My work schedule dictates my life schedule. Clients, deadlines and meetings and achieving corporate goals, often are telling of how much I accomplish outside of work on any given day. If employers push and overwork their employees, we don't have time to pursue our passions: music, arts, science, athletics, family, volunteering etc.
Refocusing and balancing our work life with our personal and physical lives produces optimally fit and balanced employees. Exercise, wellness and sleeping shape our attitudes. By prioritizing health and wellness and allotting time for ourselves to us to push our bodies physically, it's becomes easier to push our minds into creating new and innovative ideas.
Here are four ways I think we could make our workforce happier and healthier:
1. A new type of happy hour. Instead of leaving happy hour until the end of work day, I propose moving happy hour to noon. Rather than drinking at the end of the day at a bar and waking up unable to function the next morning, I propose that a happy hour in the middle of the day. The new happy hour is devoted to making us happy. This can be anything from yoga, meditation, group exercise, cycling or some other rejuvenating activity. I've found that going for a 30 minute run during lunch gives me something to look forward to and also keeps me awake and ready for the afternoon activities.
2. Changing the business hours. Sometimes I have to be at work really early in the morning to work with remote teams. Other days, it doesn't really matter what time I'm in the office. I would propose that we change standard business hours to 10 or 11, so we can have time in the morning to spend time walking the kids to school without rushing, to make a healthy meal in the morning and possibly even squeeze in a work out before heading to work.
3. Making vacations a requirement. Taking a break from our professional lives is essential for producing anything creative and keeping us inspired to see unseen parts of the world or discovering a new hobby. Forcing employees to take vacations to explore individual pursuits inspires thought and innovation. Even a staycation gives us time to de-stress and reassess our priorities and goals.
4. Separation of Eat and Work: We separate Church and State, so why don't we separate the time space we eat and where we work (note: I write this as I am eating cereal from my desk.)? Snacking and stress eating can happen for 40 hours a week, if we're not careful. Limiting people to eat in one area might sound outrageous, but it may encourage community, since everyone eats in the common eating room.