Traditionally, the pursuit of happiness and wellbeing has been considered as something to be done outside of workplace. This notion is resulting into a sub-optimally productive work culture. Modern corporations need to start thinking of ways to integrate the wellbeing of their employees into their work schedule. They need to emphasise the importance of having a healthy and happy workforce.
So, how does the employees’ state of health and happiness affect productivity? During more than eighteen years of working in various companies, I have keenly observed this aspect. When the employees are mentally calm and stable, they are able to think clearly. The new-age work in IT, Consulting, Financial Services, Start-ups as well as in traditional industries requires clear thinking more than anything else.
As one of the senior leaders put it, “We are paid for thinking and not for running mindlessly.” Mentally or emotionally healthy staff work with logic and do not base their judgement on their likes and dislikes. They keep themselves and their employers away from harmful situations by avoiding politically incorrect behaviour due to their ability to manage expectations, frustrations and anger. The work atmosphere is amicable and pleasant which may reduce employee turnover, everything else remaining same.
Physical health of the employees affects the quality as well as quantity of work-hours directly. Relatively healthy employees fall sick less often, are able to put in longer hours if required. Even people with poor health indicators may be able to do it for a short while but over a longer horizon, they are forced to go slow or give up.
For companies, it is expensive to replace employees who are otherwise doing well but have to leave the job due to health reasons. The active and fit staff are able to bear physical stress during office hours as well as at home. They are not entirely exhausted by the time they reach home, thus improving the quality of time spent with family. This has a positive feedback effect on the quality of their work, which means more dollar output per hour. Physically healthy employees can contribute more meaningfully towards social causes with actual community work.
The spiritual aspects of wellbeing are generally not stressed at the workplace. One reason why this happens is that the management often mixes up spirituality with religion. As the companies don’t want to be seen either as supporting any particular religion or promoting any religious practices, they end up ignoring their employees’ spiritual development altogether. Focussing on the spiritual wellbeing of the employees just means that the company emphasises the spiritually positive behaviours.
Truly spiritually aware (and not outwardly religious) employees are more likely to be ethical in their conduct. They are motivated to be more sincere in their work and rise above the petty issues that slow down the work. Such employees can take a better call in situations where there is a thin dividing line between choices. The right decisions can save companies billions of dollars in fines or from extinction.
My book “Happiness is All We Want!” shows the way to achieve happiness in whatever the employees do, thus improving workplace productivity, reducing costs and increasing profitability. I have provided a simple toolkit to achieve the mental, physical and spiritual well-being. This is a unique book that covers a very wide range of simple well-being concepts and techniques at one place. It is written based on personal experiences of a variety of people and the tools and techniques can be adopted by employees across the world in all sectors.