On our journey of building EcoSend here at GoSquared, we’ve been looking at ways of becoming a better business.
As part of our efforts, we recently held a virtual team wellness session initiated by Chris, who is our customer success lead.
It was pretty refreshing to have an open conversation about our health, whether that be our physical or mental health. After all, with long hours spent behind a screen, not to mention high stress at times working in tech, if you don’t take care of yourself, your health can soon suffer.
We want to share our learnings with you in today’s post, especially if like us you also work in the tech industry.
Here is a snippet of what we talked about as a team to inspire you to make some positive changes.
Productivity And Wellbeing Statistics
Probably the best place to start is to answer why wellness in the workplace even matters.
For far too long, the workplace has regarded ‘work’ and ‘health’ as two separate entities.
When in fact, many studies have shown there is a direct correlation between the two.
A report entitled ‘Employee Wellbeing Is Key for Workplace Productivity’ by Gallup found that $322 billion of lost productivity happens every year due to burnout. Despite this, less than 50% of US workers believe their organisation actually cares about their well-being.
Some other important stats related to well-being and the workplace include:
- 83% of US-based employees suffer from work-related stress – Stress.org
- 91% of people who feel stressed at work said that this negatively impacts their quality of work – Deloitte
- 7 out of 10 adults say that workplace stress negatively impacts their personal relationships – ADAA
- 12.8 million workdays are lost each year due to work-related stress and anxiety – HSE
- 41% of workers said stress made them less productive, and 15% admitted to looking for a new job due to stress – ColiniaLife
- Workplace stress is linked to 70% of visits to the doctor – StressManagementSociety
With all of the above leading to high employee turnover, low productivity and increased absenteeism – it couldn’t be more important for individuals and companies alike to instil better health-related practices.
Getting A General Checkup
Starting with the obvious – sometimes it’s good to know where you stand on the health front.
In our session, Chris mentioned the importance of getting a blood test every so often. This is especially the case if you’re feeling ‘off’, and can’t seem to get on top of the issue. If your doctor thinks a blood test is warranted, the results should tell you whether you have any obvious deficiencies.
For example, in the UK, we don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight between October and March, which is why the NHS recommends supplementation during this time.
A Vitamin D deficiency can cause symptoms such as:
- Poor sleep
- Low mood
- Getting sick more often
- Increased levels of pain
Now, if you think about your tech job – even one of these symptoms could limit your ability to perform at your best. This is before you add in all the other vitamin deficiencies that exist!
Beyond blood tests and nutritional deficiencies, it’s definitely worth checking in with a relevant professional if you have any physical or mental health concerns which don’t seem to be getting better.
Managing Excessive Screen Time
The thing about working in tech is that you see a lot of screens. In fact, you probably see more of a screen than you do your own family or friends at times.
So, you need to take steps to manage the mental and physical impact this can have on your mind and body.
Starting with eye health and screens, it’s recommended to follow the 20-20-20 rule. That is, every 20 minutes, you look at something 20ft away for 20 seconds. Known as ‘eye yoga’, this exercise developed by opticians is designed to reduce digital eye strain.
Experts also recommend limiting screen time in the evenings, to avoid disruptions to our circadian rhythm. Some even go as far as to suggest not using your phone as a morning alarm and replacing it with a traditional alarm clock instead.
In general, having a walk in fresh air is a good way to get away from screens. A walk can also break up the workday and help promote mental clarity when working on tasks.
Posture While Working On Computers, Tablets Or Phones
‘Sitting is the new smoking’ is the scary phrase associated with long hours working on a computer. In short, our bodies were designed to move, not be chained to a desk all day. This is somewhat of a problem in tech jobs or even office-based jobs in general.
Working on a computer, particularly for long hours without a break or with a poor ergonomic setup can cause various musculoskeletal issues. Ailments can include back and neck pain, and even carpal tunnel in the wrists. Our circulation and general health may also not be as good due to a lack of movement during the day.
Another concern is forward head posture – this is when we crane our necks forward to text or look at computer monitors. For every inch our head creeps forward, this can add an additional 10lbs of weight onto the spine. Neck pain and headaches can soon follow, according to physiotherapists.
Some solutions are to ensure your desk has an ergonomic setup. Frequent breaks, stretching and pilates can also contribute towards better spine health.
If in doubt, getting a postural analysis or speaking to a physiotherapist can help diagnose and address any work setup related issues.
Ending The Taboo Of Talking About Mental Health
Did you know it’s estimated that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue in a typical year?
Mental health issues can arise for many reasons. Though it’s fair to say that we’re even worse at talking about mental health than we are at our physical health – especially in the workplace.
In our session, just acknowledging mental health as a concept felt very refreshing. Although our EcoSend podcast is based around the climate and our efforts as a business, it’s clear that the format of talking, in general, is a helpful strategy in so many avenues of life. By talking, you’re not just opening up the conversation in your workplace, but for your wider audience.
In a very British fashion, our team here at GoSquared meet at least once a week over Slack for a cup of tea. It’s small steps like that which keep us connected as a company, and as individuals.
Ultimately, progress can only be made when we all get more comfortable with the idea of talking.
Not Being Afraid To Deactivate Social Media Accounts
Infinite scroll coupled with what is an unedited resource isn’t always a great mix.
Sometimes, if not often, you will come across content on social media which doesn’t have a positive impact on your mental well-being.
The natural instinct to check our phones as soon as we wake up is a good example. Within seconds, we may have read negative headlines, or even received a stressful email. Dr Chatterjee likens this to accumulating micro stressors throughout the day. He highlights how this can have an impact on our work and home life, as the stress gradually builds up.
So as well as taking a break from social media, deactivating the most triggering apps can also be very beneficial. With browsing social media being one of the top ways people procrastinate, removing these distractions can also be the key to improving focus and productivity.
Want To Find Out More About EcoSend?
The conversation on well-being working in tech is only just getting started. We hope you’ll share any of your own health and wellness tips in the comments below – especially if you also work in the tech industry!
In the meantime, we’d like to draw your attention to EcoSend, which is our new climate-conscious email marketing tool.
If you do any kind of email marketing, then why not make it sustainable? It’s one such way to become a better business, in addition to ensuring well-being in the workplace.
Our systems run on renewable energy, and we’ll plant trees on your behalf just for using us. To get started, select your EcoSend package. Our plans start from free, and we can cater from smaller lists to over 100,000 contacts.
If you have any questions about EcoSend, please drop us a message and we’ll get back to you.