A year on from the initial COVID-19 outbreak, employee wellbeing has recently become a major focus for organisations in Australia. Many struggled with the concept of working from home due to lack of separation between work life and family life. Now with organisations opening again, many are opting for a hybrid work environment, providing a streamlined experience for staff, regardless of where they are working.
Worklabs guide to the Principals of Wellbeing can help you create a healthy environment that focuses on the overall wellbeing of your staff, whilst keeping your business goals in mind.
Make Objective Key Results (OKR) your friend
To have a happy work-life balance you should try to refer to the OKR framework. The personal framework clarifies which work is most important, and what can be pushed back. Having clear objectives and results assist when preparing staff for heavy workloads. You are also empowered to say “no” more often if the work is not important at that time which can help you achieve a healthy balance of work and life.
Get comfortable with imperfection
The world is moving quickly and often our expectations follow. We opt for speed and agility within the workforce but sometimes we must take a step back, and accept tha good enough is in fact, good enough. This doesn’t mean to not work hard by any stretch, but sometimes you should ask yourself, “Does this need to be good, better, or best?” And encourage your team to discuss it. Champion marathoners don’t sprint at their top speed for 26.2 miles. They manage their pace strategically along the way.
Own your boundaries
Wellbeing is both an individual and team sport. Everyone’s personal experience is different, and we need to define boundaries based on what we can and can’t do and have the confidence to own them. In practice, this defines the start and stop times of your work and stick to these commitments. In this time of hybrid work, technology can be your friend, by utilising “be right back messages” or “family time” can ensure there is a culture created of mutual support that will in turn help promote everyone’s wellbeing.
Plan meetings with purpose
Meetings have become extremely frequent occurrences over the last year and it seems like we are spending more than half the day sitting around in meetings, losing track of time. Meetings can be effective, but often they lead to burnout with people attending, but not really paying attention – wasting your time and theirs. The easiest question you can ask yourselves is “Do we need to have this meeting?” If yes, set clear goals for the meeting and ensure people are included but if not, find other channels of communication to ensure workflows more efficiently.
Follow the Science
The digital acceleration of 2020 has created an uncertainty behind working hours and output. Is it unfair to expect our staff can stay back after their rostered time to finish work because they are already at home? Maybe but sometimes people are doing so out of their own will. To combat this to ensure your employees are put in healthy lifestyles, taking a more scientific thought approach to the workplace. For instance, science tells us what the world’s best athletes have known for years: Peak performance requires cycles of rest and recovery. More and longer hours don’t equal higher impact. Create a culture where taking breaks is a mark of intelligence, not of laziness. Embrace time outside to help rejuvenate.
Lead with empathy
Culture always starts at the top and leaders must be the most vocal, visible, and empathetic advocates for wellbeing. This will help create an overall structure where everyone feels comfortable putting wellbeing first in the workplace.