In the office, how do you keep your team energised throughout the day? How do you spend your break? Oftentimes, we reach for a sugary snack or a fresh cup of coffee to give us a quick boost during our workday. It might work straight away for a short time, but you should know that there’s a flip side to the coin with longer-lasting impacts on our sleep and overall health and productivity.
Research has shown that caffeine actually stays in your body for five or six hours after consumption, which can help reduce sleepiness. However, excessive amounts of caffeine can affect the quality of your sleep. I realised this when I decided to do a detox 18 years ago. I had migraines for the first three days when I stopped caffeine I couldn’t believe how much better my sleep was getting. It’s difficult to put into words. My sleep felt deeper, and I felt so much more refreshed in the morning. Since then, I have not drunk caffeine. Herbal teas and other decaf options have now become my favourites.
The sugar factor
Another thing that can affect productivity is your blood glucose. Having the ideal amount of blood glucose is the key. Too little blood glucose and your productivity will take a hit. Any too much blood glucose means too much energy.
My eldest son has Type 1 Diabetes so I am fully aware of how a drop or increase in blood glucose can affect a person’s mood and focus. Read this article from Diabetes UK that outlines blood sugar levels which will help you understand how important it is to control and manage glucose levels.
We need to be aware that you don’t need to have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes to be affected by blood glucose. If our teams are not eating enough in the office, they can have a drop in their blood glucose. On the contrary, if they are eating too much sugar, their blood glucose will increase dramatically.
How does this affect their productivity and mood? I know my husband gets ‘hangry’ when he needs to eat. His blood glucose has dropped, and he cannot focus. This leads to him not being able to concentrate and becoming snappy. He needs to eat to increase his blood glucose and concentrate.
The sugar rush
On the other hand, when my son who does not have Type 1 Diabetes eats too much chocolate, sweets and sugary drinks, he cannot stop moving. He cannot focus and cannot stop talking. He becomes hyperactive. This is not due to a medical condition; it is because he has too much sugar in his system.
Do you recognise someone in your team who gets ‘hangry’ when they do not eat enough? Or on the other side gets hyperactive when they eat too much sugar?
What can you do to help? Talk to your team about other ways they can change their energy rather than reaching for sugar or caffeine.
Make sure to do these 3 tips to stimulate your team to be more productive:
- Get the blood flowing with some exercise.
Challenge the team to get moving! Do a quick round of jumping jacks, chair stretches, or a fun obstacle course around the office (with an eye on health & safety to keep HR happy!)
- Get some fresh air – take a quick walk.
This can be done outside the office to get some fresh air and do some stretches. Even just getting away from your desk to take a quick walk and a breather can give a boost of energy.
- Happy music is a great way to stimulate your energy.
Get your team to put together a top-five list of their go-to tunes to set the mood and lift their energy and play them during the day.
Eating and dieting
On this note, we should also be aware of the harm to our bodies when dieting. Laura Clarke, a Dietitian, and Nutritionist outlines in detail topics on Eating Disorders – Myths around Disordered Eating and Dieting during an interview with her on my Mental Health Chats YouTube and Podcast programmes. Laura is a very practical, modern dietitian who does not believe in dieting to maintain weight. She also explains how harmful dieting can be to your body, causing strain on your organs.
So, the next time you think of indulging in sweets and coffee for an extra hour of boost in productivity, do reconsider.
What are you going to do to encourage healthy eating and drinking in the office to promote more positivity and productivity in your team?
Feel free to book a strategy call here if you want to develop a strategy to give your managers the skills and support they need to lead the team with confidence, with a core focus on emotional fitness and positive mental health in the workplace.
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