Sometimes, when we’re doing a job there’s little time, space or incentive to take time away to think about well-being and energy.

Yet, just recently, when I deliberately took time away from a piece of work, coming back to it after some space, I completed it much more quickly and to a higher standard than if I’d trudged along, desperately trying to get over that wall. Our recent thefuturestory was all about PRIDE, with the E focusing on the importance of energy, including employees taking time to re-energise.

As one attendee identified, there is a challenge around high energy and low output. If you throw all your time and energy into a project, but don’t take time to re-energise, the output is unlikely to be as effective or high quality. So it seems taking time out to re-energise may, in fact, fuel productivity rather than hinder it.

But many of us need a quick fix, or a nudge in the right direction. If you do too, fear not, here are the dos and don’ts for contributing to the energy in your workplace, and some top tips that came out of our discussion:

Do

  • Take responsibility for finding your own energy. Everyone is different and it’s important to find what gets you motivated.
  • Break down silos. Sharing information and catching up with other people can spread energy and creativity across the company.
  • Put on your own mask before helping others –how can you hope to energise someone else if you’re demotivated?
  • Recognise employees and their contributions.
  • Find the time and space to energise – allow time for a break in the week for this.
  • Think about the future and revisit roles and opportunities as life changes.

Don’t

  • Presume it’s up to your manager to focus on energy – although it should be on their radar, it’s a shared responsibility.
  • Think enjoying work means it isn’t work. Revel in those moments and see what you can apply to other tasks so you can always enjoy your job.
  • Write off flexible working. It’s important for all generations to work in a way that suits them, as well as good the business.
  • Take away employee autonomy.
  • Be rigid. Something’s got to give – it might be more valuable to take a break than to continue.
  • Forget that loss of energy can have a knock-on effect on the other four PRIDE elements.

Top Tips for Energy:

Finding ways to energise shouldn’t be hard, and in fact there are plenty of simple and free ways to energise;

  • Go for a walking meeting – never underestimate the impact that gentle exercise and being outdoors can have on your mind. Sitting in a stuffy room after a long day is not conducive to creativity and innovation.
  • Networking – it can be a great thing for energy to take time to network, whether that is catching up with colleagues about projects or having a call with a client or supplier. These things can be a great way to re-evaluate a project, find a way to give a little more (or take the load off), or find a new angle to a problem. 
  • Take your lunch break – we’ve all been in that position, you’ve been so busy you’ve not left your desk all week. But, actually, that is counter-productive. Taking an hour out of the office can have great effects on productivity and creativity, as well as personal health and wellbeing.
  • Have positive conversations – if you discuss the positive benefits of energy with colleagues and managers, slowly this can become a part of the company culture and a new, energised workplace can be born. 

If you have enjoyed this blog post summarising the Energy table discussion at thefuturestory event, you will also like the following blogs written for the other elements of PRIDE. Check them out: Purpose, Reputation, Direction and Integrity.

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