We spend 32 per cent of our lives at work. How does your workplace make that time meaningful, gainful and enjoyable?
As life evolves we all inevitably experience life changing events like losing loved ones, illness and difficult times.
What processes do you have in place to support your employees? Do they actually work? Is simply linking to your employee assistance programme enough when they are mid-crisis? Do you have a story you can share?
This week I discovered an initiative aiming to bring people together and am proud to feature the thoughts of the senior comms professional who is behind it.
She describes herself as a single mum and career woman with generalised anxiety disorder and depression. Her reason for launching a brand new website is to show how a human workplace benefits employees and employers. I’ll hand you over to her…
Could you help promote a human workplace?
You wouldn’t hire me.
I’m a huge risk. My physical weaknesses combined with long-term, ain’t-never-going-away anxiety disorder mean I’m often more fragile than a blown-glass baby bird. You wouldn’t want that on your team.
And yet, I’m one of the best in my chosen field. I’ve built and instituted multi-award winning communication channels for my workplace. I’m popular and respected and I adore my job. I’ve been asked by some of the largest companies and institutions in my country to help them do what I’ve done.
I’ve spoken at conferences around the world. I work so damned hard when I’m inspired and enthused.
I deliver, I innovate and I do all I can to make working life easier for my colleagues. Who wouldn’t want that on their team?
The media is full of people who thrive despite being fragile. There’s a whole page on wikipedia devoted to them.
Your local library and book shops are full of books on how to overcome depression and anxiety. Mindfulness is becoming the mental health buzzword of our era.
Yet, despite the fact that most of us at some point will face trauma, bereavement, anxiety, depression, ill-health or stress we are expected to put on a brave face and act like an automaton at work. (Tweet this)
Leave it at the door, kids.
We spend 32% of our lives at work and we sometimes have to fight our feelings, put up a front and damage ourselves further by pretending we’re okay.
I no longer think this is a good idea. I do not recommend crying at your desk, but I do advocate creating human workplaces where the fragile can thrive. Even if the fragility is only a temporary state. (Tweet this)
In 16 years of gainful employment, I’ve seen how to – and how not to – get the best from people. And because most people’s best is pretty darned brilliant, I’ve decided to find out more about how people at rock-bottom cope and recover and how good employers can help.
How you can help
I need your help, though. I have already contacted a number of people to contribute to a new blog called ’32 percent’ – but I’m looking for more, I need your best examples of how your current or past employer has supported you through a tough time.
How a current or past employer has made it harder to overcome the tough times or if you have any ideas on how to make the workplace more human.
And, in case any employers and reading this and thinking what I’m suggesting is dangerous, and would lead to increased costs and lower production, you’re wrong.
People who feel supported work harder and smarter. The organisation I work for knows this. The work they’re doing to help people be themselves at work is humbling and inspiring. Removing stress promotes productivity, as this wonderful blog by the very successful Redgate demonstrates.
So, please, come and share your stories at www.32percent.weebly.com and we’ll work together to help promote the human workplace.
Post author: 32 percent founder.
Further reading on my blog
Link wellbeing and engagement to boost performance
First published on All Things IC blog 4 March 2015.