New Years Resolutions for the Office

Even though we’re half way through January, it’s not too late to set goals for 2019. Given the amount of time we spend at the office, creating goals that enhance your workplace experience will improve your quality of life. Below, explore six different ideas to jumpstart your office new year’s resolutions.

Maintain a clean desk. It’s easy to lose sight of maintaining a tidy desk when trying to stay on top of a heavy workload or impeding deadlines. However, studies show that uncleanliness and clutter can negatively affect your ability to focus and process information. Neuroscience research suggests that when working in a cluttered environment, the disturbances that lie in your peripheral view can restrict your ability to completely focus on one task.  A cluttered desk competes for your attention the same way a phone constantly ringing might. Keeping your desk tidy allows for increased productivity, reduced distraction, and less irritability in the workplace. Take two minutes at the end of everyday to clean your desk.

Incorporate greenery. The theory of Biophilia which suggests that humans have an innate connection to nature encourages the introduction of natural elements into the workplace. Natural features such as plants, natural light, and views to the outdoors are associated with an enhanced workplace experience. Besides increasing oxygen and moisture levels, plants can reduce stress and provide a unique decorative element due to their aesthetic appeal and calming green colour. Choose low-maintenance plants, such as pothos (also known as the cubicle plant), which grows well without natural light. If office policies restrict plants, make time to go for a walk outdoors throughout the day, even if it’s just for five minutes.

Plan your day. Do you ever experience feelings of stress or anxiety upon entering the workplace? If so, this could be stemming from poor time management, and the fear that there is simply not enough time in a day. Instead of jumping into the first task that pops into your mind, take a moment to plan your day. Write down tasks from highest to lowest priority and be realistic about what can be accomplished in one day. Another way to relieve stress in the mornings is to take time and prepare the day before. Try spending 5 to 10 minutes at the end of the workday to reflect, deliberate, and plan for your next day. Be sure to set aside time to enjoy activities outside of the office too.

Use a reusable mug. The benefits of a reusable mug go beyond reducing waste sent to landfills. Most reusable mugs keep liquids warmer for a longer period of time, cause less spills, save you money, and reduce your exposure to toxins that disposable cups might contain. Plus, a reusable mug is a great way to show off your sense of style. We love Hydro Flask and Keep Cup.

Make the most of your commute. It’s easy to become stressed before you get to the office, especially if you have a long commute. But commuting can be relaxing and even productive if you use your time wisely. Try listening to an interesting podcast, using apps like Headspace and Mindfulness to mediate (if you’re not driving), planning your day, or reading a book. Beginning the day with intention and focus can set the tone for your entire day.

Be open to giving more. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Positive actions can promote a culture of wellness and kindness in the office. Giving back can be as simple as taking a moment every now and then to walk around the office and ask about a coworker’s day or give them a compliment. Getting to know your colleagues better can improve the workplace experience, and even increase productivity and engagement.

Remember, new year’s resolutions don’t have to be intimidating, you can start at any time, and you can readjust them throughout the year. The key is to not put too much pressure on yourself. Start by making small, simple changes that are specific, measurable, attainable, and realistic. For example, today my goal is to drink only one cup of coffee, instead of my usual two. What’s yours?

For more information, contact the Strategic Sustainable Solutions team.

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