National Work Life Week, 2021
We hear about it all the time, often with the obligatory ‘elusive’ reference, but reaching a place where you do have a genuine work life balance, is just that – elusive. It can be so hard to achieve, and most of the time we don’t really know why.
We all know that working 24/7, holding up the extraordinary glory our society places on being the hardest working person in the office, isn’t good for us. And yet, we still do it. So many of us are still putting how long we are seen to be at work ahead of our own heath, our own families, and our own sanity half the time. But why?
Many countries around the world have not only proven that a balance can be achieved, albeit not 100% of the time, but they have also proven that working less can make us more productive in the workplace. That four-day working week is being trialled in certain places across the UK and for good reason.
So, this National Work Life Week, we challenge you to think about just how you can implement more balance into your life.
- Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%
- 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace
- Women in full-time employment are nearly twice as likely to have a common mental health problem as full-time employed men
- Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions
- It is thought that better mental health support in the workplace could save UK businesses up to £8billion per year
So, how do you go about achieving that balance? Well, quite often that comes down to you and your boundaries, as well as what your workplace has in place in way of support and approaches, to flexible working for example.
Outside of our homes, ‘the office’ whatever that may look like for you, is where we spend the majority of our time. So, it should come as no surprise that having a fulfilling job and an enjoyable work environment can impact our mental health. Working conditions and our working environment can have a huge impact on mental health and equally someone’s mental health can have a significant impact on our performance.
HSE statistics show that anxiety, depression and stress cause the majority of lost workdays. Therefore, actively supporting staff and promoting good mental health in the workplace is vital, for not only for employee wellbeing, but also for improving relationships, growing productivity and reducing absenteeism.
Another element we are beginning to see more of a focus on, is environmental factors in the workplace and how they can impact your team. The most common issues we see with businesses are not, as you may think, issues between team members but complaints about the temperature in the office, the ergonomics of employees’ desks, how comfortable they are, how much daylight they get, how much fresh air they have – if provided at poor levels all of these things can decrease productivity and hinder team engagement.
Even addressing one element, take CO2 levels for example, can dramatically improve your team’s experience in the workplace. This is an area we are looking to invest more time in with the help of specialists in the field. As we as a nation move towards more homeworking in a post-pandemic world, the environment in which we actively work and whose responsibility it is to maintain and improve will become a growing issue. And with it comes its own issues surrounding mental health.
How could you improve yours?