It sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it? Well, it kind of is. Yet many companies (of all sizes) seem to take this approach to their employees’ wellbeing… more specifically, their employees’ mental health.
Wellbeing has been a hot topic over the last few years and it has lead, no forced, companies to include some kind of wellness activity/event into their “culture”. We have seen a rise in ‘Wellbeing days’ once a quarter… Or maybe even a cheeky ‘Wellbeing week’… once or twice a year. This is NOT enough… it’s like trying to run a marathon with just a days training. Or going to the gym overweight and leaving with a six-pack. As I said, this is just not enough.
Ok, we get it, a lot of companies still have that old systematic approach to business ingrained into their DNA, but where are all the visionaries? The forward thinkers that understand that your workforce is the most important commodity if you want to run a sustainable, and profitable business?
We feel that wellbeing needs to be included in the budgets, right up there next to the marketing and sales spends. The investment is sound too… a proven ROI of 3:1 on a correctly implemented wellbeing programme means that there are no more excuses.
Workplace stress is the 21st century’s greatest health epidemic, and avoidable work-related stress is not only causing problems with our physical and mental health, but problems that we take home and allow to infect our personal lives, and those we care about. Stress at work leaves many of us feeling unhappy. So why only 9% of the global workforce has access to wellbeing programmes baffles me. Financial compensation is no longer enough.
We have somehow come to accept our own stress, deeming it a part of life. Normal. Now I’m not trying and scare anyone but if we just take a second to look at the symptoms that stress can cause, it may highlight the severity and magnitude of what we’re dealing with here…
First, there are the Physical Symptoms;
Low energy, headaches, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, aches, pains, insomnia, frequent colds and infections, loss of sexual desire and/or ability, nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing, clenched jaws and grinding teeth.
Then the Cognitive Symptoms;
Constant worrying, racing thoughts, forgetfulness, and disorganisation, the inability to focus, poor judgment, being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side… none of which are great in a working environment.
Also the Behavioural Symptoms;
Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much, procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities, increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes, exhibiting more nervous behaviours, such as nail-biting, fidgeting, and pacing… you get the picture.
IT HAS TO STOP!
… And they were just the short term symptoms, and don’t get me wrong, a little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. But ongoing, chronic stress (which many cases are) however, ups the ante with the problems such as these bad boys;
The Chronic Stress Symptoms;
Depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, obesity and other eating disorders, menstrual problems, sexual dysfunction, skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, permanent hair loss, gastrointestinal problems, Accelerated ageing and Premature death!
Basically, this sh*t can kill you.
WE SPEND 1/3 OF OUR LIVES WORKING…. Arguably our best years too, so isn’t it fair that our employers make those years as enjoyable as possible? Yes? No? Or should we all hate Mondays and love Fridays? Could more focus one wellbeing be the answer?
Most wellness companies are in fact ‘wellness platforms’ – Unlike the straight biometric screening or coaching companies, the leading market vendors offer web-based platforms and mobile apps to help deliver and administer their programs.
We get it, it’s so they can scale… but as amazing as the 21st-century digital world is, it cannot match the human need for a hug or a handshake i.e Technology is unable to replace the benefits made with human interaction.
Imagine a world where companies understood the importance of wellbeing, imagine what the environment would be like to work in. Less stress, less tension, less short fuses. What would home life look like… social circles? Imagine what it would do for humanity!!!