Holistic well-being of employees has not traditionally been a priority for companies.
The hiring process typically involves questions around skills, knowledge and experience. However, companies are missing key questions around productivity like how they manage their day, how thoughtful are their decisions, what they do to handle distractions, or how they manage unrelenting emails. These are the very qualities that result in the best use of any company’s most valuable asset – human knowledge workers – which can ensure a distinct competitive advantage in the market and, yet, are largely ignored or underestimated.
Once on the job, knowledge workers – whose outputs are ideas, decisions, and communications – are often left to fend for themselves when it comes to being optimally productive.
Even more, there have never been so many opportunities to leverage technology for human benefit; unfortunately, the opposite often happens as it lengthens the typical workday. Employees come home at the end of the day only to send more email, when studies show that their productivity (and happiness) would improve if they took some downtime.
Each person must restore and refresh in order to operate at peak performance daily. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, the consequence is unhappiness, anxiety, depression, declining physical health and, ultimately, burnout stemming from overwhelming stress and fatigue. (To manage burnout and other stress in the workplace, I’ve laid out a few tips for you in this post.)
To produce their best at work, knowledge workers are faced with a holistic well-being challenge. Time management will not produce the mental states for optimal performance: calm, happy and energized. Instead, an ‘always-on’ world requires the mastery of attention management. Having a sense of control in a chaotic workflow helps. Work-life balance is also a critical component of holistic well-being.
It is up to each person to determine whether their life is in balance. If you find yourself with very little downtime, that might be a red flag. You can find others here.
Do you often feel stressed, exhausted, or overwhelmed? Share your thoughts below. And for some ideas on how to bring back some balance, sign up below to start reading my new book, Work Without Walls.