Wellness in the Workplace: Making the Invisible, Visible

This article is inspired by insights from the "Wellness in the Workplace: A Focus on Mental Health" session presented at the InfoComm show.
Wellness in the Workplace: Making the Invisible, Visible

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In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving work environment, employee wellness has emerged as a critical focus for organizations. Recognizing and addressing the myriad dimensions of wellness—mental, physical, social, financial, spiritual, environmental, and vocational—is essential for fostering a healthy, productive, and engaged workforce.

This article is inspired by insights from the Wellness in the Workplace: A Focus on Mental Health session presented by @Jennifer Steinhardt, Associate - Shen, Milsom & Wilke LLC, Jessica Sanders, Senior Distribution Development Manager - Absen and @Kaz Pearman, Client Development - DCE Agency Ltd during the InfoComm show and explain the dimensions and offers practical insights on integrating wellness into the workplace.

The Seven Dimensions of Wellness

1. Mental Wellness: Mental health is often invisible yet profoundly impactful. Mental health issues can significantly affect employees' productivity and overall well-being. Recognizing this, workplaces must create environments that support mental health through initiatives like flexible working hours, access to counseling services, and mental health days. 

2. Physical Wellness: Encouraging physical activity and providing ergonomic workspaces are key to promoting physical health. This can include standing desks, gym memberships, or on-site fitness classes.

3. Social Wellness: Social connections are crucial for a supportive work environment. Team-building activities, social events, and open communication channels help foster a sense of community.

4. Financial Wellness: Financial stress can be a major distraction. Offering financial planning resources, retirement planning, and employee discounts can alleviate some of this burden.

5. Spiritual Wellness: This dimension involves finding purpose and meaning in work. Providing opportunities for personal growth and aligning company values with those of employees can enhance spiritual wellness.

6. Environmental Wellness: A healthy work environment is physically and emotionally safe. This includes clean and organized workspaces, as well as policies that promote sustainability and a healthy work-life balance.

7. Vocational Wellness: Career development and job satisfaction are integral to vocational wellness. Providing opportunities for professional growth and recognizing achievements helps employees feel valued and fulfilled.

Practical Strategies for Day-to-Day Wellness

  • Listening to Your Body and Mind: Incorporating wellness into the daily routine can be as simple as using headphones to create a focused work environment, scheduling breaks, and listening to your body’s stress signals. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s crucial to take time to rest and recharge.
  • Setting Expectations and Practicing Self-Compassion: It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Remember, you are enough just as you are. Self-compassion involves acknowledging your efforts and giving yourself grace during challenging times.
  • Finding Your Tribe: Building a network of supportive colleagues can make a significant difference. Having a mentor, like the esteemed panelists Jenn Steinhardt, Jessica Sanders, and Kaz Pearman, can provide guidance and support in navigating workplace challenges.
  • Self-Advocacy and Accommodations: If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, don't hesitate to ask for accommodations. Tools like Askjen.org can be invaluable resources. Self-advocacy is about understanding your needs and communicating them effectively. It’s also important to know that you don’t have to disclose personal information to request accommodations.
  • Creating Safe Spaces: Inclusivity is crucial for a supportive workplace. Implementing gender-neutral restrooms and other inclusive policies ensures everyone feels safe and respected.

Changing the Perception of Mental Health

The hope is that mental health will not be seen as a weakness but as a fundamental aspect of overall wellness. Organizations need to promote this view and provide the necessary support systems.

Effective Accommodations

Not all accommodations will be beneficial. It’s important to evaluate their effectiveness and suggest alternatives if necessary. Declining a useless accommodation and proposing a more suitable solution can ensure that your needs are truly met.

Fostering wellness in the workplace requires a holistic approach that addresses all seven dimensions of wellness. By making the invisible aspects of wellness visible, setting realistic expectations, practicing self-compassion, and creating inclusive environments, organizations can support their employees' well-being and create a thriving, productive workplace.

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Go to the profile of Jennifer Steinhardt
25 days ago

🤗 What a wonderful article! This panel was such an honor. The more we talk about mental health, the more we can change the stigma that while some of us may need accommodations and feel disabled, it doesn't mean we are lesser than. As Temple Grandin says, "Different, not less!"

Quick correction 💌 - https://askjan.org

Go to the profile of Allan Rea
25 days ago

Addressing wellness is long overdue in our industry.

We become too focused on serving our clients needs / demands that we forget / neglect to take care of ourselves. This year I am celebrating my 39th year in AV, with a better work / life balance that should have been a much stronger priority decades ago. 

Go to the profile of Virginia Molina
24 days ago

Excellent article! Recognizing and raising awareness of employee wellness in work environments is crucial for creating a positive and productive workplace.

What would the world be like if we were all equal? Celebrating diversity enriches our work environments and contributes to a more inclusive and harmonious society.