Future Proof Your Business

The future is up for the taking

The majority of my blog post are educational and actionable, like our previous post (Workplace Wellness 5 Unique Actionable Strategies to Increased ROI) aimed at providing you with all the information you need. But, this post I wanted to take a step back to express my thoughts around the current business landscape, reflecting on current, past and future trends and set the scene, before arming you with actionable strategies to implement within your businesses to ensure you are equipped and ready for the future.

 

You can not build a long term future on short term thinking

Now, I truly believe it is a pivotal time for businesses, it is a make or break time. With the ability for everyone’s voice to be heard, the big corporates who are used to have all the l

imelight, no longer have the control over the marketplace that they once had. Additionally, with all the access to outsource to third party companies, the entry into business is a lot cheaper, easier and safer. There is no need for extreme overheads and high set up costs. That being said, I strongly believe that a business that is built in line with future in mind and aims to actively stay ahead of the times will be the one who truly succeeds long term.

In this ever changing world, becoming comfortable or stagnant will determine your business success and longevity. With the rapid development in technology, businesses need to be adaptable with the ability to pivot and change when required. Traditional methods need to be re-thought. Yes, they have been successful previously, but are they the methods that will allow for continued success today? As times change so does the need for new strategies. Forget the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, this mentality may get you by short term but will cripple your business long term.

 

So, is your business Winning or Losing?

Workers now spend the majority of their brain power battling distraction and interruption, thanks to the continual pinging of devices, noisy open-plan offices or the difficulty for workers to determine what deserves their attention the most. The inability to achieve a level of deep work is costing your business a significant amount of money! With the rise of technology and distraction there has been a decline in employee health with the continual overloaded of additional stressors. There is nothing more costly to a workplace than a decline in workplace health.  A decrease in healthy energy levels leads to a lack of motivation which translates to less productivity, enjoyment, and increased sick days.

 

Why is change not happening?

The biggest barrier in my opinion is not the inability to think long term, majority of business are well aware that change is required they are just restricted by limited resources, overwhelmed by current stresses and deadlines. Leaving them to place the future proofing in the “too hard basket”. This is the sad truth for so many businesses, especially for big business as there are so many moving parts, making change extremely difficult.

In our next posts we will discuss key Taylored Health and Performance strategies that will shift you and your workplace from struggling to success. Building off our previous post Workplace Wellness 5 Unique Actionable Strategies to Increased ROI and diving deeper to highlight how to be more productive and achieve a deep level of work.

 

Workplace Wellness: 5 Unique Actionable Strategies to Increased Return on Investment

In this time poor but stress rich society we live in, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. This is likely contributing to the rising rate of depression and anxiety.

We now spend the majority of our lives working and with the progression of technology and the ever connected world, it has become difficult to manage and disconnect. With technological advancements the norm has shifted, the 9-5 pm no longer exists!

With smartphones our emails, phone calls and overwhelming workloads slowly start to seep into our personal lives outside of the office. This is not all bad but this is the new reality we face and something that currently needs to be addressed

Think Different:

Our aim for this article is to arm you with easily implementable strategies that will not only allow you to cope with this new reality but perform at a higher level with minimal to no outlayed cost but massive return on your time investment.

 

  1. Remove LED Blue Light

Light is a nutrient that plays a significant role in signaling your mitochondria (cellular powerhouses) to spring into action.

Different light frequencies trigger different signals in your cells. Blue light which mostly comes from LED lights places the body under a significant amount of stress.

Newer artificial light bulbs lack many of the sun’s frequencies that our bodies and brains need. Artificial lights, have eliminated most of the infrared, red, and violet light found in natural sunlight, and are amplifying the blue light beyond anything we have evolved to handle. Most LEDs and compact fluorescents emit about 5 times the blue light we’re used to.

Where to start:

Reduce blue light or what is now known as Junk light in your workplace. Download a bluelight filter app like F.LUX for digital devices (Mobile & laptop) and switch all the lights in the office to halogen and incandescent. They aren’t perfect, but they’re better. Your white LEDs might be saving your power bill but they are sapping yours and your staffs energy levels which in the long term is costing you a lot more!

This is especially important if working late at night as it will greatly impact sleep!

 

  1. Workstations: Sit to Stand Desks

With all the craze of standing desks at the moment, may fool you into thinking standing is better than sitting desks. However, believe it or not standing can be just as detrimental as sitting all day!

Our body’s are not designed to remain in one position for long periods of time, we are designed for locomotion. Therefore, instead of one being better than the other we want the ability to shift between sitting and standing on regular periods, to keep the body moving and using a wider range of muscles instead of overusing a specific muscle group.

If it is not viable in your current workplace to replace traditional desks with sit to stand desk. No stress! Set up a few hot desks around the workplace that will increase the  options to those who want the ability to stand

 

  1. Introduce Walking meetings:

Join some of the best minds in the world including: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Aristotle, & Sigmund Freud. All were renowned for their walking meetings.

We are sitting on average 9.3 hours per day are we are only getting 7.7 hours of sleep! The human body is designed for locomotion and we are now sitting more than we are sleeping. When is the movement happening?

Sitting is killing us! The World Health Organisation(WHO) has even listed sitting to much as the 4th leading cause of death globally, that is 3,200,000 deaths annually!! A recent study even stated that sitting for 10 hours a day can cancel out 90% of a positive effects of a 1 hour workout! Some other interesting stats associated with sitting for more than 10 hours a day include:

  • 112% increase in risk of diabetes
  • 147% increase in cardiovascular events
  • 90% increase in death due to cardiovascular events
  • 49% increase in death due to any cause.

Get moving with walking or standing meetings and watch the creativity and engagement thrive. Even better move them outside to add in fresh air, sun (Vitamin D) along with nature. Why nature? Nature and changes of scenery trigger new neuro-pathways in our brains which yield new ideas, and new solutions to problems. I am sure we have all experienced this at one point or another.

 

  1. Remote / Flexible Work Hours

In the coming years with the development of technology bringing the world closer together remote based work will become the norm. Technology is changing the way business is functioning and those who adapt to these trends will reap the rewards.

Businesses who really want to future proof their success need to consider how this can be established across their workforce and within their workplace.

It has been shown that a workplaces that offers flexibility around were their staff can work will have staff that have the following characteristics:

 

  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased stress
  • Plus they often work more hours as a result of this freedom.

 

  1. Mindfulness, Become Present:

What is Mindfulness? It is a practice that teaches you to detach yourself from both the past and future and become truly present in the moment.

Sadly in this fast moving world we are losing this ability to be present, this is even more prevalent with ever increasing workloads.We cannot reduce our the past nor can we change what will happen in the future, but if we truly want to be productive with the task at hand we need to be truly present in the now. In our opinion this skill is one of the leading, if not the best productivity booster!

 

Where to Start?

There are many ways to train mindfulness from breathing, instructor guided practice to self guided practice.

I suggest everyone begins with an instructor guided practice to help educate and help grasp an understanding around mindfulness. There are a number apps that offer a free trials and then lead into a paid version (eg. Headspace, Calm). Test each of them out and find the one that suits you. At the cost of less than 2 coffees a month (Calm: $4.99/month; Headspace: $7.99/month) what do you have to lose? I personally have tried majority of the apps on the market but Headspace was favorite due to it customizability. I highly recommend upgrading to paid versions as it becomes a lot more personalised and you can select packages that you require as you progress and it often offers further education. This will give you the skills you required to make your mindfulness practice easy and stress free.

I have talked about mindfulness extensively in other articles if you want to learn more follow these links:

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/mindfulness-where-to-start/

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/the-science-behind-mindfulness/

https://tayloredhealth.co.nz/mindfulness-living-in-the-present-moment/

 

Take Action:

If you are passionate about performance and the health in the workplace these 5 simple strategies will make a profound effect and future proof your business. It all starts with a solid foundation and with inmproved health comes improved performance.

 

Published on: Jun 7, 2018

Combat Jet Lag

After dealing with Jet Lag first hand recently and it is something that most people have to deal with at some point or another, I thought it would be a great opportunity to address Jet Lag and the strategies that I personally utilise to prevent and overcome from Jet Lag.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag or desynchronosis is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, a result of air travel across time zones. It is a disorder which is a disruption to the internal body clock circadian rhythm.                              CircadianRhythm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cause of Jet Lag?

Jet lag is caused by the inability of the body to immediately adjust to the time in a different zone. To fully grasp jet lag we must first address circadian rhythm, our bodies internal biological clock that follows a 24-hour cycle, which is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It is the disruption of this internal body clock that leads to the Jet Lag.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Combat Strategies

When it comes to combatting Jet Lag there is an endless amount of strategies that you can utilise, I will share my personal strategies and hopefully, you will find them helpful in the future. I take a very scientific based approach, so each of the methods below you will find are grounded in science.

 

During Flight:

Stay Hydrated: With the reduction in oxygen and lack of humidity, dehydration is inevitable if you are not careful. To put it in perspective the air inside the cabin of a plane usually has a humidity level of 10 to 20 percent — much lower than a comfortable typical indoor humidity of 30 to 65 percent. Across 10 hour flight, men lose approximately two liters of water and in women around 1.6 liters Stay hydrated! My rule is always say yes to water but also carry a drink bottle to regularly sip on and don’t hesitate to ask the flight attendant for water. Most importantly, stay clear from alcohol as it will only further dehydrate you.  

Keep Moving: The human body is designed to be in locomotion. For this reason, I always select aisle seat, to ensure I can regularly get up and move and stretch (Key focus: opening up the hips and chest and increasing blood flow in lower limbs). I also take some time to complete isometric calf raises. All of these exercises and stretches are key in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). (I also wear  compression socks to help in prevention of DVT as well)  

 

While seated:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Ankle Circles (Clockwise / Anticlockwise)

Ankle Point / Lifts (Plantarflexion / Dorsiflexion)
Pelvic Tilts: Sit upright position and tilt your pelvis back and forth between anterior and posterior positions

Shoulder Shrug / Depression / Retraction: Key focus of the exercise is hold the depression and retraction for approx 30sec each rep

Chin Tucks & Gentle Neck ROM: Sit upright position tuck your chin in and then relax and repeat. Shift your head gently around (Clockwise / Anticlockwise / Back / Forward) if desired you can add some gentle resistance with one of your palms

 

Standing:

Isometric Calf Raises: 2x45sec each leg every 2hours

Deep Squat: Find some space and drop into a deep squat and shift around back and forth aiming to open up the hips and lower back. Aim for 2min but more is always better.

Forward Bend: Relax into this position with straight legs and if you can touch toes link fingers underneath (if not bend knees as needed) start with oscillating the hips around then aim to gradually fall deeper into the stretch. Complete a few rep of bending knees to straight.                                                      
Back Bend: Either place your hand high on a wall or overhead compartment and gently fall into the stretch driving your hips forward while also opening up through your shoulders

Groin Stretch: Stand with a wide stance and shifting your weight to one leg bending into it while keeping the other leg straight. Shift back and forth from side to side.90 degree Chest stretch: Find a corner or a wall, step to the side and place one forearm up against the wall in a 90-degree position from the upper arm and gently fall in and out of the stretch opening up through your chest.

 

Supplements:
Melatonin: Your sleep hormone is found naturally in the body which is a key component of regulating the circadian rhythm. I take this when it is time to sleep. A healthy version of a sleeping pill.

Magnesium: Naturally relieve stress by ensuring your muscles and nerves function properly. Magnesium is also a natural sleep aid, which makes it the perfect companion for overnight flights, and can help relieve the tension of muscle spasms and cramps, which are inevitable after hours in a stationary position. I take this before and regularly throughout each flight.

Exogenous Ketones: There is new research stating that being in a state of ketosis has the ability mitigate the impairments of sleep deprivation and this can be achieved through the use of exogenous ketones, diet (HFLC) or fasting. I use ketones for training and mental state but I have not yet used personally while traveling. However, I will definitely be introducing this next time I fly.

 

Transit:

Get moving: Take the stairs and walk as much as possible, this is a great opportunity to get some blood pumping.

Stretching / Yoga: If you have the time, find a quiet space where you can unwind and do some stretching or yoga. I normally carry a towel in my carry on as it can be tough to find airports with a soft surface to stretch on.

Refuel: While flying your diet is extremely restricted to what is given to you and airline food which is notoriously unhealthy. Flying at 30,000 feet dulls the taste buds and dries out the ingredients which impact the passenger’s’ ability to sense flavor by 30%. To overcome this issue, chefs utilise extra sugar, salt and spice to improve palatability.

What sort of foods should I be looking for? It can be dependant on the airport you are in but aim to get some healthy whole foods that are high in antioxidants, fiber, zinc, magnesium. Which comes through; fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and if limited on time grab a freshly squeezed juice.

 

Destination:

Light Exposure: No sunglasses! Exposure to light or to darkness is key in the regulation of the circadian rhythm. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. This prevents the excretion of melatonin which therefore hinders your circadian rhythm.

Remove Blue Light: Just like sunlight the LED light that our electronic devices produce is just as impactful in affect our circadian rhythm. Most phones these days have blue light filters or you can download an app like F.Lux which syncs devices screen with the light to mimic circadian cycle of a set time zone. This is a key hack I use every day not only when flying, I suggest implementing this simple hack now for better sleep.

Adapt to new time zone: Flight the sleepiness! Stay awake until you are within an hour of your normal bedtime and wake with an hour of normal time.

Avoid naps: If you do nap, make sure it is before 3 pm and keep them tactical 20 mins only! Otherwise, you will impede your circadian rhythm.

Flotation Therapy: Long haul flights are a stress on the body and flotation therapy is a great way for disconnecting from that stress and unwinding. It also assists with the inflammation associated with long-haul flights. I personally make sure I visit
“New You” for a float before and after each flight.

Nutrition: High fat will help stabilise blood sugars and help avoid the big peaks and troughs associated with high carbohydrate diets. Aim to eat plenty of antioxidant-rich food (berries, pecans, dark chocolate) to help fight all the free radicals built up.

Cold Showers: Energy is produced through the mitochondrial (intracellular powerhouses) and cold showers is one of the quickest ways to induce neurogenesis
(the production of new mitochondria) therefore resetting the system and boosting energy levels.

Grounding: Kick your shoes off, get outside and connect with the earth whether is grass, sand or the ocean. This may sound a bit airy fairy but there has been a strong association with grounding and re-energising the system. This is done through soaking up the earth’s negative charge, which reduces inflammation and leaves you feeling more refreshed and recharged.

 

Supplements:

Flights are bacteria pits so always a good idea to boost your immune system with some vitamins. I personally use and love BePure products and have not come across anything better on the market.

BePure Vit C Boost: Quickest way to boost your immunity is a good quality source of Vitamin C, this high potency Vitamin C is unbeatable!

BePure One: A whole food supplement with such a diverse selection of nutrients it is a full proof method to ensure you not missing anything through your diet.

BePure Three: This would have to be the strongest Omega 3 on the market and one of the best ways to fight inflammation. With a long haul flight you are guaranteed inflammation, therefore, it is important to reduce it as soon as possible.

Exogenous Ketones: Due to the mitigating effects of sleep deprivation as discussed earlier this would definitely be a supplement to concider.

 

Hopefully, these tips and tricks help you avoid the nasty effects of jet lag ensuring your next trip is not wasted away trying to recover.

Corporate Wellness

What is your employee wellness strategy?

 

The necessity for health and wellness in the workplace is now well documented. In Dr. Roger Sahoury book “The Gladiator’s Guide to Corporate Health and Wealth” Sahoury stated that companies who strategically manage wellness see: 60% greater retention of employees, 200% more revenue per employee, and 38% increased employee engagement. Now that is massive! If that is not enough incentive to establish a wellness program, nothing will be.

With these new found benefits it is no surprise that there has been a significant growth in companies abroad offering corporate wellness programs. In the United States 70% of employers now offer corporate wellness, up from 58% in 2008. However, within New Zealand there is no direct local statistics, as NZ has been a slow adaptor to this movement. However, the estimated cost of absenteeism and presentisms (working while sick) which equates to $1500/person/year (Southern Cross and Statistics NZ).

Providing employees with Health Care is a great start but it is not enough. Organisations are no longer relying on the employees to be proactive of their health, organisations are now taking responsibility and are facilitating in-house wellness programs. These programs have become a fundamental feature in many major organizations, most notably Google, which offers employees on-site physicians and nurses, nutritious food options, nap pods, mindfulness program, and complementary fitness centers, among other perks.

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Return on Investment

Corporate wellness is preemptive measure, it costs money to establish but long term it pays for itself several times over. The best analogy is instead of having the ambulance down the bottom of the cliff, waiting for the inevitable, act now and prevent/minimise the occurrence in the first place. Not only is it preemptive, it will take your business to a new level. With happy energetic staff, no task will be too big.

Several studies within the United States have identified for every $1 spent on an employee wellness the ROI (Return on investment) is on average between $1.50 – $3.80!

Johnson & Johnson another leader in corporate wellness, invests in their employees’ and have strategically designed a program that caters to physical, mental, and social health.  The leaders at Johnson & Johnson estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company over $250 million on health care costs over the past decade. Receiving a ROI of $2.71 for every $1 spent between 2002-2008.

 

Where to Start

Create an environment that breeds healthy and happy employees that are mission based instead of job based. A healthy body and a healthy mind inspires a positive work ethic. Your employees will think more clearly and will be able to problem solve easier than if they are bogged down by sickness.

Every companies needs will vary but every effective wellness program should be well rounded and incorporate physical, mental, and social health. Clarity and consistency are key when it comes to corporate wellness. Any confusion will only cripple the program.

 

Need Help Establishing a Wellness Program?

Please Contact:

Luke (Health & Performance Specialist)

Info@TayloredHealth.co.nz