From desktop breathing exercises to specialist equipment, should our employers be doing more to encourage self-care in the workplace?
Self-care can sometimes make the difference between a good or bad mental health day, supporting our resiliency levels and offering us a welcome break from the stress of our daily lives.
For a lot of people, that daily stress may come in the form the workplace demands, and so it makes sense that self-care should be on the agenda, right?
Well, according to a survey from CV-Library, 74.2% of UK professionals agree, believing that employers should do more to promote self-care in the workplace. Among those who took part, the most popular methods of self-care included leaving your desk for short walks, breathing exercises, discussing mental health needs, investing in equipment such as a standing desk, and short meditations.
These activities can have a profound effect on our wellbeing, and the survey comes at a time where many people are reevaluating how they want to work, and looking into options that could better support them.
Back in July, it was announced that Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd gave the dating app’s 700 employed a paid week off, in the hopes that this would help them to tackle burnout – and Nike followed suit in August, when they gave head office staff a week off, too.
But while the big gestures make the headlines, festering a culture that respects and cares for the mental health of its employees often starts with the smaller things. It might be setting boundaries at work, and not contacting staff outside of assigned hours. On this, Portugal recently made it illegal for bosses to contact their employees beyond their contracted hours, as part of a move to encourage healthy work-life balance as there is a surge in the number of remote workers in the country. But, beyond that, regular breaks, flexibility, communication, and an awareness of mental health needs all contribute to a healthier environment.
“Unfortunately, many businesses have habitually underestimated the importance of self-care in the workplace,” says Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library. “The pandemic has brought mental health to the forefront and this survey highlights just how important it is to the vast majority of UK professionals. Businesses need to play catch up and we can all put in more focus and effort upon the mental health of our employees.”
As Lee points out, attention to mental health and a healthy working culture is a growing deciding factor for many candidates looking for their next position.
So, ask yourself, what would self-care in the workplace look like for you?
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