The Leader Magazine

SEP 2016

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40 SEPTEMBER 2016 H ealthy employees are significant factors to a healthy bottom line, but to embrace this, our entire approach to workplace requires transformation. Our current wellbeing paradigm is stuck measuring the cost of various degrees of illness rather than calculating the value of higher the cost of various degrees of illness rather than calculating the value of higher levels of wellness and proactively enabling us to thrive. levels of wellness and proactively enabling us to thrive. levels of wellness and proactively enabling us to thrive. It is not a simple solution – a gym or standing desk – but an ongoing It is not a simple solution – a gym or standing desk – but an ongoing process that requires coordination across leadership, space, technology and process that requires coordination across leadership, space, technology and policies to deliver change. policies to deliver change. policies to deliver change. Arianna Huffington (2014) Arianna Huffington (2014) 1 introduced wellbeing as the much-needed introduced wellbeing as the much-needed Third Metric of Success. She suggests that there is no 'work-life balance' so Third Metric of Success. She suggests that there is no 'work-life balance' so for our workplaces to become truly sustainable, we need company cultures that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. that do not expect employees to be wired and responsive 24/7 to become the norm. The working environment can either stimulate and sustain people's The working environment can either stimulate and sustain people's engagement and energy, or dampen and drain it. For it to be a positive experience that adds value, it must meet a series of basic human needs: • renew our physical energy energy • help us feel valued • focus and be creative • connect with others in a range of ways We perform at our best when we move, spend time outside getting daylight, We perform at our best when we move, spend time outside getting daylight, and alternate between different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. and alternate between different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. and alternate between different physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. • What if we could leave work feeling healthier and more inspired than What if we could leave work feeling healthier and more inspired than when we arrived? • What if our workplace actively supported our life at work? What if our workplace actively supported our life at work? • What if we felt genuine connection to our community of colleagues? What if we felt genuine connection to our community of colleagues? What if we felt genuine connection to our community of colleagues? • What if we each had a say in the way we work and could make a difference? difference? The combination of open-plan office design and email has shattered people's capacity to focus with constant interruption, distraction and lack people's capacity to focus with constant interruption, distraction and lack of freedom and choice. We've come to see multitasking as an essential skill of freedom and choice. We've come to see multitasking as an essential skill when, in fact, it destroys our effectiveness. The lack of places to work without when, in fact, it destroys our effectiveness. The lack of places to work without interruption means that we further reinforce a culture of intermittent thinking interruption means that we further reinforce a culture of intermittent thinking and stress. To cope with the intensity of work today we need more access to and stress. To cope with the intensity of work today we need more access to quiet spaces to concentrate, think and recharge, as well as access to flexible quiet spaces to concentrate, think and recharge, as well as access to flexible quiet spaces to concentrate, think and recharge, as well as access to flexible spaces for meeting, collaborating and socialising. spaces for meeting, collaborating and socialising. spaces for meeting, collaborating and socialising. We can safely say that the office environment will no longer be made up of We can safely say that the office environment will no longer be made up of rows of desks but of a rich variety of settings and curated events that will blur rows of desks but of a rich variety of settings and curated events that will blur rows of desks but of a rich variety of settings and curated events that will blur the boundary between personal and shared spaces to support organisational the boundary between personal and shared spaces to support organisational the boundary between personal and shared spaces to support organisational innovation and employee engagement. wellbeing goes beyond the physical workplace by Despina Katsikakis and Victoria Lockhart F E A T U R E A R T I C L E Measure it meaningfully:

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