New Year Work & Life Hacks

by

(backed by science!)

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WORKOUT DURING YOUR WORKDAY

If you usually hit the gym after work, it could be better to reschedule. A study by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management shows that people who enjoyed a workout before going to work or exercised during lunch breaks were better equipped to handle professional challenges.

 

IMPROVE OFFICE AIR QUALITY 

New research by a team from Harvard, Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate found that improving indoor air quality can dramatically improve workers’ cognitive functioning, including “crisis response, strategy and information usage.” The worst offenders were chemicals found in paints, furniture and flooring. On top of this, workers’ cognitive functions started to suffer when carbon dioxide levels were too high.

 

HAVE A PET-FRIENDLY POLICY 

A 2012 study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who spent time with dogs in the workplace reported feeling less stressed than employees who have dogs but left them at home. The study also found that pets triggered workplace interactions that would not normally take place, as a four-legged friend gave people something to chat about.

 

TALK TO A STRANGER 

Research by Elizabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, found that when we approach strangers with kindness we tend to be happier and less moody with people we know too (whether that’s friends, partners or colleagues). “Human beings are really built for social interaction,” she says. “What’s surprising and novel about our recent findings is that we can get remarkably similar benefits from interacting with people we don’t know so well.”

 

TAKE A DIFFERENT PATH 

In her TED talk, titled ‘Happy Maps’, scientist and engineer Daniele Quercia from Yahoo! Labs in Barcelona discusses the benefits of walking or driving an unusual route, whether it’s to work or any location. Instead of choosing the quickest way, take a “beautiful path” or pass by a place that holds a happy memory for you. “Walk the path through the park, not through the car park,” he says. “Walk the path full of people you love and not full of cars.”

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