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The importance of health and wellness in the workplace

What does it mean to develop a health & wellness culture in your workplace?

Wellness in the workplace is a huge point of discussion these days. Rightfully so – many of us have chosen to spend most of our waking life in an office. That experience can be uplifting, progressive and vibrant, or it could be mundane, monotonous and depressing. A company’s culture built on the wellness of its team is a thriving one. Wellness isn’t just about physical health, although that is a crucial element. It’s also about giving options to employees that encourage them to nurture their body, mind, heart and soul. I spoke with a friend recently who works for a city marketing services firm. While the business is financially successful, culturally the wellbeing of each individual is not valued by their leadership team. As a result, people aren’t comfortable speaking out and opinions aren’t heard. They have a cold environment where the general vibe in the office is one of repression rather than expression. They seem surprised that they have a high staff turnover. Few people will remain in an environment like that for long. Encouraging wellness in your workplace can have a positive impact on your employees’ body, mind, heart and soul, in turn, it's good for your business as a whole.

Body

Sport: Physical activity can result in a healthy body! It’s a no-brainer, so why not develop some activities for the business? A discounted gym membership, yoga classes, team triathlons, a running group at lunch times – the opportunities are endless. Sugar and caffeine moderation: Excess sugar and caffeine might offer a quick peak of alertness, but the downside is the slump that follows. It’s an endless cycle! Why not break it and see what happens? Is another bag of chocolates or sugary sweets for the office necessary?

Heart (Social)

A health and wellness programme can be beneficial for team members to engage with one another with a clear state of mind. While many social activities often involve alcohol, team sports and activities give people a chance to engage with one another on a different level. They can assist in the development of stronger relationships and greater understanding of how to work with one another.

Mind

A clear head and healthy body leave more room for creative thinking and innovation. Thoughts become more organised and can be used as tools rather than obstacles. Decisions are made faster and actions are accomplished with confidence. Challenges will continue to arise but our response to the situation is more effective. Somehow, we seem to become more intelligent as a result of looking after ourselves.

Soul

Soul or spirit means something different for each individual. For me, it’s about finding more purpose in everyday life. Purpose: Adding purpose to one’s working life raises the quality of their experience, their relationships and certainly their work. It would be wise to learn what drives each of your team members. What do they love and how can your business be a vehicle to help them reach their own goals or dreams? Purpose is fuel for greatness. Re-energising: Meditation is a gentle way of bringing yourself back to the present moment. Oprah Winfrey is a known advocate for meditation, and she encourages every person in her organisation to meditate at the start and the end of the day – she calls this “Quiet Time”. This gives everyone an opportunity to recharge, refocus, re-centre with the present moment, instead of being lost in the constant stream of thoughts which can create chaos in the mind. It can be as simple as taking five minutes out of the work day where everyone is silent – off their computers and devices, simply clearing their minds or focusing on their breath. This can have a great impact on deepening one’s sense of self. I’ve only scraped the surface on this subject. If you haven’t already, do some research on how other businesses are promoting wellness in the workplace. The benefits for each individual and the business as a whole could be huge!

Need help?

To discuss your business goals in more detail, and how a wellness programme might be beneficial, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly via email: simonj@hansonsearch.com. If you're interested in the link between physical health and success in the workplace, you might be interested in reading my article on "Why former athletes make great business leaders."

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