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Julie Tucker
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Headspace: The definition

The dictionary defines headspace as a person’s state of mind or mindset – something that’s very important not only in life in general, but especially in the workplace.

With technological advances making our job easier in many ways, the pace of life has increased significantly as a result. Our mind is increasingly filled with more and more information – and often, there’s too much buzzing around to make sense of it all.

Why is headspace important at work?
Headspace focuses on “the capacity to think clearly, without interference”, which is crucial in the workplace. Without it, we tend to make bad decisions, sometimes reacting inappropriately – such as blowing our top when things go wrong.

In the long run, the state of our headspace impacts our wellbeing, so if you hear someone at work say, “I’m not in the right headspace for that,” they mean they’re not in the right frame of mind. This will have a negative effect on their work and ultimately on their mental health.

We often hear the word headspace used in connection with psychology and meditation. We’re advised to “find more headspace” to benefit our wellbeing, so that we may better control our thoughts and feelings, there is even an app for it called Headspace.

The general advice is, “Give yourself some headspace,” – meaning don’t take on too much and end up running around in headless chicken mode.

How does stress affect our headspace?
The importance of having your own headspace (the opportunity to think clearly without interference) is extremely significant if you’re trying to run a business.

Researchers at Kent University monitored a group of 500 individuals and found excessive use of tech, such as smartphones, increased stress and anxiety. The buzz of a hectic day, surrounded by gadgets and phones ringing, can drown out our natural headspace and leave us feeling anxious.

Stress can hamper focus and prevent people from doing their best work. Too much of it can cause more sick days, burnout, a feeling of disengagement and strained relationships with colleagues.

Does a coworking environment help our headspace?
Coworking spaces can help balance our headspace in several ways. First, in terms of giving employees the chance to think clearly, it provides a flexible working environment, enabling individuals to have space if they need it.

People can choose to chat socially to fellow coworkers, or collaborate with colleagues, getting a sense of community when the mood is right – but if they feel the need to sit in a quiet area for some peace during the day, this is okay too.

The beauty of a coworking space is the ability to go for a coffee, or a walk, or lunch, pretty much when you feel like it. Working in a traditional office environment doesn’t offer the same freedom. Even if you feel like you’re about to explode due to stress, it’s inappropriate to simply walk out whenever you feel the need.

A traditional 9-5 environment tends to be more regimented, so if you’re in the middle of a meeting and feeling stressed, it won’t go down too well if you disappear for half an hour.

Does working alone affect our mental health?
In terms of mental wellbeing, some people find working at home alone is lonely and depressing. In fact, too much freedom and lack of structure can be as bad for your headspace as too little. Sitting at home, surrounded by gadgets such as your mobile phone, laptop and tablet, with no human interaction, can be stressful too.

A coworking space can provide the right amount of structure to prevent a decline in your emotional wellbeing. Rather than feeling isolated, there are people around you all the time, so there’s the opportunity to interact, should you need to do so.

A study by Office Vibe revealed 60% of respondents felt more relaxed since becoming a coworking member. Employees taking part in the research came from a variety of backgrounds, from working in the hectic madness of a huge office block to working solo at home.

They cited making their own schedule as one of the key reasons for their increased happiness and they felt more efficient in their roles as a result of being less stressed. They believed the flexibility of coworking had reduced their anxiety and made them more productive.

We are called Headspace for a good reason: we support the ethos of giving people the chance to think clearly, without interference, by providing the best coworking spaces in the UK. For further information, contact us today.

 

© Black Salmon / Shutterstock.com

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