Let’s start by saying that wellbeing is so important. It’s our health – physically and mentally wrapped up with our happiness. It’s us understanding how to feel our best through acts of focused self-care. What makes it tricky is that it needs constant attention. Our needs change day to day, week to week. What worked last week may not be the fix this week. That’s what makes it so challenging in the work environment. Often, organisations introduce wellbeing initiatives such as lunchtime yoga sessions, a visiting masseuse or subsidised gym membership – a brilliant start but what if it just doesn’t fit into your day, or the things that have been introduced are not the things that you need. You end up feeling frustrated. An organisation may feel that such initiatives tick wellbeing off the list, but to get it right, we need to start from a different place. That place is the individual.
Wellbeing starts with self. It’s a deep dive into identifying how we feel now and establishing how we want to feel. We then move quickly onto a plan to how and when we will fix it. This is how Work-Happy operates. Through a process of evaluating, exploring, engaging and repeating. Wellbeing is a key journey in Work-Happy and here in the Work-Happy office, we practice what we preach. We’ve all agreed that massage is important to us, so we have a visiting masseuse to give us all the boost we need. Undoing the knots and kneeding away the aches caused by sitting at desks. Aside from this, each of us keeps a check on our needs through regular reflection and takes the ownership to ensure that we administer the fixes we’ve set for ourselves. For some it’s a walk in the fresh air at lunchtime. A break from the screen and a chance to tap into nature. For others, it’s ensuring that they leave on time to go for a swim, a yoga class or to walk their dog. For others it’s a run before work and some home-made soup for lunch. For one member of the team, it’s simply making the space to get a posh coffee from the local coffee shop at some point in the day. All different, all much needed. But these are just the rituals. Behind them are the issues they fix. The need for space, the need for alone time, the need for nature, the need for a reward. The focus on nourishing food to feel our best. They all have an intention, they are all part of a plan and they may change in time.
So, the big corporate fixes are not wrong, but they are not the whole answer. Instead, they sit alongside the personal rituals which have been identified by the individuals as being what they need now.