PROMOTING WELLBEING IN THE WORKPLACE
Mental health issues in the workplace are rising, which is not surprising with all the added stress that we navigate throughout our lives.
Most of the population spends the majority of their lives at work/working. They are often dealing with high stress, long hours, tough targets, on top of financial worries, and a poor work-life balance, which can all take a physical and mental toll.
We must take staff wellbeing seriously, as it will improve morale and job satisfaction, meaning productivity soars and absences are kept to a minimum.
PRACTISE GOOD ALL-ROUND SELF-CARE
Remember, prevention is better than a cure, which means don’t wait for a problem to occur and take steps now to prevent problems from popping up in the first place.
Start with the basics:
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get enough sleep.
- Maintain a good social life.
- Don’t overindulge on the booze.
This may seem quite simple, but when life becomes too much it is easy to stop doing these self-care essentials.
ACTION: Evaluate your daily routine to see how you can improve on any of the above tasks.
TAKE A BREAK
Our workload can feel overwhelming at times. It can often feel like there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all!
Sometimes the working day feels more like firefighting than progression, which can feel relentless and draining. Taking a break seems counterproductive during these moments but this is a sure recipe for burnout.
ACTION: Even the shortest of breaks can make a world of difference. Get away from your desk and go outside. Put that device down and pick up a book or just take a breather for a moment.
MAINTAIN A POSITIVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE
Overtime may be necessary on occasion but whenever possible, turn off the computer and aim to leave the office/finish the day at a reasonable time. It is vital that we have a life outside of work.
ACTION: Organise fun activities to do in the evenings and weekends. Join a social club, sports team, yoga class, or any other activity that floats your boat. Socialise with friends and family and if it is possible, book a holiday or short break. Starting a new hobby will help alleviate stress and tension.
It is important to communicate wellbeing needs in the workplace, but this often feels difficult to do.
Some employees may be apprehensive to approach their employer/manager or feel ashamed that they need to ask for support and may be cautious about the potential repercussions.
Organisations have a responsibility to support the wellbeing of their staff, but they need to be aware of any situation in order to be able to do so effectively.
ACTION: Create a WELLNESS ACTION PLAN for each employee. Encouraging conversations can lead on to creating a company culture of openness and acceptance.
UTILISE EMPLOYEE SUPPORT
However proactive you may be, there will still be people who are not ready to have that chat. If this is the case, then the option of employee support schemes can make a great alternative.
These are confidential counselling services by phone which are available for employees 24/7, 365.
ACTION: If you do not have anything like this in place, then you should think about getting something set up. An alternative could be creating a resource of support that is already available and that your staff can access confidentially.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. It is a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment.
This practice has become increasingly popular in recent years and many people include it in the everyday life. It is scientifically proven to help relieve pain, reduce stress, and ease anxiety.
ACTION: Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes a day, it can make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing.
CHANGE THE CULTURE
Employees often feel discouraged from speaking out about their mental health or feel stifled by their workplace, causing further stress and anxiety. Organisations can take positive steps to change the culture of their workplace to create a more open environment.
ACTION: Check out this amazing list of ’81 WORKPLACE WELLBEING IDEAS’ to get you started!
To improve health and wellbeing in the workplace, having the right systems, policies, procedures, and protection in place is vital to support your employees.