In an ideal world, wellbeing at work would start with the employer. Why should employers care about wellbeing? Well, research tells us that employee wellbeing is directly linked to employee performance.
Global employee productivity and engagement is currently at an all-time low, with only 15% of employees actively engaged in their work and enthusiastic about their workplaces.
Perhaps more worryingly, 18% are actively disengaged, and their unhappiness and resentment may lead them to undermine the progress made by their more engaged co-workers.
Improving wellbeing at work doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking and there are some simple changes that organisations can make. The first step is to understand that a company’s main asset is their people. Once you accept that, the extensive benefits of promoting wellbeing at work become clear. This article by Gallup, perfectly summarises the positive impact engaged employees can have on your brand identity and performance.
Despite the evidence, many companies are yet to fully embrace a holistic approach to supporting their employees physical and mental wellbeing. So, for the moment, you may have to do it for yourself.
Here are 5 pro-active tips that will hugely improve your workplace happiness and wellbeing:
1. No Posturing
One of the many challenges facing employees this year, has been the physical tolls of working from home. Not many people are fortunate enough to have a home office, which has led to people hunched over laptops at the kitchen table, the coffee table, or in the worst-case scenario, their beds!
One of the first things you can do to improve your wellbeing at work is to improve your posture. Try to sit in a proper office chair or invest in back support to adapt a normal dining chair. Sitting up straight can actually reduce tiredness and feelings of depression, so it is well worth the effort. This article by Posture People has some great tips to help you set up a more ergonomic home work station or HSS has some brilliant ideas to support your posture if you don’t have a desk.
If you’re at work, make sure your workspace is correctly set up to minimise physical difficulties. The NHS has some good tips and you can always speak to your HR team and enquire about occupational health support if you are experiencing physical pain.
2. Go Green!
Eco-psychology research shows that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our physical health and psychological wellbeing. So why not bring the outside inside?
Having live plants in your workspace can reduce stress and anxiety, improve air quality, inspire creativity and boost productivity. The Green Building Council of Australia even reported that having live plants can reduce sick-leave absences by up to 60%.
Indoor plants also release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) during the day. High levels of CO2 can cause headaches, drowsiness, fatigue and concentration difficulties. As if that’s not enough, Bamboo Palms, Peace Lily, and Spider Plants are some of the most effective at filtering toxic compounds from the air, so why not create a jungle in your office?
3. Don’t Be Sucked in by the Mood Hoover
Building social relationships with your colleagues is an essential part of any effective workplace and something those of us who work alone often say they miss. But not when it comes to...The Mood Hoover!
The Mood Hoover is someone whose permanent state of pessimism or negativity can suck the mood out of the most positive situation. It’s the person you work with who's constantly moaning, complaining or blaming people. Most workplaces have one and if you don’t know who it is, then maybe it’s you! Only kidding.