With National self care week in mind our eLearning designer, Molly, discusses encouraging self care in the work place.
By Molly Finnigan
The way the world views work is changing. The ways we work, where we work, productivity at work… the list goes on! As a Manager or Director, I’m sure you will have every intention of providing the best possible place for your employees to work. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Happiness is subjective and everyone feels it in different ways, from different things; so how can you find a way to help your staff to feel collectively positive and support them in ways that will help their individual needs too? That’s without driving yourself crazy with every request, I might add!
Flexibility doesn’t have to cost or affect the business much at all. If people feel that they can come forward, within reason, and make requests to try and fit together the puzzle pieces that are work and home, they will feel supported and less stressed, resulting in them using their time at work much more productively.
Setting up different areas to people to work in can be another, fairly universal, way to provide them with support. It can be hard to sit at a desk all day; new environments can help the brain to be stimulated again, feel active and comfortable. Simply recognising that this is a possibility for your employees is a step in the right direction!
Now, whilst you can’t force people to get up and move about throughout the day and it’s important to remember that everyone is different, a gentle reminder could help. It could be that they just don’t want to get up (which is totally fine) but it could also be that perhaps they feel it would be frowned upon. Maybe they’re just are so deep in a project that they have simply forgotten. Gently reminding people to move around makes them aware that you care about them and reminds them that it is okay to look after themselves throughout the day. This can be just as you’re passing their desk, or you could even drop them a quick email. If there’s a dedicated space for messages, like a notice board, you could put a reminder here too!
Other simple things such as having music playing throughout the office can build energy and atmosphere in the office, this however, may not be welcomed by everyone. It may be worth discussing in the next team meeting to agree on a strategy which everyone is happy with. People will be willing to compromise if the conversation is raised and they feel like they have been listened too.
It might be that Barry is a brilliant Yoga fanatic at home and would love to spread his wisdom by setting up a lunchtime class, but he isn’t aware that this is possible. People’s shared interests are what brings them together, so it’s important to encourage this. It could be in the form of a choir, 5 a side football, knitting clubs, music groups, lunch time walks…the list goes on. Use a notice board to encourage people to bring these things to life!
It’s important to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard, so a briefing with line managers to discuss suggestions might help, giving them the opportunity to let employees know that suggestions are welcome. There could be something totally random and individual that would make your employee’s happier – delve into those suggestions and find out… you never know until you ask.
Just a few low-cost suggestions to help provide support, spread positivity and bring people together, which will hopefully create a fabulous place to work for everyone.
You can check out the NHS’s forum here to find lots of information surrounding self care – http://www.selfcareforum.org/
Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.