June 15, 2024

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How to be extra successful at work: the secret finally revealed

Lauren Consiglio considers the habits and behaviours which are likely to drive success

When it comes to our ‘work selves’ each of us has a different way of handling the demands of the day-to-day. Some rely on gym-ing it to counteract the lethargy of desk jobs, and others see the social side of work as their ultimate motivation.

But does one industry, or one area of the country, correlate with certain habits more than others? And how do we know if our routine way to handle working life is truly the recipe for success?

A new study by specialist business insurer Hiscox investigated just that, looking into a range of different industries, and highlighting the most common habits in each sector. So what is it that drives different types of workers? And is there a common way we can work towards success, or does it depend on the individual and the industry in which they work?

A look at sector habits in the UK

1. Feeling active, fit and healthy

For many, being able to get in that early morning run or spending lunchtimes on an extra fitness session is what fuels them. When you work out, your brain releases serotonin (helping you to feel better and improve your state of mind), thus making work stresses easier to handle.
The most active gym members were found to work in IT & Telecoms, visiting an average of 10 days a month, with 61% going at least once a week and 11% going every single day. This may be because these are typically office-based jobs, where the need for exercise is often greater.

2. Extra energy

A lot of industries rely on a cup of coffee to keep them chugging along throughout the day. Those that work in Architecture, Engineering and Building sectors were deemed to be the most dependent on caffeine, with 66% drinking at least one cup per day. With 48% working overtime at least once per week, there could be a correlation between the extra hours and energy they need.
Energy drinks are also helping workers excel, with 33% of those in the Manufacturing and Utilities industry enjoying an energy drink at least once per day.
As for those who work in Legal, an average of 7 hours’ sleep per weeknight is what helps them work effectively.

3. Taking the time to be social

Are you a social butterfly? For some people, the social aspect of work as well as having time to be social outside of work is what drives them to do their jobs.
According to the survey, the Irish live up to their sociable stereotype most, with people from Belfast spending the most time hanging out with colleagues outside of work. In fact, many suggested they spend more time socialising with colleagues than they do with their own, non-work friends! On the contrary, 33% of Liverpudlians dash out as soon as it’s time to go home.

So, what is the secret to work success?

Ultimately, it seems that the secret to success is knowing that there’s no one solution. It’s about understanding that what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you, just like others’ versions of success do not need to correlate to yours. There’s no fool proof formula for all, making it most important to trust your instincts and make your own by:

1. Knowing what works for you on a practical level

You can read all the research in the world on how to manage your working day, but finding habits that are a good fit for you and your work life is what matters most. As individuals, some of us work better when we wake up at the crack of dawn, whereas others can get more done when burning the midnight oil. Some will rely on caffeine to get those extra hours in, whereas some of us would rather condense our workload and get a well-rested night’s sleep. Know what works for you, and stick to it – setting yourself a schedule, (flexible or rigid) that you can use to maximise your productivity and achieve your goals at work.

2. Knowing what success means to you

The reason there are no hard-and-fast rules for success is because it looks different to each and every person. For one person, success may look like climbing up the corporate ladder, swinging from one promotion to the next until they reach CEO status. For someone else it may be as simple as having a flexible schedule, whether to work on something they’re passionate about outside of work, or spend time with the people they love. Until you know what success looks like to you, you can’t set about achieving it.
The key is to know who you are, know the way you work best, and perhaps most importantly, know what you need and what you want from your success. By striking this balance, you can be extra-successful at work, while spending your time in a way that works for you.