Archives for posts with tag: health and wellness

work-2005640_1920

More than eight out of ten Americans report being stressed out about their jobs for one reason or another.  And then there is the added stress that is inherent in our personal lives. Stress can lead to physical harm as severe as heart disease or diabetes, so it’s important that we learn how to keep it in check—especially in the office. Everyone has their own way of managing stress, but if you find yourself struggling, take a look at some of the ideas below on how to introduce some restoration and relaxation into your daily routine.

1. Yoga

It’s not just for soccer moms and spiritual soul searchers – yoga refocuses the mind, activates the central nervous system, and improves digestion (among other benefits), while being a great workout, to boot. Do a quick Google search for yoga studios around your area to find one that has a class that will cater to what you’re looking for. If you just want an hour all to yourself where you can focus on your breathing and tune out the rest of the world, maybe try a relax and restore class. If it’s harder for you to shut off your brain, go for something that will challenge you physically to allow you to block out external factors, like a Vinyasa flow or a heated power class. (And if you prefer, there are some great yoga instructors on YouTube for you to try in the privacy of your own home.) Regardless of what you choose, there’s guaranteed to be something that will float your boat and give you that escape you need to destress.

2. Deep Breathing

Taking a page out of yoga’s book, deep breathing is one of the quintessential stress management techniques. Since stress raises our heart rate and puts additional strain on the heart and nervous system, it’s important to make sure we can regulate that heart rate when the pressure really starts to kick in. The next time you’re battling a tight deadline at work or need to manage a high conflict situation, take thirty seconds to do some deep breathing exercises. Inhale for a count of five, and then exhale for that same five count. Or, imagine your torso is a glass of water—your inhale fills the glass from the bottom (your lower stomach) all the way to the top (the top of your chest). The exhale empties it. Even after just a few breaths you’ll notice your heart rate starting to slow, reestablishing a sense of ease and calm.

3. Stay Present

If you’re anything like me, part of the reason you’re stressed is because there are so many things going on in your life. You’ve got twenty things to juggle at one time for work, ten different social media outlets that you follow in your spare time, friends and family to spend time with, household chores—the list goes on and on. That leads to a lot of multi-tasking, which I could argue creates some of the stress we feel every day. Harvard conducted a study in 2010 that showed people spend 46.9% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they are doing, and that this generally makes them unhappy. A wandering mind is not a happy mind, nor is it the most productive. Staying present not only allows you to devote your entire self to any activity, but it also prevents quick trigger reactions that could have negative results. So when you find yourself in a high-stress situation, take a step back, analyze the situation, do some deep breathing for a minute or two, and then react. You’ll probably find yourself making much more calm and calculated decisions as a result.

These are just a handful of ways to easily introduce a little more relaxation into your daily life, and there are countless others that do the trick just as well—maybe better! Let us know how you manage stress in your life in the comments.

Workplace Wellness.jpg

Being healthy in the workplace can be challenging, especially when you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s easy to take small steps to becoming more active in the office and motivate not only yourself, but your coworkers as well – creating a more positive work environment.

Do it Together

Teaming up with the people around you can be a great way to stay motivated. Schedule a walking meeting and chat with a team member while you take a lap around the building. Request that healthy substitutes be added to your vending machines. Join a fitness class with your coworkers or inquire about any gym membership perks or fitness classes offered through your company. For example, The HON Company is now offering a free Dance Fitness class for members in the evening and uses space in one of the manufacturing facilities to host the class.

Skip the Snacks

Pink sprinkles, smooth frosting, fluffy filling, sugary dough. The aroma of a freshly baked donut seems to have drifted past your desk. It’s not unusual for HON members to celebrate a birthday or a team success with yummy treats around the office.  It is okay to give in once in a while, but in moderation. It’s always a good idea to keep healthy snacks, such as granola bars, fruit or nuts, close at hand in your overhead storage or HON pedestal for when you’re feeling tempted. When you eat these nutrient-packed foods instead, you’ll stay full longer and find it easier to turn down the sweets.

Come Prepared

We are all allowed to treat ourselves to the occasional lunch out with coworkers, but waking up 10 minutes early to put together a healthy lunch and/or eat a healthy breakfast in the morning is another great way to help you avoid snacking throughout the day. To keep yourself healthy and focused during work hours, it’s also important to stay hydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended amount of water intake is about 3 liters (13 cups) for men and 2.2 liters (9 cups) for women per day. Bring your favorite water bottle or mug and keep it at your workstation to remind you to keep drinking throughout the day. Before you know it, you won’t even realize you’re grabbing for it!

Mix Up Your Office Furniture

workplace wellness 3.png

The right office furniture can also create a healthier work environment. From a variety of seating solutions and standing-height desks to collaborative lounge furniture, HON has products that encourage workers to get up and move around the office as they transition between different work spaces. The way your space is designed matters, too. The right layout can motivate us to be more active, even if we just make the conscious choice to walk over and talk to someone instead of sending an email.

What are your tips and tricks for a healthier workplace?

Boosting employee morale

With the influx of Millennials coming into the workforce, companies are having to look at more creative ways to attract and retain new candidates. A quick search for articles on Millennials in the workplace will return thousands of hits on everything from generational gaps, motivational tips, how to work with Millennials, and ways to keep new talent. Below are 5 tips that will not only boost attention from Millennial candidates, but also help improve morale for your existing workforce:

  1. Recognition and Responsibility

Recognizing those who contribute to the overall benefit of the company provides the feeling of accomplishment that almost every employee desires. Whether it’s a process change, customer feedback, a new account, or personal achievement, giving recognition for a job well done is one of the easiest changes management can make to increase energy levels in the office.

Not only is the new workforce motivated by recognition, but also by responsibility. Across generations, employees want to feel like they are contributing to something greater and want to see that they have a real impact on change. For employees who prove themselves, adding additional responsibilities can not only have a positive impact on their performance, but also inspire them to contribute new innovative ideas.

  1. Fun Fridays

There are many different ideas for a fun Friday in the office, but the main point is to give employees something to look forward to throughout the work week. Companies across the country have developed different versions of Friday afternoon fun ranging from casual days, cooking classes, employee outings, or games. The most important thing to consider when planning these events is to make it consistent, ask for employee recommendations, and make it something everyone can participate in.

  1. Coffee, Juice, & Water

These three items are quite possibly what motivate me the most. I look forward to having a good cup of coffee in the morning followed by fresh juice and water throughout the day. People are becoming more and more health conscious, so many new workers are not impressed with the junk food and soda pop offered in vending machines. What better way to show you care about your employees’ wellbeing than to offer healthy options as a perk to working with your company? Yes, even coffee has some health benefits.

  1. Bring Home to the Office

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to install “napping” pods, but consider the overall environment in your office. Is there enough natural light? Do employees have the option to bring their pets to work? Have you incorporated comfortable, inviting touch down spaces into your design? Even a little color throughout the office, whether through pictures, rugs, wall coverings, or panels could help bring new-found energy to the workplace.

  1. Give Back and Celebrate Local Businesses

My last tip is a little outside the box, but one of my favorites. New and veteran employees can all appreciate wanting to support local businesses, especially if your company is also a local business. Why not bring those businesses to your office? Once a month or quarter have a day which showcases a local business or multiple businesses by setting up a “shop” in your conference room. During the summer months, offer a farmer’s market in the parking lot where employees can shop during their lunch break. HON recently participated in a business day for local middle school students in Muscatine to come and learn about manufacturing, providing an opportunity to tour our buildings and learn about an industry they might not otherwise have exposure to. This is just one of the many ways HON likes to give back to and take pride in its community.

What are some of the perks that you especially enjoy at your office?

If you’ve ever had any training in ergonomics, you probably know that one advantage of having an ergonomically-designed workspace is employee retention. An ergonomic workspace designed to promote wellness can help employees feel valued by management, increase their sense of worth and improve productivity. With HON, you can create healthier workspaces without sacrificing design. Take a look at the environment ideas below to see how you can create an office that is both functional and fashionable:

1. Keep Ergonomics in Mind While Maximizing the Office Footprint

Commercial real estate square footage is valuable, but just because you’re trying to save space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice ergonomics or looks—check out this great semi-private office setup that uses Voi® modular desks and the Ceres® task chair:

Maximize your office footprint with ergonomic solutions from HON

Without wasting any office footprint, this configuration empowers two individuals to choose between a sitting or standing height work position throughout the day. The Ceres task chair has been designed to reduce pressure on the backs of the legs and evenly distribute weight for proper support.

2. Make the Workspace Employee-Friendly

Sometimes leaving your bed in the morning is hard, and having to go into an office that isn’t visually inviting doesn’t make that task any easier. Help alleviate some of that difficulty by using elements like HON’s recently expanded active storage line – Contain®.

Make your workplace employee-friendly with HON

As offices continue to shift away from archival storage there’s a greater need for active storage that employees can use for more personal items. Contain is a perfect fit for those needs. Pair it with Voi, the Ceres task chair and some Flock® modular lounge seating and you’ve got a work area that has enough privacy to allow work to be completed, but is also a warm and inviting space where employees will want to spend their time.

3. Create an Office that Adapts to New Work Styles

Long gone are the days of individuals working heads-down in a cubicle for 8 hours—with the rise of the millennial generation, the way that people get work done is changing just as quickly as the age bracket of employees. There is an increased focus on collaboration in today’s office design that can be addressed by using products that cater to impromptu meetings, are technologically powered, and also provide a place to get away from your desk for a change of pace and to refresh your mind. Accommodate™ and Arrange™, HON’s newest seating and table lines, support an active and collaborative work style.

Use versatile office furniture to create functional workspaces

While providing a coordinated design aesthetic that could be utilized in any part of an office, these complementary product lines are versatile in their functionality as well. Use them in a café space that could also become an impromptu conference room, a break room where employees can have a midday snack and charge their phones, or pair with Flock for more of a booth-style solution.

The number of ways to style a workspace are endless, but one thing is certain: there’s no reason why an office can’t be both efficient and enjoyable.

What are your favorite new trends in office furniture and workplace design?

Today’s workers are more mobile than ever before, and it’s easy to get distracted from your workplace wellness priorities when you’re constantly moving between different work environments. From investing in ergonomic furniture to choosing healthier food options, here are some great ways to keep on top of your health in the busy office!

Staying Active

You might really love Cross-Fit, while I’m a huge yoga fan. As long as you’re getting in at least 3 decent workouts a week, you’ll be doing your body some good and ensuring you have the energy needed to be productive in the office. Here’s what the American Heart Association recommends:

  • At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 times per week for a total of 150

OR

  • At least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity

AND

  • Moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits
  • For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week

That’s all well and good, but what about when you’re not exercising or sleeping—the other 15.5 hours of your day? Don’t forget about proper posture and ergonomics, because those are just as important for keeping your body in tune (and pain-free) while you work as working out regularly can be.

  • When seated, ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy posture: Keep your feet on the ground, your back supported with back of your chair, and make sure your feet, legs and arms are well supported. Also make sure that your neck and shoulders remain relaxed and supported.  Posture is important for blood flow and overall comfort throughout the day.
HON's ergonomics tips

Slide designed for HON Training2Go

“Remember to change your postures frequently and avoid sedentary behaviors by adjusting positions, standing and walking periodically throughout the day, recommends HNI’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Manager, Lauren Gant, PhD, CPE.

Drink like a fish.

Are you drinking enough water? Want an easy way to make sure you are? Give Plant Nanny a try.

Use the Plant Nanny App to stay hydrated

Plant Nanny may sound (and look) like something that is meant for your 10 year old niece, but it’s a fun way to keep you adequately hydrated. You can personalize your account to determine how much water per day you truly need, and then the app sends you reminders throughout the day if you haven’t logged your intake. It’s incredibly helpful, especially when you’re busy.

Some other tips to help you get enough water throughout the day:

  • Start your day with some herbal tea or warm water with lemon to fire up your digestive system.
  • Throw a few spare water bottles in the car for when you’re stuck in traffic or just forget your regular bottle.
  • Keep a HON mug or water bottle visible at your desk so you remember to sip throughout the day.

Eating Right

Lacking your nutrition? There’s an app for that. My go-to is MyFitnessPal, because it’s great regardless of whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain, or just make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.

Use MyFitnessPal to stay healthy in the office

If you don’t have time to track every single thing you’re eating, that’s okay, too.

  • Bring healthy snacks with you every day so that you aren’t tempted by the candy bar you’ve been hiding in the back of your desk drawer when mid-day hunger strikes.
  • Eat the cake that was ordered in for Mary Sue’s birthday (in moderation). Forbidding yourself from having any treats can lead to binges or overall poor eating habits. So have a slice of birthday cake (just ask for a smaller piece) and have some extra vegetables with dinner instead of that baked potato to balance it out.
  • Start with salad (or carrots, or spinach, or celery). Not only does this help make you feel fuller faster, but the fiber in veggies like these help coat your stomach to optimize your digestive enzymes and make it easier for your body to process your dinner.

You may have heard these recommendations before, or you may not have. Either way, I hope that they help you stay on track with your own health and wellness goals, whatever they may be.

What else do you do to stay healthy in your office?

Stress Less in the office with these 4 tips from HON

No matter how much you love what you do, sometimes you can’t avoid the occasional stress that comes with responsibilities in the office, and this can affect productivity. Whether you’re preparing for a big presentation or product launch, addressing a customer service request or just facing an unusually heavy workload, we all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. Instead of letting these stressors get to you or waiting until you get home to unwind, here are 4 easy ways to take a few minutes at your desk or workstation to relieve the tension:

  1. One of the best cures for stress is to just get up and walk away from your workspace for a few minutes. Taking a step back from the task at hand and allowing yourself to take a mental break can work wonders. Clear your mind and lose yourself in a short magazine article, or walk to the breakroom and grab some water. Take a few deep breathes and you’ll be ready to get back to work.
  2. I personally am really into scents and a small trick that helps me relieve stress is the smell of lavender. You can easily incorporate this into your daily routine with lavender hand lotion, or my favorite, lavender lip balm, and the fragrance is known to cure tension. I like to always keep some Lubriderm’s Shea + Calming Lavender Jasmine lotion on hand in my easy-to-access Contain® storage pedestal!
  3. Another favorite stress-reducing tip is to sip on some mint tea. Not only is this supposed to help relieve stress, but mint tea is also great for your skin! While you drink your tea, find a relaxing playlist on Pandora or Spotify and get yourself into a stress-free zone so that you can perform to your maximum potential.
  4. Last, but definitely not least, I recommend trying acupressure. For example, there is a spot on your hand between your thumb and index finger called the “web”. If you massage this area it should help to calm your nerves. Looking for some other acupressure points to try out? Check these out.

I hope that these tips come in handy next time you’re facing the occasional workplace stress. Grab your lavender lotion, mint tea, and favorite playlist and let your troubles subside so that you can achieve your career goals!

The speed of business in today’s world is rapid and the amount of data available to companies makes the work load even larger and more competitive. Cell phones, tablets and laptops allow us to plug-in and connect with colleagues and clients at any moment of the day.  However, it’s important to remember that a proper work-life balance keeps you and your employees engaged and healthy.

According to a recent Forbes article, Americans let an average of 429 million vacation days expire each year. We often wait for the office to “slow down” before we can feel comfortable taking time off, but unfortunately, time passes and that vacation never gets scheduled.  The article outlines the following three reasons why it’s important to use vacation days:

Improve Your Health
The best things about vacation are sleeping without an alarm clock, engaging in physical activities, and letting your mind rest to decrease stress levels.  Employees who take a break from the office tend to be more productive and produce higher quality work.

Tips for a healthy work-life balance

View from Kalalau Trail on Kauai Island, Hawaii

Become A More Well-Rounded Employee
We are often so busy wrapped up in our own daily life and work that we forget we sometimes make mountains out of molehills. Visiting other areas of the world and learning about different cultures allows us to examine things on a larger scale and appreciate others and their feelings.  This renewed sense of purpose can refresh and reenergize you.

Tips for a healthy work-life balance

Tian Tan Budda on Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Restore Your Passion
Taking a break from your daily routine can bring back your enthusiasm and make you a better co-worker and manager. Your ability to produce new ideas and look at tasks with a fresh set of eyes will drive an increase in your performance.

Tips for a healthy work-life balance

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

%d bloggers like this: