Author Archives: varnmedia

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Why sleep is key to a good performance at work

Having a good understanding of sleep and how to get it in the right amounts is crucial to a good performance at work. Sleep is very important when it comes to regulating our emotions, our ability to develop new memories, and our overall well-being. Whilst we all understand the importance of sleep it is often difficult to get enough of it. 

Today we take a look at what you can do to improve the results of your sleep and look at how it can increase your performance when at work.

Sleep improves cognitive function at work

Having good cognitive skills at work is very important, no matter whether you are a knowledge worker or a more manual operator. Sleep helps improve cognitive skills by giving your brain the rest it needs at the end of the day. It also helps to boost your memory and increase mental performance.

Sleep helps improve mood and mental health

In addition to the increased cognitive function, sleep is also very good when it comes to regulating your mood both within and outside of the workplace. Sleep helps give us the rest needed to increase our mental and physical wellbeing.

Good sleep can help boost your immune system

Our final great effect of sleep is the benefit it has for your immune system. Sleep has been shown to increase the strength of your immune system which is crucial when it comes to fighting off bugs and viruses. This also increases your overall well-being which can only be good for performance at work and your mental health.

How do I get better sleep?

When it comes to getting better quality sleep there are a number of different areas that you can look at. Naturally going to bed at a sensible time and getting up at the same time will help to sync your circadian rhythm and increase the ease at which you can fall asleep. Beyond that the tips below will help you improve your shut-eye:

  • Spend time outdoors during daylight
  • Stay hydrated during the day, reduce liquid intake in the evening
  • Make the bedroom a haven, don’t work, exercise or eat in the room where you sleep.
  • In the hours before sleep wind down with dimmed lights, a warm bath, reading a book
  • Avoid alcohol, electronics, heavy meals, work and conflict in the hours before bed
  • Go to bed at a time that enables you to wake naturally without an alarm in the morning
  • Invest in comfortable nightwear, linen and a good mattress
Team Motivation is key to success

How to develop and train your team in 2020 and beyond

 

With more and more teams putting a bigger emphasis on remote working there is a danger that with the reduced human contact in the workplace there could be a detrimental effect on mentoring and leadership development in teams. This has to some extent been mitigated by increased video conferencing and digital team building activities, but you may have found your internal training and development of your team has deteriorated as you have spent more time on cash-generating activities for your business. 

Whilst you should prioritise your business’s ability to function above all else, ignoring training and development for too long can have big consequences. Your team may become stagnant, not questioning current or seeking out better methods of working and they may start to feel that the organisation has stopped investing in them as professionals and people.

This month’s article shows you how you can train your team digitally in 2020 and in the coming years. 

Encourage workers to seek out online courses and pay for them

With many companies going digital there are a lot more online courses available for employees. Seek these out, and encourage your employees to do so too. They can be a great way to increase technical knowledge and your employees in many cases will be able to learn at their own pace. 

 

Make time for digital training workshops

Digital training programmes are still out there and sometimes group participation can increase the overall effectiveness of the training for all workers involved. These digital training workshops can be conducted over conference calls and can be a great way for your team to meet up with a direct reason for the meeting. 

 

Book in time for employees to attend digital conferences

One great way to increase training and networking opportunities amongst employees is by sending them to industry specific conferences. These provide digital learning opportunities in the form of workshops and lectures and some also provide opportunities for networking and connection. 

Use a method of learning methods to hammer home the message

When it comes to finding the right learning methods you need to consider the fact that different people learn better in different ways. Some would prefer more synchronous learning, where all people are participating in the activity together. This can come in the form of digital workshops with an instructor or group learning activities over conference calls. 

Another form of learning could be asynchronous, with access to online courses and video-based training. Whilst less immersive, this type of development is flexible and can be a great way to provide employees with productive activities to do when they are finding themselves less busy at work. 

 

Get your employees input on what works best

When it comes to giving the appropriate training to employees, you should avoid imposing outcomes on them as much as possible. Research shows that if people are involved in the decision-making process, it improves the uptake and their enthusiasm for learning. Get your employee’s input on what they want in terms of training and development and you will be off to a winning start. 

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The benefits of outdoor activity for your team and business

When you are trying to build a successful team, getting them in the best physical and mental state often makes your role as a team coordinator much easier. There are a variety of different ways that you can do this from encouraging exercise to developing new well-being drives to improve diet and sleep.

One of the best ways that you can help keep your team’s well-being in check is through outside activity. In today’s article, we have a look at the positive effect that spending time in the great outdoors can have on your team’s mental and physical health. 

Moderate outdoor activity increases overall fitness

Firstly, there are some pretty obvious benefits to getting outside more and getting more exercise. If your team is in better shape physically this will often benefit their mental state of mind within and outside of the office. Many individuals found through lockdown the great benefits of taking walks outside, even short ones.

Increased mental health and well-being

Keeping employees happy and healthy can be a challenge, particularly in a high-stress environment. Encouraging workers to take breaks and spend more time outside when they are at work and at home has been shown to increase mental well-being. There are benefits to spending time in the fresh air and sun and the moderate activity that you get when walking outside can often increase endorphins and help you decompress after a stressful day of work.

Outdoor activities have been shown to increase productivity

One of the main forms of encouragement businesses offered to their staff during lockdown was to take walks and exercise outside. This is great for mental and physical health which in turn makes it good for the productivity of your team. If team members are happy and healthy, they are often more productive when it comes down to doing the work.

Try and find a balanced holistic approach for getting workers healthy

Whilst outdoor activity is a great place to start it needs to be part of an intelligent and holistic strategy for managing well-being in the workplace. If you can get workers spending more time outside in their spare time it will often make managing them in a team much easier. Feel free to get in touch if you want to go through any further tips on how to optimise your team’s performance and find out about our great team-building events. 

 

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Top benefits of introducing team building activities into your business

Team building is often something that is an afterthought and is viewed negatively amongst some teams. However, it does actually positively impact both employers and employees within an organisation. In this blog, we take a look at some of the benefits of taking part in team building activities.

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5 top tips to improve virtual team building

Whilst some businesses start to get back to normal and let people return to the office, there is still a large majority which are continuing to work from home. As we turn to a bigger virtual presence in work life and our everyday lives we’re redefining culture, both personally and professionally.

With this comes a change in attitude to how teams communicate, and how we do team building. Right now, team building is something that doesn’t seem to be working for many businesses be that due to time or general logistics. However, we’ve got some top tips for how you can improve your virtual team building to give your team the boost you need!

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How to continue team building from a distance

With working from home being the new normal for many office workers, it is now more important than ever to ensure employees are remaining engaged and are communicating with each other.

Managers must work to input appropriate measures to keep team morale up and to keep everyone happy and productive all at the same time. This is no easy task, but we’ve got some ideas for how you can virtually team build with your team.

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How to be a good remote leader during a pandemic

During an uncertain and difficult time for many businesses and individuals, there has never been a more crucial time or need for strong leaders.

With the rise of remote working and a change in routine, many leaders are now stepping into unchartered territory which they must navigate in order to drive their team forward. When it comes to virtual management, one size does not fit all and so we must adapt to support workers in the right way.

Here are some quick wins to get you started and to help you be a strong leader.

Identify employees that may need additional support

Every business is full of different personality and working types, so through lockdown and self-isolation, it is time for you as a leader to identify those employees and personality groups that may need some support.

Whilst you should check in on all staff members regularly, some employees are more prone to burnout, distraction or high-stress than others. Work-life conflict will be at an all-time high during lockdown situations, so helping your employees to separate the two is important.

In some cases, to allow employees to switch off from their regular workload you might consider offering access to online courses as well as therapy sessions or peer mentoring.

Be aware of the fear of change

Some people prefer stability, and this is a fact. Some people even thrive on it and the consistency it brings with it. As a result, the fear of change is is a very real thing and something that you should be conscious of.

At times like these, the uncertainty of the unknown being combined with a change in routine can really set people off.  To counter this, try to keep your team constantly in the loop and express how working from home is benefiting employees and the business as a whole.

Communication is key at all levels

As we move further into lockdown, people are going to start getting a bit fidgety and missing the human connection that you get when you are in the office. This is particularly the case for those that are extroverts and crave human attention and communication.

During this time, it’s important for you as a leader to stress the importance of communication between employees regardless of what position they hold. Encourage team lunches, chatting over coffee and regular meetings over video conference.

Whilst this doesn’t quite make up for the real thing, having informal chats as well as formal meetings where you can see people’s faces will make all the difference to everyone’s morale. Seeing another friendly face can help people get through the day and feel a little less alone or isolated.

In the meantime, why not have a think about some fun team activities that you can get up to once the pandemic has passed us by. You can find out more on our Team Building Events page.

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Breaking the ice: successfully integrating a new employee

If your company has recruited a new employee, it can be difficult to welcome them into the team without introducing them to each member of staff one by one. A great way to make them feel welcomed is to arrange a team building event. By doing this, everyone can have fun and get to know the new member of the team without being obliged to sit in a circle and awkwardly slur a sentence about themselves.

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Why You Should Try Something New

In business, it’s common for people to stick with tried and tested methods, or follow certain processes. Often, they don’t do this because it is the most efficient way; but because historically that is just how things have been done.

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