Posted on September 1, 2015

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we’re always seeking to help you enjoy your time at the office. After all, for most employees having a career is like having a second home away from home, given that the average worker spends an estimated 40 to 60 hours per week on the job.

Maybe you are one of those stellar employees who regularly works a lot of overtime during the week or around holiday seasons. Or, if you’re just joining the practice of working longer days (e.g., arriving at work early, skipping lunch break, and staying late), you’re probably looking for ways to keep yourself feeling fresh with energy during the day. So, here are a few suggestions for workplace do’s and don’ts:

1. Do’s:

  • Stay hydrated. Keeping your system lubricated keeps you from feeling drained. Make it a habit to drink plenty of water throughout out the day. Not a huge fan of H2O? Try drinking de-caffeinated beverages, such as iced or hot tea (depending on the season and your preference) or vitamin-enriched, water-based beverages to keep you energized.
  • Eat fruit. We all know the benefits of fresh fruits, particularly citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and strawberries, which are high in vitamin C. But did you know that research shows fruits rich in vitamin C do more than boost your immune system? They also boost your mood.
  • Use ergonomic seating. Choose seating that provides maximum comfort. An ergonomic chair while working on a computer will keep your entire body comfortable. Even plush couches are becoming more common in the office space, given the collaborative nature of the workforce, which includes various team meetings and client meetings throughout the day. Having a couch in the office space is also an ideal way to avoid total-body stiffness after being seated for long periods of time.
  • Take breaks. Whether your job involves a lot of manual labor or sitting at the desk all day, it’s beneficial to take a periodic break from time to time. It may simply be a very short walk to the water bubbler or a 10- to 15-minute break to stretch your body and give your eyes a rest from the computer screen. Make your break exciting by stepping outside for a few minutes each day and letting the sunlight bathe you with a natural dose of Vitamin D.

While you practice these energy promoting habits, also try to keep in mind a few things energy-draining practices that could impact your work day.

2. Don’ts:

  • Don’t multi-task unless necessary. Many people believe they can accomplish more by working on several tasks simultaneously. In actuality, people tend to get more done when focusing on the task at hand. Interrupting your thought process and/or flow of work to give attention to other tasks only slows down the completion process.
  • Set a schedule. Coming up with a schedule on a day-to-day or weekly basis helps you work more efficiently. Enjoy the feeling of having a productive workday or work week by carving out time for each task you have on a regular basis. Also, minimize interruptions by setting aside time for answering/returning phone calls, reading and responding to emails, and suggesting specific times for meetings versus having an impromptu meeting.
  • Ignore warning signs of fatigue. No one, including your health care provider, knows your body better than you. If you feel exhausted from overtime, which sometimes results in sleep deprivation, respond accordingly. Give your system the downtime it needs by taking a short break during the day, foregoing overtime if you have the option, or scheduling in a relaxing vacation day to simply recuperate.