Guest Contributor

How to Boost Work Performance by Focusing on Wellbeing

By | Sarah Kaminski

People often sacrifice their wellbeing for their careers. They work longer hours, stay up late worrying, and allow their work issues to spill over into their personal lives. Often, this leads to results that are very different from the ones they wanted to accomplish.

According to a 2016 research report titled “The Future of Wellness at Work,” more than 60% of Americans claim that feeling mentally unwell affects their workplace productivity. Employees, as well as employers, can contribute to workplace wellness – the former by investing in their mental health, and the latter by creating a stress-free workplace atmosphere. Here is how both can boost work performance by focusing on wellbeing.

Boosting Workplace Wellbeing as Employees

Identify Your Triggers

From low salaries and few opportunities for growth to excessive workloads and office conflicts, various workplace situations can trigger stress. Sometimes the source of stress is so subtle that it is difficult to identify it.

What you can do, for starters, is to try keeping a journal for some time to discover your triggers. Record your emotions and thoughts regarding the people, tasks, and your own reactions at work. While some stressful situations are not up to you to solve, you can address them by talking to your coworkers and managers. Also, you can identify patterns among your reactions to stressors, which will help you develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Make Sure You Are Well Rested

Carrying your work with you when you leave the office, even when it is not extremely stressful, can impact your mental health. It would be best if you could separate work from your personal life. Most importantly, get the much-needed seven to nine hours of sleep, as sleep deprivation can also cause you to lose focus and affect your productivity. To get enough quality sleep, you need to get a nice comfortable mattress that suits your sleeping habits. Also, keep yourself busy with hobbies, social activities, and exercising.

Listen to Your Body

Prolonged stress eventually builds into burnout. Your body will find a way to notify you when you have had enough. If you notice that happening, don’t ignore the bad feelings. Discuss it with your human resource manager, psychologist, and coworkers. Take a break if you need it. 

Boosting Workplace Wellbeing as Employers

Establish Open Communication

As a leader, you need to help your employees boost their work performance by making sure that their wellbeing is nurtured well.

To do that, it is important to initiate conversations that address any issues they could have regarding the workplace atmosphere and mental health. Remember that employees are often uncomfortable talking to their managers about these things, so it is important to establish trust and build up to the big talk. Ask questions about their workload, wellbeing, and office relationships, and make sure to show understanding when their answers are not what you want to hear. 

Build Resilience

It’s not realistic to expect to remove all the stressors from the workplace. However, it is possible to build resilience as a team. This is done by responding to tense situations with calmness, nurturing a problem-solving mindset within the entire company, and using stressful situations as opportunities for growth.

To accomplish that, work on your own wellbeing first, using the tips for employees we gave above. As for workplace wellness, promote autonomy in decision-making and generally in the office. In other words, don’t hover over your employees constantly. Also, provide a reasonable level of flexibility when it comes to working hours and working from home.

Invest in a Relaxing and Productive Setup

We are long past the time of toiling away in grey and depressing cubicles. Office design plays a crucial role in workplace productivity and the mental wellbeing of employees.

There is no universal rule on how to create the perfect workspace. You need to take things such as your company’s culture, different working styles, and employee personalities into consideration. That being said, here are a few general tips to follow:

  • Create a space that provides opportunities for the employees to move around and take short You can counter the sedentary lifestyle by including stand-to-sit desks and having areas designed for physical activities.
  • Use color psychology to design areas for productivity, relaxation, and communication.
  • Allow as much natural light as possible to pour into the office. Sunlight can benefit both productivity and mental health due to its ability to boost Vitamin D and regulate the circadian rhythm.
  • Go green! Greenery can regulate noise levels, clean the air, reduce stress, and boost creativity. So, place some low-maintenance houseplants throughout the office.
  • Artwork in the office can enhance the environment and increase creativity.
  • Encourage the employees to personalize their workplace to feel more comfortable.
  • Create different office zones used for specific tasks, such as a fun zone (e.g., game room), collaboration zone (for mingling and exchanging ideas), quiet zone (for meditation, taking a nap, etc.), and a private zone (for telephoning or performing some essential tasks without being disturbed).

Final Word

Happy employees are hardworking employees, and a supportive workplace environment benefits all. Keep these tips in mind, regardless of your position in the company, and remember that by putting health first, you are actually putting the company first.

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