Research tells us that workplaces that invest in wellbeing initiatives enjoy increased productivity, have more engaged and happier staff, and are more profitable.
For many of us, where we work is part of the very fabric of our lives. It’s the place where we spend a great deal of time – where we socialise, learn, earn, grow and sometimes get stressed out!
Basically our work environment can have a big influence on our overall wellbeing.
We’ve looked at what employers and organisations can do to create a mentally healthy workplace.
The Working Well toolkit identifies three main areas to focus on:
While there is no one size fits all approach to supporting workplace wellbeing, addressing these elements can really help – so below, we'll explore each in detail.
Maintaining a positive environment is about creating a workplace culture with people at its centre. This is about valuing and prioritising staff wellbeing through a range of initiatives, big and small, including:
Here are some helpful tips from The New Economics Foundation [NEF] for maintaining a positive organisational environment:
The key to addressing mental health concerns is acknowledging they can exist in the first place. They can be caused by outside influences in a staff member’s life or in response to a workplace cultural or environmental situation.
For organisations to be effectively responsive they need to maintain a proactive, fair and empathetic approach to mental health concerns, including mental illness.
They need to ensure employees know about, and have access to, employee assistance programmes (EAP).
It’s also a good idea to promote or be able to inform employees about the local support services in their area.
Here’s the fun stuff. There are a range of ways to support employees that boost positive mental health and wellbeing.
This can be done through a range fun activities and suggestions, and even through the structural design of the workplace, including:
Where appropriate staff education on stress management, smoking cessation, weight management and nutrition can be of assistance. Flexible, family friendly policies and facilities, health screenings, workplace safety briefings, back/neck care, CPR and first aid classes are also aspects of a health promoting workplace.
A review by the New Economics Foundation in the UK of the most up-to-date evidence about what supports wellbeing, has found that building five actions into our day to day lives will give our wellbeing a boost. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are:
And yes, these can be incorporated into a work day and used to support staff.
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