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Future of Work

Communicating in front of a screen has become a daily norm, as the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing many of us online. We tend to assume that work and productivity stops when workers take time to relax when working from home, or at their desk, however those who are able to take micro-breaks and relax are actually better prepared and more effective workers – according to new research.

A study of 1,000 workplaces published in Thinking On Your Feet, a report by the commercial arm of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, RADA Business, has found that 42% of workers are able to think more quickly when they feel relaxed.

Nearly the same number (41%) say that they feel more confident following relaxation time, while 34% say they feel better understood by others.

One in three admit that when they are relaxed, they can listen to what other people are saying with greater skill, whilst 31% say they can adapt better to people and situations.

The research shows that taking time to centre or move can help workers to refocus and make better decisions. Some techniques, which respondents say help them to be better equipped for thinking on the spot include getting some fresh air (31%) or taking a walk (22%).

The study also found that one in five workers manage feelings of tension in work situations by having a hot drink.

Kate Walker Miles, tutor and Client Manager at RADA Business, comments on the findings: “ Many people at this time are having their first introduction to working from home, day-in, day-out. Some are finding it hard to feel and be effective. It’s important take breaks to relax, to give yourself some time and space to think about how you might respond to a challenging situation, or new requests from colleagues or superiors, as they arise.”

“If you are a leader, try to create a positive culture for your employees who are working from home. It’s good to let them know that they have some time and flexibility during the day to centre themselves, stretch, and take some time to refocus. This will help them to be productive and will better prepare them for situations where they’re in the spotlight, such as delivering presentations and leading video conference calls.’’

“Relaxation time can help workers to be more relaxed and adaptable when under pressure. This is a simple yet effective technique to help workers through what is a difficult time, allowing businesses to succeed and overcome the challenges of working remotely. Flexibility is key.”

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