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Working Flexi-time is nothing new. Though having flexibility around our working hours appears to be increasingly necessary to allow us to incorporate all those other jobs and tasks that make up the multiple facets of our daily lives.

Optus has reported that 60% of its workforce accesses flexible working hours.

But should we be making sure our thinking is flexible too?

The modern workplace is highly demanding on our time and mental resources. We have to deal with the unexpected, with difficult clients (or work colleagues) and still come up trumps on working well on all of our tasks.

Cognitive flexibility or flexible thinking is vital as it allows us to shift our attention quickly to what needs to be dealt with next.

The problem is that the demands on our executive brain, (our ability to focus, plan, organise and decide) are compromised by our emotional state. So if we are worried or in ‘survival mode’ our subconscious, (which is our faster processing route) has to work extra hard and we become less efficient.

Perhaps you’ve noticed this yourself when you have other things weighing heavily on your mind. It’s hard then not just to keep focused but also to work at your ‘usual’ speed. You may notice too, you make more mistakes, all of which adds to how much time you take to complete your work and your level of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Bottom line: lack of cognitive flexibility and emotional regulation reduces productivity.

Introducing a health and wellness program that leads to high performance thinking saves time, cognitive energy, boosts productivity and employee wellbeing and happiness.

Optus have revealed how their Wellbeing program has netted them an additional $1.3 million in productivity gains. A happier, healthier, fitter workforce is clearly good for business.

Organisational health is more than just looking after our physical wellbeing – it incorporates mental wellbeing, our emotional and social intelligences and our overall level of brain fitness.

So how flexible thinking is your thinking?                                                    

Does your workplace offer a holistic health and wellness program that takes care of your body, mind and brain?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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