“I think the foremost quality – there’s no success without it – is really loving what you do. If you love it, you do it well, and there’s no success if you don’t do well what you’re working at.” – Malcolm Forbes
We spend most of our waking hours at work. Work is, of course, a necessary part of life, we need it to survive. Sadly, though, many of us do not value our time spent in the workplace beyond its means for material necessity. If time spent at work is of no emotional value to us, then how many of our waking hours do we spend feeling truly valued, happy and fulfilled? Not enough perhaps. Our physical and emotional wellbeing should not take a back seat when we are working; it should be upheld as an important consideration when running any place of work.
High standards of wellbeing do not only add to a healthier and more productive atmosphere in the workplace, it also helps to keep the happiness of our colleagues and employees consistent throughout the day, and their lives in general; creating happier, healthier human beings.
Why Workplace Wellbeing is Important
So, you might have gotten the impression that looking at the levels of wellbeing in your place of work is a good idea! But why, specifically, should you strive to improve your environment? How does it actually affect your business?
People who are happy and healthy are much more likely to be fully engaged with their job. Good mental health will mean that they have much less negativity swimming around in their minds and will therefore be much less distracted. If their environment is designed with their wellbeing in mind, and their workplace is somewhere that they feel supported and appreciated, then their motivation to give the job their all will be considerable.
If an employee is happy in a business, then they tend to stay. Simple really! High employee turnover puts a huge strain on the resources of your business, and experience within a company is invaluable when building a team that you can put your trust in. This kind of loyalty is built on teamwork, communication and mutual respect; all essential ingredients in a workforce’s wellbeing.
Happy and fulfilled employees are more productive in general, that much is clear. But you should also consider the productivity of your business as a whole. Healthy employees will be just that, healthy! Employees who are not healthy, physically or mentally, are much more prone to breakdowns, periods of stress and to need time off. How do we tackle this? You guessed it, by increasing workplace wellbeing.
People talk! Word of mouth is a bigger contributor to success than ever before; if you have a reputation for being a receptive and supportive employer, then it will be talked about. Not only does this make you look good in general, but it will increase the chances of you receiving the most talented and qualified candidates for your business.
How to Improve Workplace Wellbeing
All of us have lives outside of work. A satisfying existence outside of work hours supports a fulfilling and productive existence when at work. It essential to recognise the importance of the work/life balance. You can help support this in a number of ways; no interaction with work-based e-mails outside of business hours, shorter workdays to increase productivity, counselling and employee care provisions. You might also want to be open to bespoke work arrangements for those employees that have children or other dependants.
Open communication keeps your team connected. It is a policy and a way of being that ensures that everyone is respected, connected and heard. There are many ways to in which you can implement this idea within your workplace: Open Communication and Its Importance in The Workplace
A Pleasant Environment
Our immediate environment can have a huge impact on our mood and general sense of wellbeing. If your place of work lacks natural light, is a bit drab or a little stuffy, then you and your team might be suffering for it. There might not be much you can do about natural light, apart from decluttering a few windowsills! What you can do is improve the artificial lighting, brighten up the place with a fresh or dynamic paint job and add some plant life. This is supposed to increase mood and productivity considerably.
How good is the ventilation and general air quality in your building? Plant life improves the quality of the air, as do air conditioning and air purifying units. More fresh air and more oxygen has a direct positive effect on brain function.
Distraction is a big problem these days. With the humming of our computers, copiers and printers clicking and whirring and notifications and phones going off everywhere, it can be difficult to concentrate. It might be an idea to manage the noise pollution in your workplace. Small measures could include a silent phone policy or a designated conversation area. If you have the capacity for a bigger overhaul you could even rearrange your work space and relocate the noisier machines and activities to a designated part of the room or building.
By Chris Thomson
Sometimes all you need to get through the day at work is a few moments to yourself. Why not fill up those moments with one of these simple meditations: 6 Mini Meditations for Work
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