1. Would you say you pay attention to your Wellness?
Yes. But this was not always the case. Before I had children, despite doing shiftwork, I regularly attended dancing classes, went to the gym, meditated and always had my next holiday booked. When I had children and went to full time work, a lot of that fell by the wayside. I stopped doing fitness activity and started working excessive hours. I began eating convenient food instead of healthily prepared food. It took a long while for me to see that this was a disservice to myself and the wider team.
I am now prioritising wellness over other measures – this gives me more energy (for myself and my family), more capacity at work and I now see wellness as an indicator of succeeding in life.
2. What is your experience of how your wellness at work translates into how you do your job?
As a manager, my focus on wellness translated well for the large team. For our team, every small change we made to improve the work environment had results which far outweighed the resources we needed to create them.
Personally, I find that when I am at my best health-wise (in the all-encompassing view of health) that I make better decisions, and perform my duties faster and better than when I am struggling. When I am feeling rubbish, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking everything is rubbish (and harder to get out the situation).
I also find that working for leaders who role models healthy decision making makes the workplace better. I recently met a leader who does this extremely well. I saw him singing ‘shake it off’ by Taylor Swift in our tea room (as one of his favourite songs) and this joyful and authentic moment brought smiles to our entire group.
3. Do you think you can tell when your teammates are well (or unwell)? How does this affect the service you deliver as a team? How does it affect your enjoyment of your shift?
The physical signs can be overt (like red eyes, bags under the eyes, looking pale or coughing etc) but the emotional stuff can be so well hidden, it make it hard to know. Keeping in close contact and asking people how they are going (even if things seem okay on the surface) is the best way I have found to know if people are well.
When people feel cared for by those they work with, it makes us all feel better. Knowing we care about each other and feeling cared for by others are two things that vastly improve our enjoyment of our work.
4. Can you give us one idea of something you have done at work (or would like to do) to promote staff wellness in any way?
In my previous workplace, we provided Vitamin C and massages for staff in the difficult winter months. We put a shelf in the bathroom with womens’ products so that people had things available if they needed them. We started Non-Violent Communication courses run from our ED, so that our staff could learn skills that would help them in work and also in life. We created a Chill Out Zone in an alcove so that people had a quiet place to go to, and we got a breastfeeding room for staff returning from maternity leave. Every little bit counts.