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3 min read

It’s still a bit of a debate whether it’s already started or not, but wellbeing is definitely the next big thing for HR to think about. One of the aspects that I think has already been lost in this debate is that, as employees, we can already make small adjustments to make wellbeing and the workplace come together.

One of the reasons that your work might not have started a wellbeing initiative at work is that they can be quite a big project. They range from helplines offering an EAP to financial assistance for employees at times when they need it. There’s also free fruit, healthy snacks, and drinks that you can offer, as well as massage at the desk sessions!

But, there is loads that you can do for yourself at work to make sure you look after your at work wellbeing. The return on this personal investment is simple, too, as you’ll be more effective at work. A win/win for everyone involved – you, your team and your company.

Picking the right environment

To create a recipe for personal wellbeing you need to build the right working environment. Consider introducing the following three wellbeing factors:

What – Do you have the ability to work flexibly?
Why – Without this your ability to control your time is limited.

What – Is there a culture of presenteeism?
Why – Because if there is, being ill at work means the end of the day may be further away than you wish.

What – Are the values and culture those which you agree with and which are lived by the company?
Why – As these will set the mood, pace, emotion and are the heartbeat of where you work.

So, what can you do

The first step is to take control for yourself, do not wait for others to manage your wellbeing for you. Here are five great ways to bring wellness into your working day:

1. End team meetings early to do something fun See if you can change that hour long meeting into a half hour one, you can then consider team building or working on light-hearted topics – these are just as important as KPIs and projects.

walking-on-the-street.jpg2. Get your walking shoes on and have a walking meeting – If you’re having a two person meeting then getting some fresh air with a colleague will show you a whole new way of working.

3. Plan your week to include some exercise – As exercise is a proven way to help you increase efficiency. Whilst you may not wish to follow my CEOs lead [http://glennelliott.me/important-meeting-day/] and exercise every day, setting up some exercise every other day is a great start. It’s important not cancel if things get busy, though. Keeping up your new exercise schedule will make you better at making decisions and turn a busy period into one you can ace.

4. Take your full holiday allowance – You will be surprised at how many people don’t actually do this. If possible, take a full two-week break as resting away from the office is key for long term wellbeing. Don’t check your emails when you’re on your resting time either. If your colleagues desperately need you, they’ll call.

5. Don’t do it alone, encourage others to join you – If you’re all taking responsibility for your wellbeing then you’re more likely to stick at it. Doing things in groups, formally or informally, large or small, is proven to embed important changes better than doing things through willpower alone.  Gamification is your friend here. 


What can you achieve?

Rather than being a nice to have, wellbeing is one of the key ingredients to being successful at work. Taking responsibility is important and you shouldn’t let or wait for others make wellbeing decisions for you. Planning your own wellbeing actions and keeping them routine is one of the best ways to ensure you stick to them.

But perhaps most importantly, make sure you join a company that allows you to have the level of wellbeing that you desire, as that is beginning of turning your ambition into success. And don’t worry about making the perfect start as getting going is much more important than making it perfect. Just think, progress not perfection.  That’s your new motto.

Robert Hicks

Robert is the Group HR Director at Reward Gateway. While running is his top way to unwind, he also loves going to gigs, watching football and cricket, and is known to enjoy the odd ski weekend.

Group HR Director

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