Did you know more than half of all Americans report feeling exhausted after a workday? Even worse, 75% of remote workers experience the same level of exhaustion, sometimes even more. If this continuous experience of fatigue remains unchecked, it can lead to mental burnout, leading to an overall decrease in productivity.
So, it is more important than ever to promote wellness and mental health in the workplace, whether it’s a personal office or a coworking space. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most important benefits of keeping upbeat and healthy at work and some tips to make that happen in your coworking space.
Benefits of promoting wellness and mental health in the workplace
Great mental health can bring about all three major benefits for your workers or for those working remotely from a coworking space:
#1 – Increased productivity
Workers who are physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy are more productive in the workplace because they have higher and more stable energy levels than unhealthy individuals.
#2 – Improved creativity
Workers working in a healthy workplace can focus more on their jobs and thus be more creative and productive than in an unhealthy workplace.
#3 – Reduced stress
There are times when experiencing stress in the workplace is unavoidable. However, the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy workplace is that a healthy workplace has measures in place to help workers cope with and lower those stress levels.
Wellness tips you can follow on a personal level
Whether you are an employee, a remote worker, or a freelancer, your knowledge and expertise are one of the most valuable things you own. Therefore, if your mental, physical, or emotional health suffers, these assets will too.
For this reason, you, as an individual, should be aware of the risks you are exposed to and look out for yourself. Be your own advocate and prioritize your health above everything else.
So, to protect those assets and your health, we’ve prepared five wellness tips you can follow to be a healthier person today.
Adopt a gratitude mindset and meditate
In addition to lessening your mental burden, another small change you can make is to adopt a gratitude mindset and to meditate every day.
Doing this will increase your self-awareness and help you focus on the present, reducing stress and anxiety.
Here are some easy steps you can follow to get started:
- Go into a quiet, distraction-free area of your house.
- Adopt a comfortable position. Depending on your location, you can sit, lie down, or even lean on a stable object like a wall.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and close your eyes.
- Relax as much as possible, think of anything that makes you feel grateful, and focus on that. This can be anything from having found senior coupons the day before to finding your beloved lost puppy or getting that promotion at work. What matters most is that you feel genuinely grateful for it.
- Continue focusing on those things while breathing deeply and slowly until the 10 minutes are over.
- Once it’s over, open your eyes and enjoy the feeling of peace and relaxation it brought you.
If you do this regularly and make it a habit, you will experience a small but significant shift in your mindset that will give you a healthier outlook and make you healthier.
Follow a healthy and predictable morning routine
We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Though it is not entirely backed by science, it has its merits, especially in establishing a healthy and predictable morning routine.
Eating a healthy meal and following a regular morning routine lets you reduce the number of decisions you make throughout the day. This reduction in choices will reduce your mental load and, thus, you’ll experience less stress overall.
To start, follow these steps to create the morning routine that works best for you:
- Make a list of the things you do every morning; be as detailed as possible.
- Make decisions ahead of time. For example, plan what outfit you’ll wear, your breakfast menu, etc.
- Allot time slots for each activity; the more detailed the time slot, the better.
- Memorize the schedule or write it on paper to remember it.
- Lastly, follow it religiously and avoid changing it as much as possible until it becomes a habit.
- Reap its benefits and enjoy a stress-free morning every day.
This tip might sound simple and insignificant but try it for a week and see how much it will improve your day. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
Don’t be ashamed to take a break
Nowadays, people are obsessed with hustling, being productive, and being tired because of their work. Most even glorify it! If you’re not doing the same, people sometimes label you as lazy and even shame you for it.
This situation makes taking a much-needed break embarrassing, discouraging many people from taking it.
However, take it from many medical experts and us that taking a break is a physiological need, not something to be ashamed of.
Don’t be ashamed of getting a full night’s rest, going on a vacation, and maximizing your weekends for rest. Your health is much more important than your work. But if you’re a total workaholic, know that, by resting, your work will improve, so you should still be motivated to do so.
We know this isn’t easy to do in today’s competitive job market, but if you want to make time for yourself, you need to be intentional about it. Learn to say no, enforce your boundaries, and never let anyone shame you for making time for yourself.
Eat healthy meals
You might have heard the saying that you are what you eat. Scientifically speaking, it has merit, especially if you look at it from a dietary perspective. If most of your meals are unhealthy, have a lot of refined sugar and saturated fats, and are sodium-rich, you, too, will become unhealthy. You’ll feel weak and unmotivated.
Meanwhile, if most of your meals are healthy with a lot of dietary fiber, good fats, vitamins, and minerals, you will also be healthy. A healthier diet means you’ll feel more energetic and have a better mood throughout the day.
By avoiding processed foods with a lot of sugar and saturated fats, you’ll reduce extreme fluctuations in your energy levels during the day, which processed food causes.
In contrast, healthy foods rich in fiber and healthy fats will give you a more sustainable energy source, making you sharper and more alert during the day. These advantages, combined with the other health benefits that these foods offer, make eating a healthy diet the obvious choice if you want to be healthier.
Set realistic goals for yourself and adopt a growth mindset
Unrealistic goals and expectations cause a lot of pressure on an individual. What makes it worse is sometimes you set these goals and expectations yourself. We can attribute these unrealistic goals and expectations to social media, which makes many people unconsciously compare themselves with each other.
Now that you know about it, you need to stop comparing yourself to others and set realistic goals for yourself, goals that you set free from the influence of others.
And if you don’t achieve it even though you did your best, be kind to yourself. You’ll get it next time. This way of thinking is called the growth mindset. This mindset will allow you to keep improving instead of getting stuck in a current situation.
Wellness tips for your work environment
If you’re running a coworking space business, caring for your members’ mental health and wellness is key to helping your business thrive. As human beings, we rely on our senses to understand our surroundings. Thus, the environment we work in directly affects our psyche, especially our mental health. This is something coworking space owners need to consider this to provide the best service possible to their customers.
So, continue reading if you want to take the previous mental health tips further. In this part of the article, we’ll discuss how you can make your work environment conducive to productivity, mental health, and creativity to attract as many members as possible.
#1 – Maximize daylight in your workspace
Did you know that mere exposure to sunlight is enough to raise your serotonin levels?
Serotonin is a chemical that your body naturally produces, making you feel calm, positive, and focused. These qualities then make you physically, mentally, and emotionally healthier.
So, to maximize your customers’ serotonin levels, we recommend maximizing the amount of sunlight you let into your workspace. If you’re a freelancer or a remote worker, you can maximize this effect by simply placing your working space near an existing window. However, if you’re a coworking space owner and can renovate your coworking space, installing larger windows and placing most working areas near them is the way to go.
Furthermore, if you want to take it up a notch, you can even install daylight LED lighting in your working space. LED lights mimic some of the effects of sunlight on the human body and are a good alternative when sunlight is unavailable.
Taking these steps will instantly improve the productivity, health, and creativity of the people using the space.
#2 – Use indoor plants
Research shows that the mere sight of a natural plant is enough to improve the mood and enhance the cognitive abilities of all people, regardless of their age and gender. In addition to this benefit, live plants also improve indoor air quality and give off a particular scent that makes the space more pleasurable.
So, if you want to harness all these benefits, you can put indoor plants in your working space.
Different plants have different effects, but here are some plants that would be best for a workspace:
- Fern and bamboo palms: These plants are good natural indoor humidifiers. So, use these plants if the air in your workspace is more on the dry side.
- English ivy and Chinese evergreen: These plants are good at filtering and purifying the air in indoor spaces. So, if you want to breathe cleaner air in your workspace, these plants are the best for you.
- Basil and lavender: These plants produce a distinct aroma that reduces stress and anxiety in people. So, using these plants can benefit high-stress areas like workplaces.
#3 – Avoid clutter at all costs
A clean and orderly environment is an ideal workplace as it minimizes distractions and lets people focus more on their jobs.
So, if you’re a remote employee working in a private office, we recommend having lots of storage and organization space to minimize clutter in your workspace.
However, if you’re a coworking space owner, we recommend simple and minimalist designs for your furniture and decorations to lessen visual clutter in the space. These design choices will help your customers be more focused and productive in their jobs and make it easier for them to keep their desks tidy.
#4 – Add variety to your workplace
Though we just said that minimalism and a clutter-less workplace would be good for workers, there is a thin line between a pristine environment and a boring one.
Too much orderliness can make your workspace feel cold and devoid of life. So, we recommend you add variety, like placing a painting on the wall or maybe even commissioning a mural if you’re a coworking space owner. Furthermore, adding indoor plants, as discussed earlier, can also add variety and color to the workspace.
It’s also important to consider what your target audience likes and dislikes. For example, you probably wouldn’t decorate your space in plain white with pictures of Mozart and Beethoven if most of your space’s members are centennial fintech developers working on the next big crypto app.
Just be sure to balance variety and orderliness. The space should feel calm yet exciting if done right, which would benefit the worker’s focus and creativity.
#5 – Consider your workplace acoustics
Lastly, you should also consider how sounds behave in your workspace. An office’s acoustics may either impede or aid in one’s relaxation. Too little noise in the office may be just as much of a distraction as too much. How you work and feel is affected by the sounds around you.
Investing in a sound system that suits your taste may be the way to go. Where you situate the speakers also significantly impacts your experience—placing them too close to the wall or the furniture, for example, may cause sound to bounce off those surfaces before it gets to your ears.
Place the speakers according to your taste. Also, consider the things you hang on your walls, the curtains you use for your windows, and if you would install a carpet on your floor—this goes a long way in controlling the sound’s reflectivity.
Having a working sound system in your room is helpful not just for playing music but also for providing innocuous ambient noise like rainfall or any other soothing sounds that you find relaxing.
The bottom line
It’s not always necessary for work to be mentally taxing and fraught with anxiety. Making even little changes to your routine and workplace may significantly impact your ability to maintain productivity and mental wellness.
These changes may seem negligible to most, but this greatly helps keep the balance that will keep you going indefinitely.
It is wise to make time for recreation and leisure during downtimes away from work. This way, you can keep up with the expansion of your career while maintaining a sound body and mind.
Despite popular belief, it is not necessary to put one’s well-being at risk to achieve success. Remember the advice we discussed earlier, and you will be good to go whether you’re a freelancer, remote worker, or coworking space owner.