While it’s natural to think that keeping on your toes at work for as long as you can is a good thing, the reality is it’s unlikely that taking this approach all of the time will work to your (or your employees’) advantage all of the time.
Stepping back, small businesses face significant pressures, with reports suggesting that more than half of new enterprises fold within five years. For those lucky enough to make it past the early years, the pressure continues as the stakes and risks get higher – be it bigger deals, larger premises or hiring more people. So it’s not surprising that SME bosses, with responsibility for their own – and their employees’ – livelihood, have a lot resting on their shoulders to ensure that their business not only survives but thrives.
But there’s a balance to recognise between, on the one hand, driving a business forward without missing a beat and, on the other, compromising your own ability to perform at your best. So what could be the trick when it comes to getting the best out of yourself and out of your team?
An “always on” approach to work doesn’t come without its pitfalls. In terms of productivity, since every business is different, arguably there’s no one-size-fits-all answer but it’s worth recognising that working relentlessly without rest can be a quest of diminishing returns, ultimately increasing the risk of burn-out. Some will undoubtedly thrive in an “always on” environment but many of us need time to recharge and relax so that we can, in turn, be at our most productive at work.
In parallel, a positive work culture is undoubtedly a big tick for productivity too. Be it simply expressed through the soft skills of line managers showing appreciation of employees’ efforts by giving praise where it’s due, or through managers leading by example when it comes to, say, making healthy lifestyle choices.
Physical working habits can also play a significant role in affecting employee productivity. For example, with many having an average daily sit-time of nine hours (with a significant chunk of this sedentary time spent at work or getting to and from work) it would be surprising if the lethargy that often comes with prolonged sitting didn’t have a detrimental effect on productivity. To counter this, adopting and developing better habits can make a big difference. Getting up and about every half hour – whether to speak with a colleague or just to stretch your legs – should help with energy levels and, in turn, productivity.
By allowing time to re-charge, fostering a positive workplace culture and checking those sedentary habits there’s an opportunity not only to enhance health and wellbeing but business productivity too.
For more information to help support the health and wellbeing of your employees please visit: axappphealthcare.co.uk/smallbusinessinsight.
2 Research of 2,007 UK adults carried undertaken in October 2016 by market research agency Atomik.