Many workplaces today value people wellness and offer their employees compelling work-life balance programs, daycare subsidies, above provincial legislation minimum requirements vacation and sick time, and develop policies that encourage the development of a positive corporate culture.

The global workplace wellness industry is an estimated 43 billion dollars, for things like benefits and wellness programs. In global metrics this number is much lower than all other wellness sub-industries. For example, the fitness-mind-body industry is 542 billion dollars spent annually, worldwide. (1)

But before you give your heart and soul to your organization thinking ‘they’ will take good care of you, let’s discuss the role you play in your own wellbeing at work and home that will help you increase happiness and decrease stress in your life.

I’ve worked in the corporate world as a Human Resources Advisor for many years and what I’ve learned is that  inefficiencies, time management issues, decreased productivity, and high turnover rates happen as a result of over-worked, burnt-out or uninspired people. That is precisely why many companies today place high value on employee wellness programs.

Smart companies know that if they invest in wellness programs their employees will be physically, mentally, and emotionally better equipped to manage stress, tackle work and personal problems more efficiently, and be more invested in company’s goals. A great company will encourage and support its employees to have more work-life balance by providing great benefits, flexible schedules, and even work-from-home policies that promote wellbeing in the workplace.

Enjoy the benefits of work-life balance and avoid the ‘work-life trap’ which is a lot of work and no life, with these 5 key steps:

  1. BE BOLD: Don’t be afraid to stand up to your boss, share your thoughts and opinions on a process or policy that is stressing you out or could be edited or eliminated. You should feel like you are contributing in any way to your organization and that includes being a voice for change. If they don’t hear you or don’t appreciate your valuable feedback then perhaps it is time to look for something else. You see, when you do meaningful work and your contribution is acknowledged, appreciated, and respected you want to do more good work and that strengthens your relationship with your employer. Employer: think of ways to streamline your internal policies so that your people feel safe to speak up as that will only strengthen loyalty, engagement, and productivity.
  2. TAKE TIME FOR YOU: Take time for yourself and stop eating lunch at your desk. I know, it’s not easy and I know that you don’t have time- trust me, I’ve been there. You need to realize that your work place needs you healthy and sane not sick and stressed out. That is why taking time for you during your lunch hour is very important. It helps you relax by decreasing sympathetic stress and encourages better productivity and improved cognitive function. Employer: provide an environment where your people can eat together, share good communication, and recharge their energy in order to do great work.
  3. START A WELLNESS AT WORK TEAM: Since you spend most of the day at work it should be not just productive but also fun. Ask your HR Advisor if starting a wellness committee is feasible. When I was an HR Advisor in my corporate years, I implemented many programs like HIIT (high intensity interval training), fitness challenges, and group walks all during lunch hour in order to get people moving, decrease stress, and support team building. Employer: look for a corporate wellness provider that can help you implement amazing programs that people love. Ask your employees what would make them happier and more productive at work.
  4. EAT WELL: Your productivity, mood, and even energy levels are affected by what you feed your body. So if you are having a bit too many “Monday morning meeting donuts” you will feel tired, uninspired, experience not so good mood, and probably some bloating. Feeling this way will only undermine all other positive factors which are so important in order to feel happy and fulfilled, especially at work. Employer: provide a healthy lunch or sponsor a healthy inspired snack delivery service; your employees will love you for it.
  5. MEDITATION IS KEY: Mediation is an ancient practice originated in India and practiced all over the world for centuries. With increasing research and studies in this realm, we now know that meditation has great effects on the physical and mental wellbeing (2). When I dedicate time to my meditation practice on a regular basis I feel more at ease, calm, and in control of life’s challenges as well as blessings. Try mindfulness or guided meditation and see how amazing you will feel. Employer: provide a health and wellness program to encourage movement, yoga and meditation. Buy a few Muse bands and encourage people to use them throughout the day during breaks. Click on the link to the right of this article to learn more about the Muse band.

Want to start eating better? Get the Smart Snacking At Work Guide.

If you want ideas on healthy snack options and recipes, smart swaps, and my Eat Smart Chart, then you need to download this guide. You can carry it with you when you go shopping and to the office for a quick and easy guidance on how you can start eating better at work.

How are you planning on improving your experience at work for yourself and your colleagues? Are you going to implement at least one of these strategies to help promote well-being in the workplace? Let me know, share with me your thoughts and comments below.

Stay well and happy,