Why is wellbeing at work important?
I believe that wellbeing at work is so important because our working life takes up such a high percentage of our time. Also, if things are not good at work, it spills over into other areas of our lives, such as home, friends and family.
If we’re stressed and unhappy at work, it can affect our sleep, appetite, social life and relationships. When we realise this, it’s obvious that wellbeing at work plays a major role in our overall health and happiness. It can impact on our self-esteem and confidence too, which can make it more difficult for us to stand up and take action, such as speaking to our line manager, or even looking for another job.
Sadly this can become a negative spiral leading to overwhelm, burn-out and time off due to sickness. This is obviously not a good place to be, either for the employee, or for the employer.
Sadly I often hear stories of companies that ‘talk the talk’, but don’t follow this up with appropriate actions. For example they’ll talk about the importance of managing caseloads for their staff, and work life balance, then in the next breath they ask people to ‘just’ take on this extra client or work those few extra hours. If this isn’t addressed, it can easily slip into a culture of overwork and high stress levels, resulting in poor staff morale. Not only that, but staff who are feeling frazzled might take this out on co-workers, and even customers, meaning that the situation deteriorates even further and everybody suffers.
In contrast, when a company supports their staff, really listening to their needs and responding in helpful ways, it means that people feel valued and encourages high morale, loyalty and also has been shown to result in greater productivity. Not only that, but customer experience improves too.
Basically wellbeing at work is good for the staff and good for business.