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Wellbeing at work: how self-care and success work hand-in-hand

29th Apr 2019
yoga mat on a desk with a laptop
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Wellbeing isn’t just a buzzword for boardroom presentations – it should be part of how we live and work every day. We can’t expect personal or business success without it.

It is undeniable that our outlook on life and our interaction with those around us has a direct effect on our experience at work.

We so often hear of the importance of taking better care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, and yet putting this into practice at work might seem unfeasible.

Faced with the reality of ever-increasing workloads, looming deadlines, and the responsibility of managing numerous stakeholders, taking time for ourselves during the day is often low on our priority list.

In light of my own experience, I can attest that there is a direct correlation between self-care and success - and it's time businesses started prioritising employee wellbeing

A personal journey to better wellbeing

Whilst at university I built a business, Policy Portfolio, with my late father, which floated on the stock market.

I became the youngest director of a publicly listed financial services company and, although I enjoyed all the success that came with launching the company, I neglected my mental and physical wellbeing.

My own journey with wellbeing began following this period of burnout.

Knowing that I could no longer continue in the same way, I made the decision to take some much-needed time out. In doing so, I took control of my health again.

A company’s lived values are crucial when it comes to fostering an office environment where all members of staff feel comfortable and valued.

I travelled the world, from Arizona in the US, to Galilee in Israel, and dedicated time to learning about small lifestyle changes which can help fortify our health.

One of the biggest insights for me was the need to strive for balance in all aspects of your life.

It is often the case that our physical and mental health takes a back seat when we are caught up in pursuit of our career goals.

Despite this, prioritising exercise, eating healthily and getting enough sleep is essential in order to help keep us on our feet.

Since my time out, wellbeing has been of the utmost importance to me.

Small changes, big results

On my return to London, I was determined to introduce wellbeing into the toxic ‘workaholic’ culture that consumes so many of us.

A company’s lived values are crucial when it comes to fostering an office environment where all members of staff feel comfortable and valued.

HR has a crucial role to play in helping members of the team put their wellbeing first, introducing small changes that will help make the office culture healthier and more positive.

For businesses, encouraging staff to prioritise their wellbeing doesn’t have to entail preaching, or instructing people on what they should do.

Now more than ever it is essential for employers to communicate effectively with their employees and offer greater support to ensure that their work/life balance is conducive.

Getting physical

Walking meetings are a simple and straightforward way to re-invigorate the team and prevent people from feeling frazzled at the end of the day.

Walking is the foundation of our physical wellbeing. It is proven to help boost creativity and is a great stress reliever. Even on the most hectic days, we host walking meetings, asking the team to step outside the boardroom and take a 20-minute stroll to discuss the topic at hand.

Most of us struggle to remember let alone relish moments of triumph, because as soon as we have completed a task or overcome a stumbling block, we are quick to move on to the next item on the to-do list.

I’ve found that hosting yoga and meditation sessions at lunchtime are another great way to boost energy levels in the office. The sessions aren’t compulsory, but uptake amongst members of staff has been really impressive.

Group classes are also an effective way to foster a greater sense of community in the office, bringing together people who work in different parts of the office or diverse teams.

Celebrating achievements

It’s also important to take stock of your team’s accomplishments. Encourage the team to host a Monday meeting to reflect on what they achieved the previous week.

Most of us struggle to remember let alone relish moments of triumph, because as soon as we have completed a task or overcome a stumbling block, we are quick to move on to the next item on the to-do list.

Carve out some time at the start of the week and ask your team to write down what went well or highlight a particular achievement. Introducing a weekly debrief ensures that the team is better aligned in their aims and feel valued for their contributions.

Incorporating wellbeing into everyday routines

As a team, we deliberated how we could come up with a model that supports people in their journey towards greater physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

My past experience cemented life insurance as the perfect alignment. By its very essence, life insurance should be there to help people live longer, more fulfilled lives. Taking care of our health shouldn’t be seen as a chore, but the norm.

Workplaces ought to make integrating healthy practices into daily lives as easy as possible. Cultivating an office culture where self-care is normalised will help achieve this.

Interested in this topic? Read Why wellbeing in the workplace is a joint effort.

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