Take a minute to assess your wellbeing

A woman sitting on a public bench working on her laptop

There is no doubt about it, the world of work will never return to the way it was pre-pandemic. Every day there are reports of new coronavirus cases, either locally, interstate or overseas, and so uncertainty remains. No wonder then that professionals are taking stock of their mental health and wellbeing. But do we honestly know how good our sense of our own wellbeing really is? Do we even understand what is meant by the term ‘wellbeing’ in the first place? 

What is wellbeing at work?

When we discuss workplace wellbeing, we’re not referring to expensive gym memberships or other employee perks. Instead, we’re talking about creating healthy boundaries between your work and personal life and adopting behaviours that support your mental and physical health. We’re referring to preventative actions you can take to remain a healthy, productive and successful employee. And we’re asking how you feel about yourself and your work. 
To help minimise the risk of poor mental wellbeing, there are six key areas of work and home life you can monitor. By regularly checking-in and considering how you feel about each one, you’ll help care for your mental wellbeing and feel more positive and satisfied in turn.

How to assess your wellbeing

  1. Your physical wellbeing: We all have coughs, colds, aches and strains from time to time, but they can often affect us more than we know. Looking after your health, eating properly and getting enough exercise all help you to stay fit and focused.

    For those with a physical disability, physical wellbeing also entails talking to your boss so that reasonable adjustments can be made to support you at work.
  2. Your emotional wellbeing: When you feel positive about life, you can tackle trickier work tasks with greater ease. However, everyone has days when they feel a bit down and find it harder to cope. When things are not going well emotionally, you get anxious, work can get on top of you and normal pressure can turn into stress.

    Recognise, acknowledge and support yourself emotionally. Talking to a trusted friend, colleague or professional about how you feel, and especially about your mental health, can help you feel more confident in your role.
  3. Your environment: We spend the majority of our day at work and so a good working environment is important to us all. This means not just having a pleasant and safe office to work in but also enjoying the company of our colleagues, manager, team and ourselves.

    A good working environment means everyone should feel that they are given equal treatment, irrespective of sexual orientation, marital status, creed, colour, race, nationality, ethnicity, religious belief, political opinion, disability, age or any other differentiating factor. So, be conscious of your colleagues and customers’ varying sensibilities; treating them always as you yourself expect to be treated. Feeling respected allows us to participate more openly and regularly, thus increasing the overall team efficiency.
  4. Your financial wellbeing: During the pandemic, financial concerns have been one of the biggest challenges to our mental health and wellbeing. This pain point can be a huge cause of emotional stress, but as organisations return to growth and vacancy activity heats up again, people can begin to feel more confident. 

    For those currently in employment, your employer may even offer benefits that can help you manage or save your money. Research whether your employer offers discounts at certain shops, the opportunity to save via employer share schemes or even additional retirement contributions. Many companies also have free employee information lines and assistance programmes, which are confidential and can help point you in the right direction if you are concerned about your finances. 
  5. Your personal development: Everyone wants to try and reach their potential. If you enjoy your job and are fulfilled, you are more likely to be engaged at work and give your best. To help you achieve this, find out what learning and development opportunities your employer offers – many courses are now online and easy to access at home or at work.

    Formal courses aren’t the only way to upskill though. A job is what you make of it – you can either do enough to get by or you can be inquisitive, look for opportunities to expand your horizons, work on a stretch project, learn and, subsequently, enjoy your work. 

    If you aren’t sure what direction you want your career to take, our Career Planner may help. 
  6. Work-life balance: A key element in maintaining positive wellbeing is work-life balance – although the ‘right’ work-life balance can differ from person to person.

    What everyone has in common, though, is that overworking can lead to burnout, meaning you’re unable to excel in either your professional or personal life.

    To improve your work-life balance, you could start with assessing your time management skills, logging off at a reasonable hour each day and using all of your holiday entitlements. Many employers also support their people with flexible working policies that allow you to mix home and work in a way that gives you time for both while also maximising your productivity.
To sum up, if you strike the right balance between these six wellbeing factors, you’ll be better able to cope with the day-to-day pressures of working life and perform to the best of your ability.
So, next time someone asks, “How are you?” we hope you will answer with more than just “fine”!

About this author

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director, began working at Hays in 1993 and since then he has held a variety of consulting and management roles across the business. In 2004 he was appointed to the Hays Board of Directors. He was made Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand in 2012.

Prior to joining Hays, he had a background in human resource management and marketing, and has formal qualifications in Psychology.

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