Developing Healthy Work-life Habits
In any walk of life, regular actions convert into habits if repeated consistently over time. Seeing marked improvements in your working life in terms of things like better interactions; feeling less stressed; feeling valued; and overall contentment being at work will eventually transform a workplace, once everybody feels the same. A patient and steady approach is needed, nothing complex or taking actions so far out of reach that they are considered unattainable or outlandish to most people.
Workplace environments effect wellbeing. Organisational culture is based on behaviours that collectively contribute to the unique environment of a business, in a social and psychological way. Typically, those behaviours are influenced by management teams – from the way people relate to each other, to the physical look and feel of the place. Imagine if visitors to your care home instantly got the feeling of ‘home’ because of the family atmosphere and positivity flowing through it. Who wouldn’t want that for their place of work? These things don’t happen by happy accident. Peeling back the layers, in most cases you’ll find that purposeful effort went towards building a climate of trust and collaboration, and other similar values. Changes will have been made to improve the setting and the way people behave towards one another. And this is achievable for any organisation, including your own.
Communication is key
Keeping things simple, the less complicated you make something the more chance you’ll have of maintaining long term changes. Putting out a strong message that employee wellbeing matters will have impact. Being aware that employees are influenced by you, you should be mindful of your actions, even down to the way you converse and interact, leading by example to adopt healthy working habits yourself before asking anybody else to.
Open communication is key, but there are so many different personalities within one organisation, how will you find common ground that suits everyone’s unique style to get motivated?
Some companies manage this well by developing a set of workplace values, which helps everyone understand what an organisation believes to be appropriate behaviours. These can range from accountability to openness, to togetherness, depending on the purpose and true personality of the organisation.
Normalising conversations about emotional health
If you’re promoting mental and physical wellness in your care home, then values such as kindness to each other and self-care would act as a guide for colleagues. Encouragement for those types of behaviours throughout the working day will help form new, positive routines. For example, individuals may think twice before working through breaks, taking some time instead to recuperate with nourishment and mental space to breathe.
Encouraging and normalising conversations about emotional health helps people to feel comfortable talking about their own experiences and challenges, giving confidence to speak up if they know they’ll be heard and not judged. Really listening to each other, and not just marking time until it’s your turn to speak means that meaningful, respectful communication is given a chance to flourish.
All is takes are a few simple techniques and a bit of encouragement. When invited to, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what people will share. They might have their own coping mechanisms, and daily habits to energise themselves, feel calmer or more uplifted. A nice way to introduce and build momentum for healthy work habits is to make them visible on a noticeboard and start talking about them.
‘Our Ways to Wellbeing’ Board.
Everyone has a voice, and anyone can pin a healthy habit suggestion to the board. Some ideas to start off the board could be: Take your breaks. Smile. Take 5 to breathe. Put your phone away. Be kind towards myself. Rest my mind, body and soul – stickers like this can even be taken home by individuals to remind them do just that. We all have mental health, just like we have physical health. Challenge the unhealthy habits and form new ways to be. Above all, normalising wellbeing conversations and promoting overall health in the workplace will make a marked difference to everyone’s working lives.