- Career expert and business strategist Richie Norton told Allwork.Space that making your professional work support your personal wellness is imperative if you want to have a happy life.
- There are ways in which organizations and workplace leaders can assist with creating balance and a better sense of wellness for workers.
- Implementing wellness programs is a nice perk, but they may become a necessity in order for employees to thrive in the future of work.
Workers are facing challenges to their mental, physical, and financial well-being, and they want to find ways in which their work can support their general wellness.
Employees have gained newfound insight into their workplace preferences more recently, and many are looking to employers to create wellness programs that merge financial, mental, and physical wellness.
Richie Norton, career expert, business strategist and author of “Anti-Time Management,” told Allwork.Space that making your professional work support your personal wellness is imperative if you want to have a happy life.
“One might think it’s all about balancing work and life, but the truth is, it has nothing to do with work-life balance,” Norton told Allwork.Space. “Life and work can support one another with alignment and elasticity of time. Work-life flexibility minimizes stress and maximizes advantages because it helps you win the game of tug-of-war (or avoid it altogether) and opens doors.”
He says that work-life flexibility is more than freedom of time; it’s actively choosing how to spend your time for greater work-life wellness.
“Where flexibility in work and life is found in being available, able, and autonomous, inflexibility in work and life is found in being unavailable, unable, and disempowered. The next time you say no to something you want to do at work or in life, ask yourself how flexible you’re being. In what ways can you be productive without sacrificing values? Choose work-life flexibility, not balance,” Norton said.
Wellness programs can help with work-life balance
There are also ways in which organizations and workplace leaders can assist with creating this balance as well as a better sense of wellness, and workplace wellness programs are evolving to meet those needs.
While implementing wellness programs is a nice perk, they may become a necessity in order for employees to thrive in the future of work.
One study showed that organizations with effective wellness programs reported much lower voluntary worker resignation.
A study from WellSteps included seven major benefits to wellness programs, which included enhancing employee behavior, reducing elevated health risks, reducing healthcare costs, boosting productivity, improving recruitment and retention and increasing employee morale.
In theory, improving workers’ health is meant to improve productivity and cut costs for organizations. Implementing wellness programs is really a win-win for both parties.
Are employers responsible for worker wellness?
Improving employee wellness continues to be a consistent hot topic, and the question of who is accountable for worker’s wellness arises. Is it the employer’s responsibility or the employee’s to take care of their mental and physical wellbeing?
By now, employers must be aware of their responsibilities towards their staff and the complications of high staff turnover, as well as the impact of workplace stress.
“Having worked in multiple businesses through literally every business cycle, my belief is that our personal health and wellbeing is no one’s responsibility but ours! Having said that, that does not mean that the business has no responsibility at all. It’s the responsibility of the leaders and managers of a business to create an environment that enables and makes it easier for employees to be well physically, mentally and emotionally,” Lawrence Mitchell, CEO of Wellbeing at Work, said in a LinkedIn article.
Worker wellness requires work-life balance, which can be a rather ambiguous goal, but there are concrete ways in which employers can help.
For example, Hirect’s wellness program includes:
- Unlimited PTO: Employees can take time off whenever, wherever, without having to worry about managing an allowed number of days off. It offers greater flexibility to balance family commitments, illness, and planned vacations.
- Mental health days: Aligning with unlimited PTO, Hirect encourages all employees to have transparent conversations with their supervisors about workload and burnout. If someone is starting to feel overwhelmed, or just needs to recharge the batteries, they are encouraged to take a day or two off.
- Technology stipends: As a remote-first company, each employee is provided a monthly stipend to support home office improvements or upgrades. This can be for technology, but also improvements to the functionality of their workspace, such as ergonomic desks or seating.
- Virtual non-work functions: Free bi-weekly breakfasts, cocktail hours, and holiday celebrations are great, and also serve as regular opportunities for employees to be social and build connections.
Prioritize your health/wellness while you work
Although easier said than done, it is beneficial in both the short-term and the long-term to ensure that you are making your health your top priority.
If you are overworking yourself, you will begin to suffer the consequences both mentally and physically — making it harder for you to work and be productive.
If your work becomes overwhelming, don’t be afraid to check in with HR to see what assistance is available, such as family care services, financial resources, support for emotional wellbeing, or nutrition resources. If there is a gap in the offerings and what you need in order to be healthy and successful at work, tell HR what would be most helpful to you.