We hear a lot of things about wellness, wellbeing, mental health at work, but what are they talking about, how would it affect you, after all, you’re doing fine right? Everyone gets a little stressed at work, that is why it’s called work! Right?
Wrong! We are spending our lives planning what is next, how can we get this done, that done, why do I have to wait for this person to finish, I need to get that done! All this is going on due to the amazing breakthroughs we have had in communication. In the 80’s we had fax come through, we could send documents by the phone, it was ingenious, we didn’t have to wait for the post to arrive (snail mail it’s now called by many) but that was the start of the issues we have. We had to wait for papers, for orders, bills, letters, etc but now we have email, in a couple of seconds we have the document right in front of us. Now you may be a person who has hundreds of emails pinging all day, but that person who sent one to you, is waiting for a response and if they haven’t had something within 30 minutes, they’re sending another to check you received the first and on it goes. We are bombarded by electronic this and that, demands on our time, our replies, the work that needs to be done, the work we want done! It is a continuous stream of pressure and stress.
So what can we do about it? The work will continue, it always does, delays these days mean minutes, not weeks like it used to before electronic connection. But has that changed the jobs? No, just the demands on our time. Of course then we go home and either finish off more work there, or we plug ourselves into the social electronic connection and tweet, Facebook, Instagram etc our entire lives.
You can see the differences in generations, look at family gatherings or social events, senior members sit and talk, middle aged discuss work and probably just quickly check this or that, the younger generation sit staring at the screens, having comments and jokes with people not 4 feet away from them but online. So we have no choice but to accept we are becoming a plugged in society, we have progressed more in the last 80 years then we had in the centuries previous. Is progression a social benefit? You can decide that one
The body and mind that we have are still connected to a survival instinct from thousands of years ago, we can not suddenly be put aside thousands of years of training and development. Our bodies and minds respond the way they would to survive, not deal with work stress, or social media issues. It has a firm response to help you live, but that response was designed to click on, solve the issue and then click off again. This Flight or Fight response alters the body and the way we think, but maintaining those alterations is bad for our health. I explained Flight or Fight (FoF) in previous blogs, feel free to read up on it.
How can we stop this FoF from causing illness, infertility, weight problems, anxiety, mental health issues, and so much more? By looking at how we work and how we deal with issues before they become major issues.
Positive Inspiration offers group sessions and training for local businesses and many large companies are stepping up and taking part in helping out with managing work stress, but 60% of the UK workforce is with small businesses and there are very few who are aware of the problem, and sadly even fewer acting upon it. Recently the Federation Of Small Businesses has launched a guide on how a business can look into working with their staff members and managing wellbeing at work. We at Positive Inspiration have our ErgoDynamics course which we run and can tailor to fit business requirements. If businesses look into ways to manage the problems before they start, the workforce will be happier, more fluid, more responsive and alert and in turn can lead to less time of work, less pressure to catch up and a much more productive business in general.
So whether you are an employee, employer, a manager or a business owner, taking care of the personal wellbeing within the workplace does make a difference, a happy and healthy workforce makes for a happier and healthier lifestyle.