Proven fact: mowing the lawn can make you focus on what matter and increase productivity.
Well, maybe the research might not point to mowing the lawn exactly but activities that have nothing to do with work help ease your mind, get it off of work and manage stress levels (see Weinberg, Sutherland & Cooper, 2010) . It is perhaps when you’re away from the desk that the best creative ideas come. Like when you’re taking a shower, that epiphany-soaked shower (pun anyone?).
I recently bought a riding lawn mower. Living the Southeast of the US (Georgia), there is a lot of yard work to be done. I got tired of pushing the push-mower for hours in a row. Well, in reality, I just thought riding a riding mower would be fun. Surprise: indeed!
Aside from hobbies and mindless work, fitness programs and exercises should also be seen as a priority at the workplace, as a way to increase productivity, decrease illness-related absenteeism, diminish the effects of stress on employees, along with several other benefits (Theobald, & Cooper, 2011). Working remotely, I have to say it is a challenge to stay focused on fitness and wellness.
It feels good to say I work at a company that gets it. At SuccessFactors not only do leaders invest in performance management, learning and development, but they seek innovative ways to increase employee happiness and productivity such as the Keas gamified fitness program that has employees cooperate and compete in teams for points, badges, and goods for completing fitness and wellness-related tasks at the office, gym, at home, or wherever they may be. Not only is the program a good example of (simple behavioral) game mechanics applied to the workplace, but it is also a great way to have remote employees bond outside of work.
We need to see learners as whole human beings, not just “students”. Their wellness and health matters. It can make or break a learner’s disposition to learn and apply what they learned. It can influence employee productivity.
Now, let me go back to my weekend. Take the previously mentioned (and much needed, especially after yard work) shower, and can think of not only one but several creative (I’ll let my boss be the judge of that) ideas for work this week.
PS.: Ironically, I guess this week the mindless tasks involved in yard work didn’t help with keeping my mind off of work, writing, tweeting while on the lawn mower… I’ll try again next week…
Theobald, T., & Cooper, C. (2011). Doing the right thing: the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Weinberg, A., Sutherland, V.J., Cooper, C.L. (2010). Organizational stress management. Palgrave MacMillan.