The Seven Pillars of Wholistic Wellbeing Part 4: Professional Wellbeing
Professional wellbeing is linked to the pleasure we derive from doing work that is meaningful to us. To be inspired by one’s job creates a positive and healthy professional ethos and, in turn, contributes to greater emotional wellbeing. Have you ever noticed that those around you who love their jobs tend to radiate more positive energy than those who don’t?
But professional wellbeing is about more than satisfaction: it’s about joy. Joy to be in the office with inspiring colleagues; to work at a job that is making a difference and that you find personally enriching; to relish in the tasks you do and the legacy you build for yourself.
According to RANONE, the quality of one’s professional life is made up of four significant components:
- The nature of the work you are doing
- How you relate to the people around you
- How much money you are earning
- The quality of your life outside work
How do you promote Wholistic Wellbeing at work?
In the context of the workplace, employers should consider medical schemes that encompass the full spectrum of mental, emotional, and physical health for each employee. A company is only ever as healthy as the people within it, and only by working on individual employee wellbeing can we achieve corporate wellbeing.
While employee wellbeing is a priority in its own right, another argument in favour of greater corporate wellbeing is that it affects the company’s performance. Poor employee wellbeing can seriously harm productivity and, by extension, a company’s competitiveness. The cost of stress and poor health to business, particularly in terms of absenteeism and low productivity, cannot be understated. A report by the US Government’s Health and Safety Executive found that in 2018/2019, 12.8 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety. Moreover, companies that invest in employee experience largely outperform those that don’t, with the average profit and profit per employee being as much as 4.2% and 4% higher, respectively.
How can we ensure individual employee wellbeing? For health writer Robyn Whalen, there are three main things an employer can do.
- Promote a positive work environment
You should make sure that your office is set up in an employee-friendly manner, to encourage social interaction and creativity while maintaining privacy. New employees should be welcomed and made to feel like they belong. To ensure your workspace promotes employee wellbeing, take notice of how your employees move around during the day. If they are stuck in their cubicles, try to encourage team meetings or at least team lunches. Try evaluating how your employees act — if they do not smile or laugh at all, there may be an issue. Although being focused on work is important, having positive interactions throughout the day is vital to their emotional and mental health. In addition, try configuring the office so that open communication is achievable between peers and supervisors. Get feedback from your employees on whether their ideas are being heard.
- Provide employees with opportunities for social engagement
In order to promote social engagement, provide your employees with ample opportunities to get to know each other. Bonds between colleagues will positively impact employee wellbeing and the overall mood of a workplace. One way of engaging your employees socially would be to offer them volunteering opportunities, which would have a positive impact not just on your workplace but also on the wider community.
- Offer employees the resources they need
A corporate wellbeing plan should replace whatever health plan your business currently has in place, as these tend to focus exclusively on physical health. Offer employees classes in financial management, anxiety management and time management; maybe even in meditation, or cooking. Employees should also have access to any resources they may need for therapy or counseling, for themselves and their families (as an individual’s mental health has a ripple effect on the people closest to them). Knowing resources are available with employer support will ensure a healthy culture and bring about positive lifestyle changes for employees.
I believe that supporting Wholistic Wellbeing of employees is essential: no matter how good the captain is, the ship is nothing without its crew.
And for the growing number of people who are self-employed or working from home since the pandemic began, there are various things one can do to improve their w-holistic wellbeing.
One of the RoundGlass coaches, Yeshe Rabgye, has shared a work-from-home routine that would be useful to everyone who is currently at “home office”.
In the Morning
- On workday mornings, get up at your usual work times.
- Don’t miss breakfast, as this is the most important meal of the day.
- Try to do a simple 10-minute breathing awareness meditation, yoga practice, or some exercise.
- Plan your day, have a to-do list.
- During your break, spend a few moments watching your breath, stretching, getting a glass of water, looking out the window, or checking in with your body.
In the Afternoon
- Take a one-hour lunch break away from your work area. Turn off your laptop and avoid your phone. Do not eat and work at the same time.
- After lunch, do a 15-minute break.
- After your lunch break and rest, work for a few hours.
- For your afternoon break, go outside, connect with nature.
- Start your final two-hour work period.
In the Evening
- Take a moment to reflect on the day.
- Enjoy your mindful evening downtime at home with housemates or family knowing you have the whole night to rest and recuperate before tomorrow.
- Try to stick to an evening routine and set the time you go to bed on workdays.
- Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and caffeine six hours before bedtime.
- Do pranayama breathing exercises or meditation 30 minutes before bedtime, and at the same time, turn off your devices — this includes TVs and mobile phones.
- Have a gratitude journal.
Among the solutions offered by RoundGlass in matters of professional wellbeing, one of them is the Workplace Collective: a community of CXOs, senior HR leaders, corporate decision makers and influencers who are passionate about Wholistic Wellbeing in organizations. It is a platform for leaders and change-makers to connect with each other, share their practice and create effective wellbeing strategies to unlock the full potential of employees through conversation. Members will find original research and expert-led views, along with a host of curated content.
There is also a range of Corporate Sub-Collectives: customized portals for Corporates where employees can converge to enhance their awareness about wellbeing, adopt healthy fitness habits and learn to cultivate a healthy and productive lifestyle. The Sub-Collectives also help CEOs and CHROs drive positive behavior changes in their organizations creating a happier and more engaged workforce.