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What Research says about 'Breaking the Habit'


For people like me who establish a traditional routine, it is important to know that there are positive ways to break the habit on a regular basis in order to avoid burn-out or saturation.

In spite of the postmodern industrial concepts of building and redesigning work places, a lot of people have not been so fortunate to be part of those who are enjoying the benefits of working stress-free. Many are still stuck into structures that must have been built in an era where employee productivity was not yet part of the plan.

Thanks to latest research efforts because the routine in a work environment could now be remedied by cost-effective, sometimes free personal strategies employees can use. How does an ordinary worker 'break the ice' to stagnation?

Taking a nap. Research found that those who took a nap for at least 15 to 20 minutes between 1 to 3 pm exhibited more energy in the work place. An increasing number of employees are responding to this by providing their workers with some amenities that would encourage job satisfaction and efficiency. For example, Huffington Post and America Online (AOL) offices have reclining rest capsules for naps. Similarly, Ben & Jerry's (ice cream) workers are provided access to "quiet rooms" for sleep and reflection.

Not just Coffee Break but Coffee Date. Dr. Ben Waber, a scientist at Harvard University, found that when managers moved coffee stations into high-traffic work areas, company morale and productivity increased by 25 percent, because people were more likely to take a break together. It is also amazing to see office cafeterias and pantries with coolers and heating amenities right at the center of large offices. The Edward R. Kelly Leadership Center of Prince William County Public Schools (Virginia) has large 'dine-in' amenities at the very heart of their major offices.

Write it down! People who jot down or simply sketch their dreams were 33% more successful, according to research conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University of California. It feels good when workers write -- not just the mandatory and work-related writing stuff such as reports, minutes, documentations, and balance sheets -- but their own simple joys and happiness as persons.

When I was still in the heydays of my Sociology program, I was so engrossed with what Karl Marx calls alienation. He believes that what makes man valuable is his 'capacity to labor.' However, when a worker loses his being or personal existence because of too much work (and lesser rewards, productivity, satisfaction, and an environment that doesn't encourage you to come back the next day!), then work is no longer productive. Thus, it loses its value.

Are present-day employers aware of this?



Credit: Melissa Walker/RedBookMag



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