Wellbeing in the workplace

Working at a desk

I have started an internship capstone as part of my final year in my degree.

In my first week, I had to participate in a mandatory training session for staff and employees. One of the key themes throughout the training session was prioritising social and mental wellbeing. The training was led by the CEO and as he put it, "how am I supposed to run an organisation if all of my staff aren't thriving?" 

Although in the corporate workforce wellbeing can take a back seat at times and seem like a secondary thought, the point remains, if staff aren't thriving, it can impact their work and the overall success of a workspace. So, while it might seem productive to keep pushing a workforce to get the most out of them, it can have unintended consequences. We aren't robots and in a weird way, if we don't learn to put our wellbeing above our work it is a loss for everyone. 

So, it got me thinking, how do I put my social and mental wellbeing above what I do? What strategies do I have in place? Who can I turn to if I am struggling? 

In my mind, these questions can sound complicated, like they need a well thought-out, dot-point plan and policy to address them. But in reality it is simply stopping and taking a moment. I might recognise a slight ache in my chest, an inability to sit still, unnecessary sweating, or fidgeting (just some of the signs I know I display when I am feeling a bit stressed out). Once I see these signs I know that I need to prioritise my wellbeing. Three things that work for me are:

  • Making a list. If I feel overwhelmed, making a list and just working my way through it helps me greatly. If I have too much going on that I am constantly thinking about multiple tasks at once, it can stress me out. When I write down what I have to do, it doesn't seem so scary anymore. I realise I have time and a priority and order to get tasks done.
  • Getting some sun and air. It doesn't matter if its a one-minute stroll or a three-hour hike. Simply getting up from the computer and taking a few deep breaths outside improves my mood and stress levels greatly. 
  • Eating. This may sound like an excuse to have a snack but sometimes I forget I haven't eaten breakfast or had a snack for half the day. In this case, snacking always improves my mood and lifts my spirits. The 'hangries' can quickly take over if I am not careful... 

While not an exhaustive list, I'm happy that the workspace I am interning at has a focus and well-rounded understanding of wellbeing. I hope it marks a shift towards working with wellbeing rather than against it for a happier, healthier and more productive workspace. 

Tagged in internships, What messes with your head