Workplace wellbeing - why it’s important
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, so we’re encouraging everyone to prioritise their mental and emotional wellbeing at work.
Workplace wellness is now more important than ever, thanks to a work culture of 24-hour connectivity and the expectations that come with it. It’s easy to forget about your own wellbeing when you’re knee deep in timelines, discussions and reports that needed to be done yesterday. However, it’s important to prioritise your own emotional health at work, so you can perform at your best and feel good too.
As a proud partner of Mental Health Awareness Week, here are a few of our favourite Swisse tips for workplace wellness:
1. Get active
If you have an office-based role, it’s important to make sure you still get your 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week1. Exercise releases endorphines2, the body’s “feel good” neurochemicals that help to encourage feelings of wellbeing. There are loads of workplace-friendly activities you can get involved in – go for lunchtime walks or runs with colleagues, or participate in exercise classes if your workplace holds them. Workplaces are wising up to the benefits of physical activity and many now offer subsidised classes, such as boxing or yoga.
2. Make time for meditation
Meditation can help manage stress3, encourage self-awareness4 and support emotional health5, so it could be well worth the investment of making it a regular practice. Put it in your work diary so it’s a regular commitment that you stick to – let’s face it, your wellbeing holds just as much importance as any meeting. Like riding a bike, it takes practice, so try starting with five minutes a day and work up from there. Some workplaces set aside meditation rooms or times for employees to reset and refocus themselves, which is well worth taking advantage of.
3. Eat together
If you’ve fallen into the habit of eating lunch at your desk, try and break it or reduce it to a few times a week. There’s benefit in sharing food and conversation with your colleagues – firstly, you can feel refreshed by moving to a new space and taking your eyes off your screen, and secondly, you’ll be enjoying the company of your team mates. Some workplaces encourage dining together by offering attractive eating spaces (rather than the workplace canteens of the 1990s) and providing subsidised lunch options for employees. And remember, as tempting as it is to reach for something high fat and high sugar, a healthy, balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables will put you in good stead for the afternoon.
4. Work flexibly
We’ve fortunately moved on from the days when work only took place at…work. Now, most companies equip their teams with the tools to work anywhere – from a different office, from home or even from the beach (ok, that last bit was wishful thinking on our part). By encouraging team members to take advantage of flexible working, it helps build team trust and can assist those who have commitments outside work.
5. Get involved
Work can be a really important touchstone for some people to stay connected. A social calendar of team events and volunteering opportunities can help strengthen team relationships and build a sense of community, both of which are important for wellbeing. Similarly, many workplaces provide employee assistance programs - confidential, free support services which provide team members with an opportunity to seek the help and support that they need during challenging times.
Wellness the Swisse way
Still need convincing about the importance of workplace wellness? Listen to what some of our Swisse team members have to say about their favourite wellness practices:
Regular on-site yoga classes are Hannah Wilson and Vanessa Mason’s favourite wellbeing tool at Swisse. Vanessa explains, “I love participating in yoga during my lunch break. It’s the perfect way to clear and refresh my mind, as well as move my body when I’ve been sitting at a desk all day!” Hannah agrees, saying, “I find it a great way to refocus and feel my best.”
Chris Holland loves the availability of healthy food in the office. “I can go and grab a snack whenever I’m hungry. All the food downstairs is pretty healthy, so there is less temptation to grab anything bad from up the street.”
For Fiona Bennett, Swisse’s H&H Day initiative is really important. “H&H Days are a super unique benefit. It’s very special to have extra annual leave days once a quarter from our employer to be able to spend doing things that keep us happy and healthy – whether that is spending time with family and friends, a day out adventuring, or a day of rest and self-care. It makes sure that we are always our best in the office!”
The environment and dynamics of the New Zealand office brings joy to Jessie McGraw, who says, “We have live plants and greenery throughout the office, standing desks available, a communal kitchen for catch ups and healthy snacks, a ping pong table for active breaks, and our lovable office dog, Cooper, who helps bring good vibes to our team every day. With a positive and energising environment around us, we truly enjoy coming to work and feel supported by our company to live the healthiest and happiest lives.”