What Wellness at Work Really Means and Why it Matters
July 9, 2018
So what does wellness at work mean?
It can almost feel indulgent, right? Taking time for your own wellness feels like a decision to deprioritize your work, your family and your commitments.
The reality? It’s the exact opposite. Only by taking care of yourself first can you serve everyone else better, including the organization you work for. Taking care of yourself is actually one of the most selfless things you can do.
And that’s really what wellness at work is all about.
What does wellness at work look like?
Good question. Ultimately, you know your mind and your body better than anyone. So really, it means being in tune with them, so you can address issues proactively.
But, a few factors worth considering are:
Movement matters. There’s overwhelming evidence that exercising doesn’t just help you stay fit – it also helps you focus better at work and increases your overall happiness. And that doesn't mean running 6 miles a day. Even a 30-minute walk four times a week makes a big difference.
Working longer doesn’t mean better results. Research from Harvard shows that people who work longer than 50 hours a week are actually less effective than people who work between 35 and 50 hours. The secret is really doing fewer things, better.
Sleeping makes a big difference. Professional athletes today are increasingly focusing on sleep to improve performance. The same logic applies to all of us – research shows getting a good night’s rest helps us focus and think more strategically. Plus, we are easier to be around.
Taking vacations is actually good for your paycheck. Here’s a fascinating stat – one study found that people who took more vacation time got promoted more often than people who took less. Taking time off doesn’t just make you feel better, it gives you the mental freedom to be more strategic at work.
Meditation really helps. The scientific research supporting meditation is staggering – it’s been found to increase focus, decrease anxiety, improve performance, etc. And a caveat for anyone who thinks this is some new-age trend: meditation is thousands of years old and practiced by religions across the globe. By comparison, lifting weights is new-age.
A few LinkedIn Learning courses that can help
Ready to increase your wellness at work? Well, these LinkedIn Learning courses can help:
Course Description: Wellness starts with managing your day for peak performance, which includes taking time to unplug. Learn how in this 11-minute course from leadership guru Todd Dewett.
Course Description: In 2007, Arianna Huffington literally collapsed at the office from exhaustion. This served as a wake-up call, and caused her to rethink how she approaches work-life balance, sleep and mediation.
Huffington has done a series of courses with LinkedIn Learning around these topics and how she incorporates it into her high-demand life. Start your "Thrive" journey with this first course from her on meditation and sleep, which features a surprise appearance from NBA superstar Kobe Bryant!
Course Description: Stress is a part of life. The key is managing that stress to ensure it doesn’t affect your wellness.
Learn how in this course from Heidi Hanna, the executive director of the American Institute of Stress.
Course Description: The benefits of meditation and mindfulness have been proven again and again. But how do you get started?
With this course, from Air Force officer turned leadership consultant John Ullmen.
Course Description: Yes, you need to focus on your own wellness. But, if you are a people manager, you have a tremendous impact on the wellness of your employees as well.
One of the best ways to inspire wellness among your team members, while also getting results? By managing compassionately. Learn how in this free course from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.
So, to answer the question in the headline, what does wellness at work really mean?
It means taking for yourself. It means being present in the moment. It means effectively managing stress.
All of that will make you happier and healthier. And, as if that isn't reason enough, it'll improve your job performance, too.