Carl Chapman, associate & head of workplace health, Barnett Waddingham writes a blog series explaining what wellbeing really means
Barnett Waddingham's Carl Chapman is writing a blog series on Eudaimonia using the Greek alphabet as a reference point to give insight into how this old concept can significantly improve your business performance by maximising output from your greatest asset.
Τ τ – tau
In ancient times, tau was used as a symbol for life or resurrection. I am going to focus more on life than resurrection as not to land myself in any trouble. For this week’s tenuous link we will think of life as in our working life and how we spend a large amount of time at work.
We spend almost, if not more, time at work as we do at home and at home most of us will create an atmosphere which is relaxing, comfortable and cosy; I guess more accurately we will create an environment which is suited to us. We will do this by furnishing our homes with items that we like and we will buy homes or alter our existing homes to suit our lifestyle; open plan, on suites, outside space etc.
As we spend so much time at work surely the environment we work in is equally important? I don’t claim to be an expert in feng shui or any similar philosophies but it does make sense to me that the environment in which we work can have an impact on our productivity.
I was in Manchester last week listening to a really engaging speech from the co-founder of Moneypenny where she was discussing a new office they recently built where they asked their employees what they wanted from the new office, the results were incredible and you could see from the evidence that their employees were excited to come to work every day.
Maybe if we make people feel as comfortable in work as they do at home it will have a profound impact on their performance?
Υ υ – upsilon
Upsilon is represented by Y. Why? I don’t know.
Why? I personally use this word a lot, not because I am 5 years old and taking pleasure out of annoying my parents, but because ‘why’ is one of the powerful words in the English language.
When looking at our existing benefits, reward or wellbeing strategies we should all start off with the question, why? Why do we provide that particular benefit and why do we take that particular approach?
If the answer is because it provides a return on investment to us which we quantify and measure then great, however if the answer is because “we have always offered it” or “I’m not sure”, then surely further analysis is deserved?
If you’re starting from scratch then it is relatively easy, you conduct the analysis and you build a strategy pertinent to the risks identified. However if you already have a benefits strategy or part of a wellbeing strategy (which let’s face it most will) it can be more tricky because it can be difficult to remove things that have been in place for a while even if they provide no return on investment.
It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try though, especially if that particular benefit or initiative is costing the business money that might be better spent elsewhere.
Maybe take 10 minutes out today and ask ‘why?’.