Work De-Stressors

2014-10-01

If you're a business owner in New York, allowing employees to take a smart phone break during work hours probably sounds like a pretty lousy idea. But a recent study suggests that doing just that might actually be good for morale and productivity, too.

According to Pew Research, over 90 percent of American adults use cell phones, and nearly 60 percent of those are smart phones. Not surprisingly, most smart phone owners primarily use their devices to check news and social media sites or take photos rather than make calls. What is surprising is that allowing employees to get to the next level on Candy Crush during the workweek might not be so detrimental to your bottom line. Researchers at Kansas State University found that, on average, adults only use their smart phones for about 22 minutes per workday. They also found that employees who were allowed to openly use their smart phones to take non-work related "micro-breaks" during the day rated their well-being at the end of the day more highly than their peers.

Here are some additional ways to de-stress at work:

Have a snack: Avoid the break room donuts and enjoy some nuts or a piece of fruit mid-morning or when you start to feel that afternoon slump. A well-chosen snack will give you steady energy to carry you until lunch or quitting-time, and give you a few minutes to rest your brain and body as well.

Laugh it up: We've always known that laughter is good for the soul, but now we know it has a positive impact on our organs, stress-levels, moods, and immune systems, too. After dealing with a difficult client, stop by your favorite co-worker's office and share your latest funny story. But stick with the PG version at work!

Stretch it out: A short walk or stretch break will actually help you to get a task done more quickly, plus it can reduce the risk of injury or ongoing discomfort.

Breathe: It's well documented that deep breathing can benefit us in many ways, and you don't need an extra hour of free time to reap those benefits. Taking even 30 seconds to close your eyes and take a few long, deep breaths can help you stay calm and focused, and it might even save you from sending an email that you might later regret.

Express gratitude: It's been documented that saying thank you makes us feel better about ourselves. If you need a mental lift, find that work friend who let you have a meltdown in her office last week, thank her for her compassion and understanding, and go back to the grind feeling just a little bit lighter.

Take advantage of perks: Does your company offer a wellness program or other health-related perks? They may have something to gain by offering them, but you've got nothing to lose by taking your employer up on programs that will benefit you both short- and long-term. In fact, some companies even offer financial incentives, such as reduced insurance rates, just for getting an annual physical or tracking your exercise.

For any questions about business insurance, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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