By: Katherine Muniz Jan 20, 2017

General Wellness: The Importance of Self-Care in the Workplace

“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

In so few words, this quote reminds us that it’s okay to take a break when needed. Yet mindfulness in the workplace has only recently been recognized as a significant factor in workplace productivity. According to experts, promoting health in the workplace, including encouraging employees to take sick time if needed, is an intrinsically beneficial move that strengthens the health of the business overall.

“Values, thoughts, and beliefs drive culture, and employers need to ingrain a culture of wellness throughout the organization.  It’s one thing to tell an employee to stay home if they’re ill, but another for the employee to fully trust that you, and the organization, are okay with it,” says CPHR Jana Tulloch of DevelopIntelligence. “Encouraging employees to take care of themselves, and meaning it, increases employee trust and their sense of value to the organization.”

Joint research reports from Limeade, a corporate wellness tech company, and Quantum Workplace, report that workplace well-being is statistically crucial to high employee morale.

  • When employees feel their employer genuinely supports them, they’re 38% more engaged at work, 28% more likely to recommend their place as a great place to work, and 17% more likely to be working there in 1 year
  • On average, employees who said their organization provided health and well-being benefits were 11% more engaged than those that didn’t
  • More than 75% of employees want time off to recharge, but less than half of employers provide it as an emotional health and stress management benefit
  • 99 percent of employees with high well-being and organizational support say their employer is a great place to work

According to Helen McClenahan, Director of Corporate Communications at Limeade, “A well-implemented program that focuses on the wellness and health of an employee is a proven way to retain talent and reduce sick days while increasing employee engagement, morale, and productivity.”

Today, there are many ways to build a culture that encourages wellness. From allowing employees to work from home when sick (or take the day off), to instituting a fully developed wellness strategy, there are endless options for promoting health. If you’re unsure where to start, plenty of consulting firms focus on wellness, like Paladino and Company.

“We work with companies to establish wellness programs based on their built environment. So we help them sort out how to ensure their employees get access to fresh air, sunlight, movement, and thermal comfort; while also helping them to design spaces for optimum social wellbeing – creating collaboration spaces, and the like.”

Alison Brehme, the Founder and CEO of Virtual Corporate Wellness says that “Studies have shown that wellness programs have a direct impact on sick days and health insurance costs – dramatically decreasing both when a comprehensive and top to bottom wellness strategy is implemented correctly.”

With so many merits and benefits of encouraging workplace wellness, being more mindful of your employees is worth considering.

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Katherine is a New York-based digital writer who joined Fingercheck in 2015. She promotes Fingercheck through the power of the written word. She graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies with a focus on Journalism.

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