Understanding and Fostering Well-Being at Work

Well-being, or the experience of health, pleasure, and prosperity, entails a person that has a strong mental health, a high level of life happiness, a feeling of meaning or purpose, and an ability to deal with stress. Our sense of well-being is critical to our overall health and happiness. A robust and well-adapted feeling of well-being can help us overcome problems and achieve our life goals. According to research, a better sense of wellbeing is associated with enhanced physical advantages such as fewer occurrences of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and sleeping disorders, as well as increased productivity and creativity in both work and personal lives. The good state of well-being allows us to be our best versions.

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Research shows that healthy workplaces enable employees to thrive and attain their full potential. This entails building an atmosphere that actively fosters happiness, which benefits both employees and the organisation. Promoting the wellness of employees helps enhance resilience, improve their engagement, reduce sick leaves, and improve performance and productivity.

Why Well-being at Work is Essential

Healthy and happy employees are assets of the company. As they are productive and their wellness is taken care of, employees produce outcomes more efficiently. Here are some crucial reasons why well-being at the workplace is essential to all employees and their organisations.

1. Healthy and happy employees are less likely to get sick

Research shows that one in every three people considers their job to be the most stressful element of their life, which not only impacts their psychological well-being but also physical health. Lengthy periods of stress, anxiety and burden can raise the likelihood that someone would participate in dangerous habits and actions such as smoking, reckless driving, and overly drinking. It can also induce weariness, worsen concentration ability, which results in a high blood pressure and other illnesses, e.g. diabetes. To avoid burnout and reduce the number of sick days, organisations should pay attention on counselling, working hours, and paid leaves of workers.

2. Increased productivity and better working performance

A healthier and happier workplace indeed leads to increased productivity. We normally feel less weary and find it much easier to focus for a considerable amount of time when we have a good health and clear mind. In fact, inefficient working practices are linked to unhealthy lives. For instance, a lack of work autonomy due to micromanaging or inappropriate use of talents can be the core of employees’ unsuccessful performance and unhappiness. Hence, despite being physically present in the workplace, employees shall be distracted or unengaged in the working environment. Encouraging and promoting health and well-being among your workers is an efficient way to motivate and engage employees.

3. Improved job satisfaction and staff retention

When employees feel valued and taken care of, they become more engaged and communicative with one another. Promoting well-being at work helps increase job satisfaction and engagement, resulting in a better and happier workplace environment. The team is more prepared to weather harsh circumstances and scenarios that are unavoidable at some point in their career. Aside from that, companies likely observe an increase in worker recruitment and retention. When employees will feel appreciated, they will be more inclined to stay with the firm, which helps to reduce the recruitment cost and effort. Furthermore, it is an appealing and competitive offer for new talents that you are looking to employ.

Fostering Well-being at Work

We spend about one third of our day at work, interacting with several individuals while handling substantial loads of tasks and issues. Therefore, how we work per day potentially makes a great impact on our well-being. Although our working space is much likely built by others, safeguarding and improving our wellness is the responsibility of every employee.

1. Take regular breaks

Take a small break every 45 minutes of working by getting some fresh air and leaving your desk, or even stepping away from your physical department building to change the environment for a little while. Although being productive gives us a sense of self-worth and demonstrates our usefulness to employers, being too actively busy will lead to burnout and reduced productivity.

2. Set meeting times during core working hours

Scheduling meetings to begin and end solely within core working hours allows you to work with the confidence that no one will call or text you on your out-of-the-office hours, which helps you prepare appropriately. Moreover, plan your day in advance and leave a certain time spot on calendar will help others to know when they can reach you and understand that you have other obligations and urgent matters to solve.

3. Say “No”

Saying no is not always a sign of disrespect or impoliteness. Especially to young and new employees, we want to demonstrate our “can-do” attitude and team-playing spirit at work, but when expectations exceed our ability to perform, we all have the right to be assertive about our boundaries.

Let other team members know why you cannot help them this time. When your answer is sincere, saying no is not equivalent to failing your team, but rather indicate that you will be in a better position in another time and the work will be accomplished more efficiently.

4. Deadlines should be realistic

Managing your calendar so that you are able to deliver work on time not only improves productivity, but it also allows you to execute your tasks to a high quality and without unnecessary stress.

While each timeline likely has changes along the way, and few things go exactly as planned, following a procedure may be a big assist in accomplishing your goals:

  • Consider all of the steps that must be done as well as any external causes that may delay the deadline.
  • Plan in detail and ahead of time.
  • Commit to avoiding distractions that may get in your way.
  • Speak out and ask for assistance when your performance is not able to keep up with deadlines
  • Be open and honest with all relevant parties.

When establishing a deadline, remember to consider:

  • other urgent and near deadlines,
  • human resources for that task (as the delay of an individual can lead to a delay of the whole team),
  • available personnel that can handle that task while your plate is full,
  • communication quality to ensure the delegation is transparent and adequate,
  • your past experience of overly take of multiple deadlines simultaneously.

5. Reboot yourself with holidays

Taking a complete break from work is beneficial to both mental and physical wellbeing. Taking a vacation may assist to alleviate job-related stress, avoid anxiety and depression, and improve work performance and productivity – which should persuade your company that it is in their best interests as well.

Taking holidays while your plate is full is not an easy task, however when your capacity to handle these tasks is not well, e.g. you cannot come up with any innovative ideas or you experience chronic headache, being absent from work is definitely a go-to. When on holidays, turn off your work devices and let yourself completely free from the thoughts of obligations.

  • CIPD. Wellbeing at work. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/culture/well-being/factsheet#gref

  • Patel, S. 12 Work-Life Balance Tips That Will Make You a Happier and More Successful Person. Available at: https://time.com/collection/guide-to-happiness/4264761/12-work-life-balance-tips-that-will-make-you-a-happier-and-more-successful-person/

  • Potential. Effective Ways to Maintain Superior Wellbeing at Work. Available at: https://www.potential.com/articles/effective-ways-to-maintain-superior-wellbeing-at-work/

  • Heads Up. Your Mental Health At Work. Available at: https://www.headsup.org.au/your-mental-health/taking-care-of-yourself-and-staying-well/at-work

  • World Health Organisation. Mental health: strengthening our response. Available at: https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/major-themes/health-and-well-being

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