Working life is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to maintain a high level of performance and stay healthy over the long term, you have to understand what efficiency actually means. And to develop a sense of what really helps, as well as what works in the long run. With that in mind, we have compiled some helpful insights and tips.
Brave new world of work: compared with how things used to be, our ability today to work from home or on the road seems practically luxurious. However, despite these new options and tools – or perhaps because of them – smart working is anything but guaranteed. These changes bring new challenges, such as issues of availability, work/life balance and privacy. As the world’s most sustainable telecommunications company (far beyond climate neutrality), and with thousands of employees working remotely, we have gained a fair amount of experience in this arena. Here are a few insights.
«Pushing through» is not a long-term strategy
For many of us, at least when it comes to the workplace, our motto is «more is more». If necessary, we simply keep working as hard as we have to for as long as we have to, and it will all be fine in the end. And this strategy can work quite well – especially when there’s no other choice. However, it is not sustainable. After all, «pushing through» no matter what is not only harmful to your health, but can also damage your organisation. Employees who take on too many tasks from excessive goodwill all too often mask structural weaknesses within the organisation. As soon as these busy bees are unable to work, the company realises that this one individual was actually doing the work of two employees.
Better organised = less stress
Some people see efficient working as a way to reach their goal of relaxing as quickly as possible. Sure, but then again that’s not really the point: after all, it’s called Work Smart, not chill smart. When you work more efficiently, you free up time for other tasks, which also means you are better organised and less stressed. This, in turn, has a positive effect on your own well-being and the mood within your team. So Work Smart can help you chill – but at work, not during your leisure time.
Avoid distractions and stay focused
It’s always tempting to try to tackle several tasks at once. However, if anything, this is an efficient way of exhausting yourself rather than an efficient way to work. In order to keep calm when things get hectic, we recommend wearing headphones – preferably with a noise-cancelling function. They are a great way to focus, even if you don’t use them to listen to music but just to block out distracting ambient noise. You can find state-of-the-art models here or at any Swisscom Shop. By the way, headphones have another practical side-effect (even when not listening to music): they signal to other people that you’re busy and not in the mood to chat.
Your home office is still the office
If you spent a long time working from home during the pandemic, or if you’re still working from home today, then you’ve probably received the following advice: establish a structure! Develop a routine! And it’s true: your commute or changing out of your work clothes is perceived as a ritual only when you no longer have these moments in your day. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain fixed working hours and really be offline when you are offline. That wise voice in your head has to take over the role of the friendly colleague who taps you on the shoulder in the late evening and tells you to go home. And speaking of smart reminders: your smartwatch is happy to remind you when it’s time to take a break, stop working for the day or simply relax for a moment. It also knows whether you’re getting enough exercise and offers numerous other smart «helpers» – all through subtle alerts on your wrist, without you having to constantly look at your smartphone or have your computer with you.
So much for the theory. But how can you implement these changes in your day-to-day life?
Here are 6 tips:
Use digital helpers: For example, to-do list apps, so you don’t have to keep track of all your upcoming tasks in your head. Even if it takes a bit of getting used to at first, it’s worth it and you will save yourself valuable time.
Become a time manager: Learn about clever time management methods and use the one that works best for you. There are a number of fascinating methods.
Make plans with yourself: No matter how hectic things get, scheduled appointments are always top priority. So schedule an appointment with yourself. To maintain an overview of everything, for a moment of reflection or to keep the free time as a back-up.
Get moving: It sounds simple, but it has a measurable impact: taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking over to chat with your colleague at their desk instead of calling them is a proven way to get your circulation going and improve your blood flow. This helps improve concentration, relaxes your joints (especially your lower back and posterior) and you will simply feel better.
Take a break: Never taking a break from work is like the lumberjack who never sharpens his axe: over time, it becomes sluggish, inefficient, imprecise – and mistakes start to pile up. Instead, force yourself to take a breather. After all, you can easily make up this time.
Do you have any other tips? Or are there any tools or apps that you can’t live without? Then share them with our community!