It’s very rare to see software without issues and development teams with fit & healthy individuals. Rampant operations issues, longer meetings can take a toll on software teams and their health. Here are 6 actionable tips which you can follow to keep up your software team’s health.
Not really, I am writing about fitness for software teams which are actionable and mostly do not cost a buck to the management. I am also covering physical and mental health.
Fitness cannot be imposed, fitness cannot be ignored in software teams. We can only facilitate the achievement of individual team members’ fitness goals. For instance, as a lead dev of a team, I get to know who is a morning and an evening person. I can urge them to take a break in the morning/evening and get back to work after a workout break.
Stress management should be spoken often in teams. We veil ourselves from exposing our vulnerabilities in front of the team members in a fear of judgment or missing out on opportunities. But stress at work is real, we need to talk about it and support each other. Uncertainty is a breeding ground for stress. For me, cleaning the work area within 5 minutes helps in reducing stress similarly 10-minute walks after meetings. Each one of your software team members needs to find out what works for them to manage stress.
Do not arrange for parties in the evening or starting at night. Office parties are an event where calorie intake is high plus alcohol at times. It’s celebration mode but too many calories in the night followed by a working day are not good for your team. You can schedule lunch in the afternoon followed by a walk or some games. At least fitness freaks would balance their night meal portion size and work out the other day.
Office pantry to have just free water, rest should be paid/banned, including the big screen TV. I am not in favor of drinking calories in the form of coffees at work. You can substitute tea with green tea. Stocking biscuits and other snacks in transparent jars is a recipe for failure. Ban soda-based drinks at work.
Have a meditation room/area at work. The busy work culture and laptop screens need to be given a break. Why not a room for meditation. If it does not work, let them take a nap.
Long meetings to have a mandatory timeout of 10 minutes after 40 minutes duration. The team can use 10 minutes for taking a power walk or visiting the washroom. There is a study which says spending long hours in the car leads to an increase in weight, the same holds good for meetings. Lot said but less is done in teams about conducting effective and short meetings.
Because each software team is unique, as a leader you need to think about the software team’s fitness and come up with actionable items.
If you are thinking of distributing freebies to your team at 3 pm like cookies and squeeze work out of them in the evening, it’s not a great idea ethically. To me, it looks unethical as you are slowly reducing the quality of your team members’ health. Some of them might put on 7kgs body weight in a year due to this.
Watch three things daily
Amount of food you eat
Amount of exercise you do
How are you feeling both physically and mentally
Sometimes analyze or monitor the numbers like body weight, blood pressure, and other test reports