Being well to work well: the importance of corporate wellness

If there is one thing that characterises these years, it is the increasingly fast pace that we are getting used to seeing the change. Transformation is constant and widespread, and the world of work is involved in it in an extraordinarily significant way, with consequences that are not always positive from the point of view of health and corporate wellness. But the importance of well-being for productivity is now a universally recognised reality, and for this reason companies are making an increasing effort to make work and corporate wellness coincide.
When it comes to the (negative) impact of changes on people's health, technology is the first suspect. In fact there is nothing that has changed our minds in the possibilities of working in a non-traditional way, for example from home or otherwise from habits and our lifestyles as the digital revolution. If you think about work, they come immediately remotely in a context that is not the classic one of the office, in addition to the obvious impact that technological developments have had on many sectors from a more strictly technical point of view. This has been accompanied by an ever-increasing search for flexibility, which in part has been able to be achieved thanks to technology and, of course, the imposing effects of globalisation cannot but be mentioned.
All this has made it possible for the tendency to be always on to spread in an unimaginable way before, that is the propensity to blur the boundary between life time and work time to the point of making it disappear almost completely, finding itself to be constantly available and never "detach" completely from work. There is no need to underline this, this situation poses a series of health issues that cannot be overlooked, let alone at a time of great sensitivity to the issues of Wellness that we are going through.

Corporate Wellness: health and productivity

Both experts and health professionals and those in the workplace are highlighting it more and more frequently: health is a multidimensional concept whose many aspects are in deep and mutual interconnection. Physical well-being cannot be considered apart from mental well-being, for example, but also social dimensions, such as the quality of relationships and the financial situation, must be taken into account when assessing the state of health of a person or a group. It is precisely this holistic conception of well-being that underpins the programmes implemented by a constantly growing number of companies in order to maintain their resources in optimum condition, thereby ensuring a good level of productivity.
It is no coincidence that Apple identified self-care in the last months of 2018 as the "trend of the year", indicating on the one hand the growing attention of people to their health generally understood, on the other hand the response of organisations to new needs arising from it.

Corporate well-being and self-care at work

In general, the self-care dimension is entering the world of corporate well-being through strategies to help manage stress and strengthen self-esteem and self-confidence. Mindfulness practices are becoming, especially in larger organisations, an integral part of the work experience, while the customisation of the offer of treatments and services, fed both by technology and by the direct involvement of people through co-creation of the services themselves, the watchword of well-being at work.
Even corporate policies are increasingly oriented towards Wellness, for example through directives that invite disconnection beyond certain hours, and companies that cultivate the goal of attracting young and well-trained professionals are gearing up to bring services and wellness experiences, such as gyms and spas, directly into the spaces of the organization, to make the workplace a place designed to make people feel good, from every point of view.

The importance of sleep

Among the main "victims" of the "always on" lifestyle, sleep should certainly be indicated, which is sometimes given up without, however, considering the importance that this has for both well-being and productivity. Learning and concentration skills are in fact deeply conditioned by the quality of rest, as well as levels of creativity, propensity to involvement and perception of personal satisfaction.

Lack of sleep, on the other hand, is linked to emotional instability and, in cases of severe deprivation and prolonged over time, to physical problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

For this reason, the importance of creating a sleep-first, then work culture is being pointed out from many quarters, which can be facilitated by work environments that are very exposed to natural light and by the predisposition of environments designed for rest, such as the so-called "nap rooms", but also by the limitation of the possibility of receiving work e-mails during non-working hours, as previously mentioned, and the reduction of access to coffee to morning hours only.
Finally, one aspect that is being discussed extensively in the context of corporate wellness is that of mental health and well-being. Encouraging people to take care of this dimension of their health, just as they take care of their physical health, is the goal of a constantly increasing number of programs aimed at releasing the mental health of the stigma of which they are still victims.

Inviting people to speak openly about their perceptions and feelings in the workplace, giving them the security of being in a safe environment, providing information on mental health issues, proposing learning opportunities are just some of the actions that can be taken by companies to ensure that the people who work there do not neglect this determining factor.

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