Work-life balance is a myth. How do you keep yourself healthy—mentally & physically—at work?
World Health Day - 7 April
On this day we celebrate the work of nurses, midwives, doctors & paramedical professionals and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy.
In the current situation the whole world is facing due the the coronavirus outbreak, healthcare workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response — providing high quality treatment & care, leading community dialogue to address the fears & questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. In times like this, we realize how much their contributions are paramount to our wellbeing, so let's show appreciation for their work and thank them for what they are doing to keep us safe and healthy.
This is also an opportunity for people in companies across all industries to ponder over the importance of our health in anything and everything we do. Have you come across this statement: "If you don't have your health, then you don't have anything;"?
Yet, how many of us have skipped a gym workout session or lunch meals or even a dinner with your loved ones for the sake of our careers?
We tend to always say that we'll find time to make up for those moments but that's only true at the moment we're saying it — before we realize it, another issue pops up, and it demands our attention. It's a never ending cycle. The world always has one more urgent matter we need to look at right now.
Work usually ends up coming first. Whether we notice it or not, the cost of not taking care of our physical and mental health are there. If our body isn't healthy, it's going to affect our self-image, our confidence, and the way that we appear to others. There's an irony to this as we think we are "working harder and doing better" while we neglect our health, but in fact, we are sabotaging our own career without even knowing it.
How do we keep ourselves healthy, productive & efficient at work?
Work is life and life is work
We spend the majority of our lives working. Therefore, work and life don't have to be separated. We tend to compartmentalize everything into either "work" activities — work, meetings, business trips, conferences — and "life" activities — spending time with loved ones, staying fit, family vacation. When we do this, it's easy to let our health fall by the wayside as we always think that if we don't prioritize our "work" activities, we might lose our jobs or get passed over for a promotion.
We have to build a life in which our body is cared for just as much as our career is. The secret is work is life and life is work. We spend the majority of our adult lives working, which means it's not just a job or a career — it's part of us. We don't have to separate them if we understand how one affects the other in a positive or negative way. This decision only depends on us and our own mindsets. We have to do a better job of blending our work and life together.
Many will say that it's easier said than done, but if we don't like how an organisation is treating us or hate the projects we are working on or feel miserable where we're at, then it's time for us to take control and build the life we want to have. This is about us, it's not just a job or a career. The choices and decisions are ours. We must not try to please anyone because in the long run we'll be the ones on the losing end. Working on our personal growth and wellbeing in every single action we take in our lives will have an overall impact on our efficiency and self-confidence and therefore, on our work.
Related article: 5 Tips to Engage Your Employees Better
Treat people like adults
When companies treat people like adults and let them have more control over their lives, they will work more efficiently and effectively. Good leaders and managers have the ability to easily pick out responsible employees, right from the recruitment process. Since jobs are part of people's lives, leaders and managers' responsibility is to empower each individual by tapping into their abilities. When employees see that their managers genuinely care about their personal growth, there's a sense of purpose in what they do and are more committed to their job and the wellbeing of their company.
If companies fail to empower their people then it's a wake up call for employees to know that they wouldn't want to give their best and spend so much time, at the expense of their own health and happiness, for someone who wouldn't care about their own personal growth and wellness.
People genuinely care about their job when they find a purpose in their work as it is part of them, as all the other activities that adds to their happiness in life. It is for managers to see their strengths and design their work accordingly so that they feel motivated, challenged, and driven to perform their daily tasks. When people are committed to what they're doing, they know when it's time to work and when it's necessary to switch off as a healthy mind and body will be more efficient and productive.
At BrioHR, we have a very independent way of working as we have flexible working hours and an unlimited leave policy. This is possible as everyone's treated like adults. Everyone knows how they contribute to the company, trusts that their team mate is doing their best, and respects each others' decisions.
Related article: Is it HR's job to make you happy at work?
Employee health and wellbeing is no more a 'nice-to-have' benefit, it has become a core business strategy. Good leaders and managers know the importance of a healthy mind and body to be productive at work. Self care isn't selfish, it's the bottom line of anything we do.
Want to see how you can empower your employees? BrioHR's solution automates mundane tasks for employees, managers & HR teams, enabling the whole company to spend more time on human connections and empowering individuals instead of on repetitive tasks!