Anxiety levels are rising, work-ethic is plummeting and there’s a companywide meeting on the agenda!
Despite the fact that more and more professionals are telling us to improve our work-life balance, to take regular breaks away from our desks or don some yoga pants and sign up to a gym, it seems like people are only getting more and more stressed.
The UK workforce is reporting higher levels of occupational stress, anxiety and depression than ever before.
A 2015 report by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that 9.9 million working day were lost due to workplace-related stress in 2014/15, the equivalent of approximately 23 days lost per person. This is estimated to have cost the UK economy £6.5billion.
“The way we work nowadays means that employees increasingly struggle to switch off,” said James Hewitt, Head of Client Services Europe at LifeWorks. “Unfortunately, the availability of more advanced technology has added to the ‘always on’ culture, eradicating the concept of the 9-5 role. Thanks to mobile devices and high-speed 4G connections, employees are now able to connect anywhere, at any time, making it difficult to switch off.
“Whilst occasional out-of-hours work is inevitable, business leaders should ensure that it is kept to a minimum, protecting their employees’ mental wellbeing and positive work-life balance as much as possible.”
In that vein, we have decided to list four hobbies that you can take up outside of work to make you an all-round better employee.
1. Learn a language
Learning a new language stimulates different areas of the brain, and engages your cognitive thinking. Whilst it can be hard work, it’s also extremely enjoyable – not to mention highly useful for business trips. The current most spoken language in the world is Chinese, though perhaps begin your new found hobby with something slightly more forgiving – French perhaps?
2. Pick up an instrument
There’s nothing more satisfying than understanding and playing music. And though in the past people tended to learn how to play a musical instrument during childhood, more and more executives are taking up the hobby later in life. This hobbie will teach you stamina and perseverance – both of which are handy in the workplace.
Why not try something like the guitar or the banjo – they’re fairly simple to navigate and the plucking motion has been known to stave off arthritis.