08 Feb Wellness in the Workplace
By: Megan Jones
We all spend a majority of our weeks working, so we have to ensure we are enjoying the work that we do. Last week’s article focused on the how to work with stress in the workplace. This week I want to focus on the opposite, wellness in the workplace. Your wellness is essential to being able to provide quality work. Therefore, it is imperative that you also prioritize your wellness. Additionally, as a manager you should also take note of how your employees are doing. Today, let’s focus on wellness in the workplace.
Why is Wellness Important?
Wellness is essential in maintaining your physical and mental health. If you don’t make time to decompress, your body will find time for you. Additionally, if you continuously over-extend yourself you are subject to burnout. Studies show that continuous burnout can take years to fix, if not attended to. Therefore, it is important for you and your manager to be proactive in helping maintain your wellness and here are few tips on how!
4 Ways to Help Your Wellness in the Workplace
Take a moment to reflect on your current workload. How are you feeling? What is your bandwidth? You should not bite off more than you can chew. You want a workload that feels challenging enough so you can continue to grow but manageable, so you have balance. If your manager is persistent upon handing additional work off to you, considering having a conversation with your manager. These situations can feel uncomfortable, however, you do need to set appropriate work boundaries. A good manager would and should respect that. If you are unsure of how to bring this discuss this with your manager, consider these prompts:
- I do not have any additional bandwidth to take this on. Let’s see where we can reprioritize if this is urgent.
- My workload is at capacity, is there someone else who can take this on? If not, can this become a team project so that scope is smaller and more manageable for the whole team?
Remember, having a manageable workload allows you to be able to provide quality work that deserved your time and attention. If you have too many competing deadlines and projects you are more prone to mistakes and you may have to do them over again.
Communication with Your Manager
If you are at your workload capacity, then you should make your manager aware. Your manager may not know your bandwidth if you do not communicate it to them. Moreover, they may unknowingly give you more than you can handle. It is important to have these conversations with your manager so you don’t get overworked and overwhelmed. Additionally, as a manager, be proactive and ask your reports how they are managing their workload. Having check-ins or one-on-ones on a regular basis can help create clear lines of communication.
Take Your Days Off
If you have time off, take it! It is good for you to take a break from work, and you can come back refreshed and with clear eyes. If you are a manager, remember to encourage your direct reports to take their PTO. In the beginning of my work career I was afraid of taking my time off for fear that it made me a bad employee. You should not have this fear and a good manager will encourage you to take your time off!
Have Mental Wellness Days
Remember to take care of yourself. Work can be very consuming, and it can be easy to let other items slip through the cracks. It can be difficult to manage so many items at once, however, try to not let this happen to you. Take time for yourself. Take a day to schedule your health appointments or consider taking a day off to take a mental wellness day and treat yourself to a day of relaxation. Again, as a manager ensure your employees take the time they need to maintain their wellness.
Having a positive wellness culture in your organization can help prevent burnout and increase employee retention. Ensure you and your direct reports make wellness a priority!