Does Your Workplace Help You? Or Is It Actually Derailing Your Potential?


“It’s an extra hour of commuting time each day,” a friend told us after recently accepting a new job. “I make the same money as my last job. But, I love waking up for work each morning now. I love the atmosphere, the people, and the fact that the company truly seems to care about me.”

After some prodding, we asked our friend, “Do you think your new employers are just nicer people by nature? Or, do you think the company actually made an effort to be a better place to work?”


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That’s a question many employees and organizations are asking today. Stand-up desks, wellness programs, flexible schedules, financial consulting, access to health professionals, and a strong emphasis on employee recognition have all recently become focal points at many workplaces. It makes you wonder why leaders are suddenly so keen to create workspaces and cultures that bind teams together and make employees (dare we say it) happy and healthy to be at work.

Our world, as we’ve seen recently in the news, isn’t getting any softer. However, research shows that companies that focus on creating happy, healthier, motivating, and appreciative workplaces are onto something profound—even, and maybe especially, during turbulent times. It’s not about creating atmospheres lined with rainbows and butterflies either. Instead, these studies prove the “hard” impact a workplace environment has on productivity and engagement—on both the individual and team level.

Read on to discover which traits in your workplace are helping you achieve your best possible outcomes, and which might be derailing your potential.

Helping You:

You’ve got allotted breaks—and you take them.

It sounds almost too good to be true, but research has shown that regular breaks are crucial to productivity. Your brain needs a breather in between tasks so it can fully focus and engage when you need it to. In fact, the most productive employees take a full 17-minute break for every 52 minutes of concentration. Try their pattern out for a day, and see if it makes a difference. Even switching to a simpler task can count as a breather. Just remember the benefits of taking a break the next time you’re tempted to skip yours—because even just five minutes off can make a big difference.

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