Leaving our troubles at the door is a deep-seated mantra in the workplace.
There are good reasons for this of course, we know that our state of mind can have a direct impact on our work. However, like so many things in life, it is often easier said than done. Humans are not automatons, able to switch off from one thing to focus on another.
Increasingly, as the importance of wellbeing and mental health becomes better recognised in the workplace, employers are more interested in how our lives outside the office impact on the way we work.
Recently P GKorezis et al published research in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, which looked at the impact of employee’s football team’s weekend success or failure on how they approached work during the following week.
The diary-based study analysed 41 male public sector workers, all of whom were football fans. They supported a wide range of teams, from large national teams to smaller regional ones.
On Monday afternoons, participants gave feedback on their team’s big match day performance the previous Sunday. They also reported their mood during Monday at work, using words like upset, alert, jittery, excited, irritable or inspired. The participants were also asked to note how they felt these feelings impacted on their work performance, if at all, and they were clear that they did.
The study found a direct correlation between their team’s performance on the Sunday and negative feelings the following Monday.
“When football fans are dissatisfied with the performance of their team, they experience negative affect that makes them less engaged in their work, which, in turn, results in lower performance,” the researchers said.
The results of the study bore out the expectations of the researchers. However, what was interesting is that a team’s good performance, did not seem to create a positive mood on Monday. Although there was a clear link between bad performance of a fan’s team and poorer workplace performance on the following Monday, the same correlation could not be found between the success of a team and an increase in positive emotions.
The researchers suggest a few explanations for why this is the case. Positive emotions tend to be more short lived than negative ones. It is also easier to control positive emotions than it is to ignore negative thoughts. In the military environment that the participants came from, it may be more beneficial to be subdued or calm than to be excited and buoyant, so they may subconsciously compartmentalize those positive emotions more than the negative ones.
Employees who are passionate about football, or other sporting events, should take time to ‘reattach’ to work on Monday morning after a bad sporting weekend. This should minimise a little of the impact of negative emotion following poor team performance.
Gkorezi and his team advise managers to consider the potential impact of football disappointment on employees’ performance. It may not be the best time to embark on projects or duties which require high engagement or focus.
From 8th November 2016 Seminars for those responsible for health and safety within their business
A half day seminar that gives health, safety and environmental co-ordinators, managers and directors everything you need to know to keep your business compliant and up to date with the latest trends and key issues across health, safety and environment.
We cover key legislative developments and updates to industry standards and guidance – all with a focus on the practical implications to your business, so you know what to do and how to prepare.
The briefings also cover key topical issues with a review of recent prosecutions and a ‘hot topic’ where we focus on best practice and discuss common challenges of the industry.
Who should attend?
Health, safety and environmental co-ordinators, Managers and directors and those responsible for these areas within their business
10 May 2016 through to 24 November 2016, 9:00am start and 12:30pm finish, multiple locations across England.
Dates and Locations for 2016
8 November 2016 Hook
9 November 2016 Cambridge
10 November 2016 Birmingham
14 November 2016 Warrington
15 November 2016 Sheffield
16 November 2016 Gateshead
17 November 2016 Bristol
24 November 2016 Melton Mowbray
For further information, full programme and booking details visit the EEF HSCE Briefings update page.
To be productive, healthy and happy the average adult requires around 7-9 hours’ sleep a night. Getting a good night’s sleep boosts energy levels and improves mood, making you happier, more patient and more effective. Sometimes, though, life or work can get in the way of getting enough sleep. This can be particularly challenging for night workers or those who work shifts.
One suggested solution is naps.
We often associate napping with a luxury for the lazy and those who have nothing better to do with their time, but research is increasingly demonstrating that they can be an effective way to get an energy boost.
Naps can increase alertness, improve memory and reduce stress levels. A quick nap is much better for you than dosing yourself with endless cups of coffee. Research has shown that a short nap of 10-30 minutes can give your energy levels a top up that will last for hours. Reducing the chance of nodding off at work or in the latter half of a night shift.
So how can you maximise your napping to get the best out of such a short time?
Get comfortable – People sleep better on crisp, clean sheets, so try to launder your bedding once a week and make your bed every morning. Not only is it a satisfying way to start the day, but also means that the bed will be more inviting at nap time.
Make sure the room is dark and quiet, remove or switch off all electronic equipment. If day time sounds are too distracting, you could consider investing in a white noise player or app. Sounds of waterfalls or gentle hums can block out street sounds or other noises without disturbing rest.
Try to keep the bedroom cool, researchers have found that we sleep better in temperatures between 18C and 24C.
Relax – Go through the same routines as you would before a usual night’s sleep. Try not to eat a big meal, exercise or drink caffeine for a few hours before you nap.
Light stretching, reading or writing are all good activities for winding down before sleep and essential oils, especially lavender, have been shown to help people fall asleep faster.
Time it right – Our circadian rhythms mean that we are more or less alert at certain times of the day. For most people, the best time for napping is during the afternoon when we have a natural energy dip. The worst is between 7 and 9pm when we generally become more alert. We’re all different though, so check in with yourself to get a feel for what works best for you.
Set the alarm – Scientists have discovered that the best nap length is either 10-30 minutes or 90 minutes. This is to do with our sleep patterns. When we sleep, we cycle through a series of four non-REM stages lasting between five and fifteen minutes. We can be easily wakened during the first stage, but may feel as if we’ve not slept at all. The second stage, light sleep, is more restorative – it is this stage that we will likely be in after a short nap. Stages 3 and 4 are deep sleep stages and when true regeneration and repair happens within the body. Taking a longer, 90-minute nap, will take you through all 4 stages, but wake before entering REM, the dream state.
Sleep inertia – The groggy, disoriented feeling that we sometimes get when the alarm goes off is known as sleep inertia. It is usually only a problem if your alarm wakes you during a period of deep sleep, but even the best-timed naps can leave you with some sleep inertia. Make sure to give yourself a few minutes to fully wake up and come to especially before driving or operating machinery. Follow your usual morning routines, drink a glass of water, have a cup of tea or coffee, do some light exercises or stretches. These actions will set you up for the rest of your day.
We’re all different – Everyone has their own rhythms and it is a good idea to take some time to get to know yours. This way you can get the best out of your precious nap time and get on with work and life.