When it comes to wellbeing at work “casual Fridays” or a “pint after work” just don’t make the grade anymore. As our working lives become more hectic and the jobs market more competitive; companies are going to ever greater lengths to ensure their employees stay engaged, happy and well.
A 2017 study by the American Psychology found that workers in companies where the leadership visibly demonstrated support for their wellbeing felt more motivated to do their best, reported higher levels of job satisfaction and had better relationships with co-workers. Small and medium size companies do not have the same budget to spend on employee wellbeing as large multinationals, but that doesn’t stop finding innovative ways to keep their staff happy, well and active.
According to an ESRI report, the 2 biggest work- related illnesses were muscular disorders (back problems; hip problems) which account for 50 per cent and stress; anxiety and depression; which accounted for 18 per cent. Working up to 50 hours a week has become the new norm for a lot of us.
So, you must ask yourself the question what can I do. First and foremost; focus on yourself. Below are some simple but useful steps to follow:
- Focus on your emotions and how they are impacting you- emotions feed behaviour- so if stressed or work is too much – take a deep breath. If you can remember- close your eyes and let your shoulders drop and try to create more positive emotions and celebrate your achievements and successes.
- If stressed; receiving an avalanche of e-mails or the phone is ringing constantly this is not a good environment, take a break for 10 minutes. This can be a walk or if it occurs in the middle of a busy day, a trip to the canteen- make a cup of tea/ coffee- (taking a mini break can often lead to better productivity when you return to the desk!)
- Be aware that not all stress is bad and that it can help us learn and focus and drive us on- however it’s the intensity and frequency of stress that’s bad.
- Think in terms of success and learning; not success and failure.
- Build positive relationships– if you are feeling stuck at work; try to talk to someone who in a similar position or will listen.
- Practice mindfulness– for me personally, it really helps- concentrate on the here and now- a great piece of advice that was passed on to me was to write down 5 things you are grateful for- try to start the day by writing out positive messages.
- When you are off; you are off! So make sure you are off- (don’t check email when you are off) because you are still on high alert and you need time to recuperate.