Did you know that research shows one way of coping with high pressured work is to have more interests outside of work?
You would think, that when you are dragging yourself back in the door at the end of the day, in the dark, exhausted, worn down and ready for nothing but a red wine and to relax on the couch, the last thing that would be helpful would be to launch yourself into some exercise or a new project.
You already have limited time, right?
Why would you take up your limited time with just another thing that you will need to give time to – shouldn’t you actually be cutting down?
According to Skinner and Chapman (2013), more than 70% of Australian workers aged 18 – 65 expressed their desires to spend more time in leisure pursuits or with their family, and nearly 40% wanted to spend less time at work.
In these days of high pressured roles, when business is requiring workers to endure mentally or physically taxing hours, workers need to look to their coping strategies and smart organisations need to facilitate these in order to maximise their workers’ efficiency.
It has been found that one coping strategy relates to having an enriched life outside work (Hecht & Boies, 2009). Having a more enriched life outside the workplace, sees workers searching for personal fulfilment from non-work activities to compensate the stress that might have derived from work.
In the same academic research, Hecht and Boies found that people engaged in volunteering, sports, recreation and fitness activities have less work– life conflict as their attitudes to work and life are balanced through a fulfilment of life goals in externally oriented activities.
Workers use their ability to meet their own lifestyle, community, sporting or leisure activities to contribute to a bigger and more enriched life. This in turn becomes a strong coping strategy, which assists workers to maintain physical and mental health in the face of work pressures.
Engaging in a more enriched life also assists people to develop stronger positive attitudes. Having a positive attitude is understood to mean the ability to handle pressures of competing demands of work and family in a balanced manner (Greenhaus and Powell 2006).
Having this positive psychology contributes to an optimistic attitude about oneself, one’s workplace and one’s life in general. Additionally, positive influence from home life will spill over into the work place and vise versa.Developing your own enriched life and encouraging your staff to partake in an enriched life outside of the workplace will actually develop coping strategies, which will in turn, see your, or their, ability at work increase, as well as positively impacting employee well-being.
Your extra-curricular activities can also give you some of the following benefits:
• Released endorphins – makes you happier
• Reduced stress
• Increased self esteem
• Reduced anxiety
• Increased positive outlook
It’s a funny thing, for someone who loves dancing, sometimes I am so tired, I think, ‘I could not possibly go out at night for a class. I am at home, dragging myself around like death warmed up, and really wanting a sugar hit from junk food.’ Then I unenthusiastically go along, and find that by then end, I have boundless energy, feel better, no longer look for sugar and feel uplifted! So anecdotally, I agree with all that was mentioned above!
Look to your life outside work. And bosses – encourage your workers to do the same!
Important Note: These articles have been prepared for general circulation and are circulated for general informational purposes only; these articles should not be regarded as business or investment advice. The articles represent the views of the writers and are subject to change without notice. Additionally, while every care has been taken in the preparation of the articles no representation or warranty as to accuracy or completeness of any statement is given. An individual or organisation should, before any business or investment decision is made, consider the appropriateness of the information in this document, and seek professional advice, having regard to objectives, situation and needs. This document is solely for the use of the party to whom it is provided.