The Importance of Wellbeing to Business
World Wellbeing Week is at the end of June 2022, and this year the week-long celebration is brought into stark relief as the world enters its first full post-pandemic year.
Wellbeing has become central to how we work, interact, live, thrive and survive.
- “Promoting wellbeing can help prevent stress and create positive working environments where individuals and organisations can thrive. Good health and wellbeing can be a core enabler of employee engagement and organisational performance”.
The disruption caused by COVID over the last couple of years has reinvigorated forms of empathetic management as workplaces and workforces bore the brunt of the pandemic, and the wellness movement has become a standard-bearer for all things positive within work.
- Amid the stress and panic caused by COVID, wellbeing came to the fore – a state of mutual understanding between people, peer groups and communities that the idea of the value of things, of what is good for people and for each other, had changed permanently.
Much of this was to do with the health of our friends, families and loved ones, and how we reinterpreted what was important to us in light of such a crisis. But the pandemic was universally impactful, with disruption felt at home and at work.
This renewed acknowledgement of well-being being intrinsically integral to health and wealth meant wellbeing was considered vital in how to run companies, develop careers and support one another in a professional setting. Wellbeing became integral to HR policies, affecting everything from benefits packages, to mental health support, to entire cultures of communication within enterprises.
Folding cultures of wellness and wellbeing into the way we worked was immediately impactful, and many of those positive changes have helped companies and people navigate the end of COVID and the return to normal.
So, in light of our new-pandemic-led-context, we enter World Wellbeing Week 2022 – this year, as every year, it offers people “the opportunity…to celebrate the many aspects of wellbeing, from meaningful, purposeful work to financial security, physical, mental and emotional health, social resilience and empathic corporate and civic leadership, community relations and care for the environment”.
This celebration of all things good started in Jersey, by WellBeing World, 4 years ago.
This year, here at Renaix we wanted to focus on some of the progress made by people, companies and corporations around the world in regards to wellness, how it now manifests, how its helped people, and how it’s opened up new forms of work, leadership and staff management, all in light of the pandemic and how that, too, changed our expectations of what is good for us.
So without further ado, here are some of the well-being highlights we’ve found that shows the power of well-being at work.
Monzo, and the 3-month sabbatical
“The online bank, which already offers a one-month unpaid sabbatical per year, has boosted this to allow staff who have been in their roles for four years to take three months of paid leave either in one block or one month at a time. Monzo said the initiative is both flexible and inclusive as all workers can take the time off regardless of their personal circumstances. People can choose to take time out to travel, spend time with their families or focus on themselves without facing any financial impact or job security worries”.
Monzo is one of the most prominent and famous FinTech companies and has rejigged its employee sabbatical programme in light of its founder leaving the company due to COVID-related stress in 2021.
The “Lie Flat” Movement
“The idea of ‘lying flat’, or tang ping in Chinese, means taking a break from relentless work. The tang ping movement took off during 2021 as many felt they were coming under increasing pressure to work even harder and outperform their peers”.
The lie-flat movement physically encapsulates what many millions of workers felt around the world after COVID – that working yourself to the bone serves no one, and that taking time off to indulge in media, relax, or simply not work was valuable.
The rise of the 4-day week.
60 UK companies, involving 3000 workers are currently undergoing a 4-day week trial as part of the 4-day week pilot programme, which is also going on in Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, in part to see if working less actually makes people better at their jobs, more productive, happier, healthier, and more engaged.
In Japan, this movement has been underway in key tech companies for a number of years, with “major firms including Panasonic and Hitachi offering reduced working weeks” in a bid to keep people engaged and happy.
There are also smaller, inter-enterprise shifts to staff and people management that have an enormous impact on wellbeing, including:
- Improving and elevating ESG commitments – people want to see their labour mean more than a profit line, and many millions of workers now consider a company’s ESG standpoints as one of the most attractive, and loyalty-building, wellbeing propositions of an employer.
- Giving staff control of their workloads – is managerial trust, personified. Staff don’t want to see their work micro-managed. They want to see their labour valued and trusted.
- Workplace flexibility and the choice of remote work – one of the most popular changes to workplaces across the world has been the introduction of remote work.
- Better, more personalised feedback on their work – staff desire more personalised feedback – this means ditching the annual review and working from continual feedback strategies.
- Consistent labour numbers and staff numbers – a sure-fire way to encourage burnout is to give one person two people’s work.
- The creation of “social belonging” – let your teams make friendships, and allow them the space to generate relationships where skills, thought leadership, and trust can be shared.
World Health Day – How To Stay Healthy While Working Remotely, Building More Inclusive Working Cultures For Neurodivergent Talent, How Can Internal Auditors Successfully Work From Home During Covid-19 And Omicron?
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