WELLNESS WITHIN WORKPLACE
Wellness is defined as a way of life: a balanced lifestyle you design to achieve your highest potential for well being.
Wellness could also mean the integration of body, mind, and soul; an awareness that the choices we make in one area affect all others.
Several decades ago working conditions in England during the 19th century were abysmal. Men, women, and children laboured in dangerous factories during the day and went home to dirty tenement slums at night. Many of the factory owners cared little for the well-being of their employees.
But during that time, the owners of the Cadbury chocolate company were different. Quakers by conviction and business entrepreneurs by giftedness, they focused on improving the working conditions of their 200 workers.
With wellness defined as a way of life: a balanced lifestyle, experiencing it in full was important to “The Cadburys” so they built a state-of-the-art factory with heated dressing rooms, a kitchen, and recreational areas. And to care for the employees’ spiritual needs, the workday started with Bible study.
According to Health Day news America; workplace wellness programs are an effective way to reduce major risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure amongst others.
Each year, heart disease costs Am
erica about $304.6 billion, Companies spend 25 to 30% of their annual medical costs on employees with significant health risks, mainly because of their increased likelihood of experiencing heart disease and stroke,
But the financial burden also falls on workers, in the form of higher premiums, co-pays and deductibles, reduction or elimination of coverage and trade-offs between insurance benefits and wage or salary increases.
"Research shows that companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12 to 18 months of implementing a workplace wellness program,” asserts Mercedes Carnethon, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
Though we may not own a company, we do have regular contact with a variety of people. It is important to be ethical in our dealings. George Cadbury will go down in history as an employer who realized that looking after employees and treating them with respect produces a well-motivated team
Well-being is a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community.
A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ asserts John Steinbeck.
People who are happiest at work are 47% more productive than their least happy colleagues, and those who are happiest at work take only 1.5 days off sick a year.
So can one develop the ability to change one’s mind-set and be happy at work and home?
Dr Martin Seligman, the Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that one can. His ‘happiness formula’ assists individuals to learn how to obtain an optimistic outlook inside and outside the office. He defines a happy life as one filled with positive feelings and activities, and believes that the degree to which you experience these feelings matches your level of enduring happiness.
Within the workplace there are numerous benefits to having an optimistic mind-set and choosing to be a happy individual.
According to Dr. Seligman’s studies, optimistic individuals, unlike pessimists, tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback and that its causes are confined to that particular case. When optimistic individuals are confronted by a bad situation they perceive it as a challenge and try harder. It is this very attitude that places optimists a few steps ahead of pessimists. Seligman indicates that optimists recover faster and are able to act again sooner, due to the way they explain a failure to themselves.
Anyone may experience failure or even rejection in the workplace; however Dr Seligman claims that you can still be happy regardless of this. He indicates that optimists have a beneficial outlook as it allows them to be proactive and productive in the face of failure, and to lead, inspire and encourage others, thereby preserving their happiness.
According to Jessica Pryce-Jones, CEO of the iOpener Institute, there are five factors that make up the structure of happiness at work:
• Contribution – is about the effort you make and your perception of it
• Conviction – is about the motivation you have whatever your circumstances
• Culture – is about how well you feel you fit at work
• Commitment – is about the extent to which you are engaged with your work
• Confidence – is about the sense of belief you have in yourself and your job