Why Emotional Wellbeing at Work Matters
Emotional wellbeing at work matters.
If you’re in an unhealthy state of mind and focused on what’s going wrong in your life, it’s hard not to bring that to work. Many employers don’t yet understand the connection between emotional well-being and productive, healthy employees.
There is a clear difference between having a job you love and having a life you love. Here are a few ways to have both — and how employers like 9 Clouds can make an impact on their employees’ emotional state.
Keep in mind: happiness isn’t a destination; it’s a starting point.
Career Happiness vs. Emotional Wellbeing at Work
Career happiness is the credo of any high school career counselor, often preached as the overused axiom “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!”
Okay. True, dude who looks like he’d use the term “youths.”
Putting aside the fact that this adage is normally really bad advice, real happiness and emotional wellbeing at work manifests through constant intent. Happiness at work is about finding an industry, role, and business that align with your personal and professional goals and making that job yours — every day.
A job is always a job. It’s important to realize that finding meaningful work doesn’t mean your happiness search is over.
Happiness is unhealthy when it’s depended on one factor (like a person or job). Especially if you’re doing something you’re passionate about, be realistic with your expectations.
Keeping Tabs on Your Self-Care
If you’re not familiar with self-care, get acquainted.
Self-care is the practice of taking care of your mental and emotional wellbeing. It’s about making yourself a priority — and not feeling guilty for that or thinking it’s selfish.
If you can’t take care of yourself, your ability to help others (and your work) will suffer.
Self Care Tips
- Create a bullet journal
- Play this “choose your own adventure”-style self-care quiz
- Practice good emotional hygiene
- Protect your schedule
- Maintain a routine at work
Keeping Your Employees Healthy
Here are some ideas for fostering well-being at work that are easy to implement. Together, they can help build up your organization.
1. Encourage Openness
9 Clouds is a good example of how our intentionally small size benefits our emotional wellbeing at work through our interpersonal relationships.
Our CEO has made a conscious effort to balance the different personalities and needs of the company to encourage friendships and business relationships to form.
We’re there for each other. Recently, I had some family issues resurface, and my boss knew I was dealing with it. When I came in for work one day, there was a Starbucks gift card on my desk.
I was surprised that the gesture brought me to tears at 7:30 am. I don’t normally consider myself an emotional person, but having my boss recognize that I was going through a hard time was a confident concession: Hey, I know things are rough right now, but you got this!
2. Tailor Benefits
There are different benefits you can offer to focus on emotional wellbeing at work. Aside from the obvious benefits that promote self-care like paid time off, health insurance, or a health care stipend, my favorite one at 9 Clouds is our work-from-home benefit.
Allowing your employees to work remotely is an easy way to give them the freedom to choose their best environment for getting work done. As long as there is communication and productivity, you’re on track.
There are definitely pros and cons of working from home, but if it aligns with an employee’s emotional well-being at work? Go for it.
I have used this benefit to travel and stay with friends, work from a coffee shop when I need minimal coworker interruptions, and work remotely when I just want time away to refocus.
3. Schedule Fun and Mischief
Every year, our company goes on a retreat. We spend the time evaluating not just our company, but also ourselves as individuals. Ours is run in a very Brené Brown way — focusing on the power of vulnerability.
The few days we spend on retreat are like doing a hard reset on a computer.
When done well, company retreats offer an environment of openness, allowing your employees to relax and gain a fresh perspective on problems.
4. Set Goals
Goal setting is great not just for emotional wellbeing at work, but also for accountability and setting expectations.
By agreeing to quarterly goals with employees, you continue to build on trust and empowerment. Professional goals help employees have a clearer direction about what’s important for business over the next quarter.
Personal goals are also encouraged. Many of our personal goals at 9 Clouds have been celebrated throughout the team. We’ve run marathons, completed bike tours, and crafted healthy eating habits as a result of our goals.
Our team also hosts a regular “goals lunch” to discuss our personal progress. It’s great to support each other through a sense of community.
Keeping It Moving
After developing or reevaluating what you need to maintain your emotional well-being at work, keep at it. Focus on making time for yourself, and audit your own progress. Soon enough, it will become habit!
Now, your productivity may not be unstoppable, but on the bad days when you need it most, you’ll be glad you have the knowledge — and the smarts — to take a step back and put yourself first.