Creating Real, meaningful, human and heart centred Wellness Centred Opportunities in the Workplace
The world is moving at, some might say, a terrifying pace. The events of the last few years have shaken the very foundation of what and who we believed we were. The way we worked changed foundationally, and who knows, changed forever. Circumstances dictated that we communicated through screens – we learned a new verb “To Zoom” – who was aware of Zoom before 2020? Whilst many found a kind of efficiency in online meetings, working from home, and the new practices, still others were in mourning, hated being trapped in front of the Work TV (computer) and thirsted, like a horse in the desert for the Oasis of the physical workplace.
In a time, when the machines are taking over, IA is angling for our jobs, now more than ever we need to rediscover what it means to be human, Homo sapiens (HS)– I imagine (and I do say imagine here) that we are in a time of transition a bit like HS successful to take over the world from the Neanderthals (who apparently were really quite sweet, probably their downfall). I have read that some scientists believe it is the unique ability of HS to be able to communicate, collaborate, and work for the good of the group which at least in some part accounts for our success!
So it turns out we are in fact social animals, and we need to connect with other humans (even if you think we don’t!) So, with the enforced isolation of the pandemic, in many a low level depression/anxiety and listlessness have developed which doesn’t help either the worker or the employer. How do we turn the ship of hopelessness, loneliness, and purpose-less drifting around?
Build Connections and Collaboration
Workplace egos and misunderstandings are best diffused through your workforce getting to know each other as humans (that word again) – Food and nutrition are a major ways to achieve a bond, such a visceral connection – breaking bread, sharing food and festivals – we can build our bond through food – the company that eats together, stays together!
Reduce Stress and Promote Sturdy Emotional Health
I am always reluctant to use the term “Mental Health” Mental health is the diagnosis, the condition and not the human – of course, there are serious mental health conditions that need the help of a qualified professional – the rest of us might be reacting to extraordinary circumstances, with our EMOTIONS and that is an entirely human thing to expect (is there a theme here? That human word?) Certainly Stress is the major contributor to our workers feeling a sense of over-whelm – can we start listening, having conversations (human things) and sorting issues out person to person
You may be familiar with the Book “Bullshit Jobs” (by David Graeber) – so, before the machines take over, can we design jobs and work that actually contribute – and that may be by just giving back a sense of agency to our workforce – again the social aspects of work are so important, because, as structures in society atomise (family, religion, village/town) for many people, the workplace is their family. A badge worn with pride; a happy worker is your best ambassador!
Back to those Neanderthals for a moment, despite their brutish image, they had time to create, and express their creativity and innovation (Andalusian cave paintings are attributed to an early Neanderthal Picasso wannabe) – letting people have fun, play, well, be themselves instead of a cardboard cut out of a human, who is pretending to be (or even scarier, is very efficient) mega efficient with no-soul – Play, cheekiness and human can solve the knottiest of problems
Promoting Work-Life Balance
Obviously, not my favourite term, because you are alive at work and not dead – what about just creating an amazing life, that includes work? – so that work isn’t a chore, a dread that you are segregating off from your life, it is healthful, with access to good food, a way to exercise or take advantage of being outside, listening to those who have emotional needs, being open to real wellbeing solutions, that put the humans in the centre, and approach health from a heart base, service perspective. Do something the machines can’t do or be. Be Human.
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