Wellbeing in the Workplace – Staying Well at Work

Wellbeing in the Workplace – Staying Well at Work

Written by  Aimee Sullivan (PMAC) and Smera Nadeem (ELBA)

Wellbeing at ELBA, also known as WELBA, is an internal group made up of individuals within the organisation who work together to organise various activities for staff to partake in. The mission: ‘To champion a happy, healthy and productive workplace, which nurtures staff wellbeing and cultivates environmental stewardship.’  Part of this includes sharing tips and experiences between colleagues to help each other and encourage an active culture of nurturing, mindfulness and wellbeing.

We recently spoke with PMAC who have shared tips about keeping well in the workplace. These handy tips are often shared and implemented by WELBA when it comes to being mindful at work and taking small steps to work towards wellbeing e.g. sharing gratitude, praising colleagues, taking breaks and socialising with colleagues, walks, leisure activities such as indoor games and outdoor play, etc.

Taking your breaks
Regular breaks are an essential part of maintaining wellbeing in the workplace, yet they are often overlooked or dismissed as time wasted. Far from it, breaks can actually boost productivity, enhance creativity, and foster a more focused and engaged attitude towards work.

During a busy workday, it can be all too easy to ignore the physical and psychological signs that we need a break. However, pushing past these signals can lead to stress, burnout, and a decrease in overall performance. A regular break, even if it’s just a few minutes, gives our brains the opportunity to rest, reset, and recharge. This downtime can lead to improved mental well-being, heightened creativity, as well as increased productivity.

Furthermore, taking a break is not just about stopping work – it’s about how you use that break time. Mindlessly scrolling on a smartphone, for example, might feel like down time, but it doesn’t provide the brain with the rest it needs to recharge effectively. Instead, break times could be used for a brisk walk, a healthy snack, or even a short meditation session. These activities can all help to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase focus upon return to work.

By encouraging employees to take regular, meaningful breaks throughout the day, businesses can achieve a healthier, happier, and more productive workforce. It’s a strategy that not only promotes mental wellbeing, but also fosters a positive and supportive working environment.

Remember, taking your breaks is not a luxury; it’s a necessity for sustained productivity and overall wellbeing in the workplace. So, pause, take a breath, and give yourself the break you deserve.

Work on your relationships with colleagues
Building strong, healthy relationships with colleagues is a crucial aspect of maintaining well-being in the workplace. Not only do these relationships make the working environment more pleasant, but they also contribute to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Creating a collaborative atmosphere begins with communication. Open, honest dialogue is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. Encourage regular team meetings and one-on-ones to ensure everyone is heard and understood. Effective communication isn’t just about talking – it also involves listening actively and empathetically.

Show appreciation for your teammates. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way in making someone feel valued and recognised for their efforts. Celebrating team victories, big or small, and recognising individual contributions, can promote a sense of camaraderie and a positive team spirit.

Promote a culture of respect and kindness. Everyone brings unique skills and perspectives to the table. Treat every contribution with respect, and encourage all team members to do the same. An environment where everyone feels respected fosters a sense of belonging, which can significantly enhance workplace well-being.

Don’t forget about the power of networking. Encourage cross-departmental interactions through team-building activities or social events. This can help break down silos, improve collaboration, and create a more unified workforce.

Lastly, help maintain a healthy work-life balance. Respect your colleagues’ time outside of work and encourage them to disconnect when away from the office – showing understanding for each other’s personal lives builds stronger relationships.

Fostering positive relationships in the workplace is not something that happens overnight, but it’s an ongoing process that requires effort from everyone involved. However, the rewards – in terms of well-being, productivity, and overall job satisfaction – are well worth the effort.

Improve work-life separation
In an era where remote working is becoming increasingly common, it’s becoming increasingly important to establish a clear boundary between personal life and professional responsibilities. Often the lines become blurred, resulting in increased stress levels and a drop in overall wellbeing.

One of the key elements in improving work-life separation is setting a clear schedule and sticking to it. Allocate specific hours of the day for work, and ensure you disconnect from any form of professional obligations outside of these times. This creates a psychological barrier that helps distinguish between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’.

It’s also important to create a separate, dedicated workspace at home. This could be a home office or just a specific corner in a room. The goal is to have a space that your mind associates with work, so when you leave this area, you psychologically ‘leave work’. This creates a sense of separation, which can significantly reduce feelings of being ‘always on’.

Lastly, it’s important to prioritise time for leisure activities outside of work. Whether it’s reading a book, spending time with family or engaging in a hobby, these activities provide an essential break from the work environment, helping to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

It’s important to keep in mind that every employee’s situation is unique. Therefore, organisations should promote a flexible, understanding approach that encourages employees to find a work-life separation strategy that works best for them. This emphasis on wellbeing in the workplace can have a profound impact, boosting employee morale, enhancing productivity, and fostering a healthier, more engaged workforce.

Consider workplace training, such as stress management training or general mental health training. These can help the workforce as a whole with their overall wellbeing, relationships at work and productivity. Speak to a mental health provider to discuss how they can support your workforce.

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