With all the tricks and gadgets available to us to help run our business, it can be very easy to overlook one of the simplest things to increase productivity. And not only that but reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm of you and your staff.
the answer? self-care
The self-care of you and your team members in 2024 can really change your working environment - and no i don't mean team days out to a spa or hill walks every morning - It is much simpler than that.
bespoke labels has always focused on self-care, for myself and also my team, however 2023 was the first year self-care had it's own section in our business growth strategy.
So i thought i'd share with you what we have learned and the amazing benefits of self-care in business.
self-care at work to increase business productivity
flexible working - with set hours
Okay so this sounds like it contradicts itself! But what we mean is we work flexible hours within a core parameter. Our core hours are 8am to 6pm, no emails are to be sent out with this time and no one will be asked to work out with these hours.
we also target each person to work a maximum 6 hours per day. This was implemented shortly after my daughter started school, i reduced my hours to fit around school hours to help with childcare. A month or so after doing this i realised my productivity didn't change, because i was more motivated and focused during the hours i had as i knew they were limited.
everyone is more productive when on site, overall productivity is unchanged
gives flexibility (reducing stress and anxiety) for life out with work such as appointments and family commitments
allows everyone to switch off between 6pm and 9am reducing overwhelm and allowing work life balance
i carried out a lot of research about the optimum number of breaks, length of breaks etc. when working and ultimately i realised there is no right answer, it is different for everyone.
so now i take breaks when needed, and encourage our staff to do the same. I have a formal lunch break but in between times a break can consist of getting up from my desk to grab a glass of water, or simply closing my eyes for 2-3 mins to let my brain diffuse.
quality of work is increased
production is increased
reduction in overwhelm
delegation, delegation, delegation
having ran bespoke labels myself in the early days it was difficult to hand any aspect of it over to someone else - would they do as good a job as me? what is something goes wrong and it's too late to fix it?
but once i started to delegate, i was able to focus on the more important aspects of the business whilst knowing i have people i can trust to take care of everything else
i had the time to implement improvements, more one to one time with my customers and overall a weight had been lifted
my advice - anything that doesn't need 100% of your attention, delegate it! Especially if is something that is not your expertise and/or you don't enjoy doing it
reduction in overwhelm
more time for the most important aspects of business
tasks delegated are completed to a higher quality than I was able to do as I delegated to experts in that area
Why not look into delegating your label production to someone who will work seamlessly with you, taking care to learn about you and your business so you get the perfect labels stress free, click here to find out more
watch for signs of burnout
It is easy to say by a Friday afternoon you are burnt out - let's face it we all feel a bit exhausted by the end of the week! but actual burnout is more than just feeling tired.
I have suffered from burnout more than once during my time running bespoke labels and it has simply come down to not looking after myself, treating myself like a robot, and not having downtime.
so what is burnout?
Burnout is "a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress, for example, working a stressful job." Mental Health UK
The main signs are:
Feeling tired or drained most of the time
Feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated
Feeling detached/alone in the world
Having a cynical/negative outlook
Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done
See Mental Health UK's full research on burnout here
in my experience, this can happen to anyone, and it doesn't need to be one big stressful event that triggers it, it can be a constant run of small events that pile on top of each other over and over.
So what can we do to prevent this?
I am very lucky to have a good relationship with all my employees and other managers , this makes it a little easier to notice if someone is acting differently or just not quite themselves - the sooner you can catch signs of burnout the sooner you can stop it escalating.
To keep this good relationship, we make sure to hold team days on-site and also away from our workplace to build solid relationships.
As stated before we have flexible hours to ensure everyone takes an adequate break from their work and can work around their non-work life to help alleviate as much stress as possible.
All of the above helps, but I have found the best way to help prevent burnout is to be open and honest, with your team and even more importantly yourself; if you feel signs of burnout, take a step back, breathe and have a moment to evaluate your current situation and if this is how you want to continue.
create an environment you love
This has to be one of my favourite parts of in-work self-care, designing my space to be what I want it to be. For me I am surrounded by pictures my daughter has made for me, having a comfy chair and some fun stationery to use.
Again, creating this environment doesn't need to mean a full changing rooms make over (who remembers changing rooms?...) but can be the small touches, like a scented diffuser, that can make all the difference.
Feeling of comfort
positive mental outlook
Self-care at home
out with of working hours I try to find 10 to 15 minutes per day for some "Me time" and remind myself that self care isn't selfish - in fact it is quite the opposite, I think it is a necessity.
My self-care is usually quite simple, going for a walk, or taking a nice bath, but I have used quite a few ideas from Marie Claires article if you are stuck for ideas!
with self-care at the forefront of our planning and goals, in 2023 we were able increase our production by 25% whilst reducing our overall working hours by almost 20%.
Our staff had reduced sick days and "pass out" days for things such as family commitments as they were able to work flexibly around this.
And ultimately, we have a happy workforce who all work together to achieve our goals - and this is something I will always strive to keep and focus on as, to me, this is the key to a successful business.
Need our help?
If you want to increase your productivity in 2024, drop me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0141 776 1122 to find out how you can delegate your label production to someone who will work seamlessly with you, giving you more time to focus on the important stuff!