Ever feel like the world of work is ever changing at such a fast pace? Which means that there is a growing demand placed on us, to work harder than ever before. This means that the most stressful part of our lives is going to work each day; fortunately, lots of us have realised this to be a problem and many of us now work in an organisation where health and well-being is at the top of our managers’ agendas.
In 2017, the business costs of mental ill health at work totalled an estimated £34.9 billion, with the largest loss coming from reduced productivity at work due to mental ill health. However, there are lots of ways that your organisation can help to create a healthy place to work. Here at myAko, we are committed to finding new ways to create a healthier workplace environment.
You might have heard of something called ‘mindfulness’? A man called Jon Kabat-Zinn explains that “mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention…it’s about knowing what is on your mind”. There have been lots of studies that have shown mindfulness meditation to help mental and physical health positively by reducing stress, improving sleep, helping you to focus in the workplace and even improving relationships. Mindfulness meditation is a bit like yoga where you practice focusing on your body and your breathing so that you can gather your thoughts better and improve concentration. Some of us at myAko practice mindfulness meditation too, using apps such as Headspace. There has been research into these apps to find out if they really do help us to feel less stressed and improve our focus in and out of work. Research using Headspace found that people who were using the app saw improvements in focus by 14%, as well as decreases in mind wandering whilst at work. A representative from GE Learning and Development explains that:
“using Headspace regularly has reduced the turbulence in my life…in the workplace, Headspace can be used both proactively to set people up for the day ahead and reactively at any point to meet the day’s challenges. It’s reassuring to know people have a tool they can go to whenever needed”.
The perfect work-life balance is hard to identify for any one single person, because some of us love to work super long hours yet others work less hours but are highly focused during this time. Nevertheless, by finding a healthy work-life balance that works for you, this will no doubt help to improve your well being. By finding a healthier work-life balance, you are more likely to engage and perform better at work, because you feel more motivated and less stressed.
Forward thinking employers are helping and encouraging their employees to find a healthier work-life balance, as this improves relationships and brings greater benefits to your business. One way that lots of companies are trying to improve employees’ work-life balance is by introducing flexible working. This can mean anything from job sharing, to working from home, to working staggered hours but these methods can help employees feel like they have more control and feel empowered to work harder, because they feel trusted and more comfortable at work. These options don’t work for everyone, as it’s often dependant on your personal circumstances, your experience, your job role and your business need. Saying that, organisations that adopt these strategies are finding significant reductions in employee churn and higher productivity levels from experienced staff.
At myAko, we are a team of like-minded and passionate people who care, and strive to be the best at what we do, together. Our workplace culture is important to us because we want this to be a positive reflection of what we are all about. A positive workplace culture is essentially the personality of your organisation, and it’s imperative that a well-being programme aligns with the culture of your company, as this means that your business values and aims will reinforce and support the well-being programme for your employees.There are lots of ways that you, as business managers and leaders, you can support a well-being programme to ensure that your teams are happy and healthy at work:
- Spend the time listening to your team, and encourage small group meetings to hear what they have to say about their work environment, working practices, teamwork and current challenges.
- Be consistent with appraising your employees for their positive contribution towards your team successes, empowering your team to reflect your organisation’s values and be the best that they can be.
- Ensure that you consider well-being when making policies and procedures, or working practice changes, to ensure you achieve your team and organisation goals.
We encourage each member of our team to actively contribute as a proactive team player, by supporting their colleagues and our customers alike, we are building a positive workplace culture.
Employee health and well-being is paramount to your business today, and this kind of programme will really boost your business. A study by Robert Walters found that introducing a health and well-being programme into an organisation can boost productivity gains by up to 15%! Adopting a health and wellness initiative will show your team that you are always happy to do more, putting them and their needs first. Research suggests that an organisation who introduces a health and well-being programme can reduce their employees’ health risk factors by up to 56%! All these things will lead to greater employee and customer satisfaction because you will have a team that feels valued and trusted.
So, how forward thinking is your business as far as health and well-being is concerned? If not, why so? What can you do today, tomorrow and in the future to help yourself, your team and your organisation? Do you already have a programme in place, are you seeing some of the aforementioned benefits? Contact our myAko ninjas now, we would love to hear from you!