leadership roles who share your concerns. Consult with them and propose how specific actions could benefit the company, its leaders, and its employees.

For instance, if your organization misses out on focusing on ESG, you could make a case for its potential benefits. Be proactive in suggesting how you can move forward with this issue.

Advocating for a more empathetic, respectful world is no easy task, and you can't control how others react. But the most important thing is to make a sincere effort, even if your attempts to engage others aren't always successful. Patience is the key to changing minds and behaviors. Give it time.

Closing Thoughts

As we strive to foster a world of mutual respect and care, it's crucial to remember that the reactions of others aren't within our control. What truly matters is the sincerity and wholeheartedness of our attempts. Sometimes, change might be slow, but patience is key. Each conversation, each voice raised for what is right, takes us one step closer to a more empathetic, understanding workplace.

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This month we are focusing on food and how it affects your mental health. Join us as we bring in the most relevant interesting content from across the wellness segment.

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