A lot of focus has been placed on self-care and wellness in recent years. A lot of us live stressful lives, where our physical and mental health takes a backseat, with our work and productivity given priority. It is, however, becoming increasingly evident that wellness has a direct impact on productivity. In this article we explore that link, looking at how wellness can increase productivity, as well as insider tips from the GREENHAUS team on how it can allow individuals to live more fulfilling, sustainable lives.
At one end of the scale is the issue of burnout. Burnout refers to the phenomena of being overworked and overstressed to the point of chronic fatigue, being left unable to handle even comparably smaller workloads, with a minimal capacity for productivity. Burnout tends to occur when no attention is paid to wellness; it may happen after months for some, after years for others, depending on how unsustainably stressed the individual is. A consistent focus on wellness helps to avoid burnout from occurring, keeping productivity at a sustainable level in the long run.
Productivity can’t be forced
People aren’t machines and they can’t be forced to be productive. A survey conducted by Gallup found that employees who were working for companies which allowed for increased job flexibility actually ended up working more hours, when compared with employees working on rigid schedules. A higher sense of wellbeing was also reported in the employees with more flexible schedules.
Giving employees increased control over how and when they work therefore leads to an increase in both productivity and wellbeing; not being forced to work through unproductive times in the day allows for increased efficiency, and the capacity to participate in self-care activities as-and-when they’re required by the individual. In addition to decreasing productivity, forcing employees to be productive in a rigid format negatively affects their wellbeing, in turn decreasing employee retention and damaging profit margins.
How to increase wellbeing – think of the bigger picture
While wellbeing has been a focus of many businesses in recent years, the approach is often quite close-minded. Many big brands continue to drive their workforce hard, with a meditation pod located in a corner of the office, and then wonder why wellbeing didn’t increase and productivity remained low.
Maintaining wellbeing in the workforce requires a far broader approach than a weekly yoga class and some carrots in the office kitchen. Larger measures to consider include a flexible working schedule, both in terms of location and timetable. Being able to work from home several days a week gives employees a chance to save both time and money on the commute, as well as spending more time in a comfortable, supportive environment.
Having a network of supportive and understanding managers is an absolute must, for both wellbeing and productivity. Giving managers the tools and training to support employees through a diverse variety of personal and professional crises has a massive effect on wellbeing, leading to a happier and more efficient workforce.
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