How to be healthy, happy and more productive at work (and why they’re connected)

Want to be healthy, happy and more productive at work? Find out why they’re connected – and how you can enjoy your work day more. 

If you’re going to spend a sizable portion of your waking hours at work, then you need to make sure you’re in the healthiest state of mind possible, and that your workplace is a healthy, pleasant place to be.

By doing so, you won’t just feel better and happier, but your work performance will improve too.

Why happy workers are productive workers

Positive emotions don’t just allow us to feel good; they also influence our behaviour for the better. If you’re feeling happy, you’re not going to just hold that emotion inside – you’re going to let those feelings flow out in ways that are beneficial.

So, if you’re feeling happy at work, you’re going to convert that into energy in the form of productivity. Indeed, research shows that happy workers are as much as 12% more productive than their miserable colleagues.

Why? Maybe because it doesn’t feel like work to them. Instead they’re excited to embrace whatever challenges are put to them.

Five ways you can stay healthy at work

So how can you make sure you stay healthy and happy at work? A healthy lifestyle isn’t something that you can wish for – it requires discipline and determination. And it starts at home. Here are five things that will make a difference.

1) Get eight hours of sleep a night

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle at work, you need to have a healthy lifestyle outside of work too. This means you need to get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep each night will give your body the refueling it needs to ensure that you enter each day with a proper attitude.

2) Eat a healthy diet

You also need a healthy diet. Eating healthily won’t just give your body the nutrition it needs, but will help keep your hormones balanced. (The nutrition tips in the link may be aimed at menopausal women but they’re worth considering even if menopause is a way off for you yet.)

3) Get regular exercise

Exercise will help improve your heath and your mood. A light workout in the morning can help release endorphins to make you feel good in addition to helping your physical wellbeing.

4) Go without alcohol for two days a week

What you don’t do is just as important as what you do do. It’s best to avoid alcohol as much as possible the night before a work shift (it’s recommended that you give your body a break from alcohol for two or three consecutive days every week anyway).

5) Cut down on distractions

You should also reduce the distractions that surround you – when you’re at work, you should be focused on work. So keep your phone tucked away and focus on work-related websites and information until your projects are complete.

It’s easy to find yourself relying on distractions as a crutch, but they only end up as an impediment as they try to convince us that our work can wait. If you find your mind cluttered with thoughts, try this easy mindfulness exercise.

Why a clean and tidy workspace is important

Office cleanliness is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle at work. With so many people sharing the same space, it’s easy for germs to spread. So try to declutter your work desk regularly and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Clutter can also impact your peace of mind at work. So clear away anything that’s taking up room on your desk. You can also clear the clutter of your actual work and finish any projects or wrap up any professional loose ends.

By freeing your physical and mental space of clutter, you will be able to breathe easier and think much more clearly.

How to be the boss that cares

If you’re an employer, the wellbeing of your staff will be greatly influenced by your attitude towards them. And, while being friendly, approachable and encouraging are certainly important, they’re not the only tools you can use.

Each employee should be considered individually, so that they feel like they are getting the attention they deserve. Compliment them when they do good work, and tactfully give them constructive feedback if needed.

And if you have reason to believe an employee is struggling with issues, whether they’re related to work or not, ask them sensitively if they would like to talk, or need help.

Want to read more about nurturing a happy, loyal and productive team? These two articles go into much more detail:

If you’re healthy at work, you’ll be more happy

If you’re healthy, you’re more likely to be happy at work. Whether you’re the CEO of a company or an entry level employee, you’ll reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude.

So find ways to make your place of work a sanctuary where your mind and body are truly at peace – and you and your team are able to work productively and happily.

Caroline Bird is a freelance writer, writing in several areas of expertise including lifestyle, women, marketing, productivity, etc. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.