And attainable for everyone.

A habit can be described as an automatic activity; a routine that’s performed without a second thought. We wake up, we eat breakfast, we brush our teeth, and we work (for the most part) effortlessly.

With health and safety on top of everyone’s minds, now is the time for individuals to form good habits that encourage personal wellbeing and safety, not only for themselves but also their colleagues. So, how can we cultivate good habit-forming techniques in the workplace, not just so employees work efficiently, but most importantly, safely?

When we discuss good habits, we may think of going to the gym more often, eating healthily or being more organised. Whilst these are great habits to strive for, the best results tend to happen when we make a succession of bite-sized goals. Whilst the easiest change you could carry out is taking a well-earned rest, it’s seldom accomplished.

Why is this the case? Because it’s tempting to complete a task as quickly as possible to achieve as much as possible, especially when deadlines are approaching. However, it’s the most vital working practice you can carry out; taking a quick break allows you time to refresh, reflect, and get a change of scenery, but it also prevents ‘decision fatigue’.

Decision fatigue is when the quality of the choices you make deteriorates, which leads to workers taking the easiest, most convenient path to completion. However, these may not be the safest in the long-run. Each job you carry out on-site, whether it’s operating demolition machinery, working at heights, or filling out paperwork, requires concentration. The longer you carry out the same task on-site without a break, the more likely you are to take shortcuts that could lead to mistakes and accidents.

How can you step away from a specific job you’re performing on-site, or take a break from the paperwork when the client is expecting updates? Scheduling breaks is great in theory, but if you’re half-way through a job, you can’t just switch the engine off, jump out of the cab and run for the kettle. It takes a little forethought, and for the team to work together, to ensure every worker on site is getting a hot brew and a biscuit to break up their busy workload – essential to keeping them focused and working safely on the task at hand.

If you notice a colleague or employee getting weary, their enthusiasm and concentration slipping, call them in for a break when they come to a suitable stopping point. Use this period to get to know them, spark up a conversation, and ensure everyone on site knows that you care about and value their wellbeing as well as their (and others) safety. This simple action will make more impact on-site productivity, efficiency and workforce happiness than you might realise.

How do you monitor your workforce’s wellbeing? Does everyone on site get regular breaks?

NDTG, in conjunction, with NFDC supports Building Mental Health. To find out more about NFDC’s Mental Health and Wellbeing programmes for Managers and Ambassadors, click here.