Workplace wellness

Workplace Wellness / Category / Emile Du Toit / April 10th 2014

This section will discuss health and wellness in the workplace. Being happy and focused in our chosen career paths is a vital ingredient in overall health and wellness in our lives.

We spend a scarily high percentage of our lives at work

Most of us work between 8 and 12 hour days 5 days a week. This translates into spending anywhere between 24% and 36% of your life at work, or a rather nasty 36% - 54% of your life while awake! Let’s not even get started on adding in traffic. So any way you look at it you are going to be spending a large amount of your life in the office.

Some people appear to just write off work time

What never ceases to amaze me is how many people accept this in a kind of stoic surrender, and organize their life around non-work time. The underlying belief (with a particularly high percentage of believers residing in the UK) goes something like this:

‘Work is tough and a waste of my time really, but I have to do it to support myself and afford the luxuries I desire’.

In line with this belief many people accept a high level of boredom and often do as little as possible to get through the day. But the reality is that this doesn’t make them any happier!

Alternative beliefs about work

So let’s consider a few alternative beliefs about work:

  • Every day at work gives me an opportunity to learn something new
  • I can use my occupation as a way of making some new, lifelong friends
  • I look forward to work as it sets aside time where I can truly pursue my passions
  • Work is a somewhat process where someone actually pays me to pursue my hobbies!

  • Now I am not attempting to move your thinking from irrationally negative to irrationally positive. The problem with irrational cognitions (thoughts and beliefs) is that they are ultimately exposed by reality. One of the things I love about cognitive behavioural therapy is that it always tries to be rational! Put differently, it rebuilds one’s reality so that what you perceive in the world is actually the same as what is really happening. If I consider the above 4 statements, they all apply to my career to one degree or another. And as you swap out negative, unhelpful beliefs for rational, helpful ones you begin to focus more on the positive.

    Work is actually an amazing opportunity to thrive, as opposed to something that more often than not has to be endured.

    Achieving workplace wellness

    Obviously what is necessary for occupational health varies from person to person, depending on career, age, employment type and a host of other factors.

    Areas we will consider in increasing your workplace wellness include the following:

  • Organization and structure to save you time and keep you on top
  • Utilising technology and applications to boost organization and wellness
  • Pursuing the correct career path
  • Relationships with co-workers
  • Combatting boredom and poor motivation
  • Applying for a job
  • Using a life diary (wellness diary) rather than just a work diary
  • Asking for a raise
  • Increasing productivity of your employees
  • Dealing with gossip
  • Dealing with workplace harassment, abuse and discrimination
  • Being let go or made redundant
  • Being assertive in the workplace
  • Managing your money
  • Getting out of debt
  • Getting out of the money making loop where whatever you earn is just not enough
  • And many, many more…!
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