Employee wellness in the workplace is essential. I worked for 9 years in multibillion companies. I achieved goals that I thought would make me happy, but they didn’t.
I remember waking up every morning dreading the day ahead. I wasn’t happy, and theoretically, I should be. I worked for a stable company. I made decent money. I had a company car and many expenses covered.
However, I wasn’t happy.
Why Am I So Bored At Work?
I’ve always considered myself a productive employee – I consistently meet deadlines, take on new challenges, and produce quality work.
I always fulfilled or exceeded my revenue goals or financial objectives.
But if I’m being honest, there were many days over the years when I didn’t care. I’d drag myself into the office, plow through my tasks on autopilot, and count down the minutes until 5 pm.
I got the job done, but my heart wasn’t in it.
Looking back, I suffered from chronic work stress. Part of it was probably my own fault. I wasn’t eating right, sleeping poorly, and my activity levels were disappointing, to say the least, for a former child athlete.
I was ok with the demanding pace of a Fortune 500 company but couldn’t stomach the office politics. They made me feel like I was back in High-School.
My boss, the one I had for most of my tenure, was a great person, so work-life balance was never an issue.
When my attitude got really bad, I tried several wellness apps, eating better and sincerely motivating myself.
So why was I so bored?
Understanding why took me a few years and the benefit of hindsight.
Why Employee Wellness Is More Than Paid Gym Benefits
I’m a realist, borderline cynic, so I don’t expect love from a company or a motherly figure as my manager.
I know companies want to make money. So do I.
So we both want to make money. What’s the problem?
Don’t get me wrong.
Now that I don’t work in a corporate setting, all my clients are global accounts, and I’m self-employed. The aspect I miss the most is the people.
Being a remote worker is a lonely endeavor.
But back to people and how they can ruin even the best thought wellness initiatives.
Corporate structures create environments in which Managers are forced to make decisions that will affect their people or their own chances for climbing the corporate ladder will be affected.
How come? Costs.
When revenue gets hit for any reason, and this will always happen as the economy will continue fluctuating for the next 1000 years, leaders get in crisis mode, forget all the previous nice-sounding, yet shallow, wellness speeches, and adopt a weird attitude.
The attitude is that employees should be thankful for a job, considering the economic climate, and that that “blessing” should be wellness enough.
Well, it is not, at least for people like me.
Why Creating A Company That Welcomes Diversity Is The Best Wellness Program
I’m always thankful for having a source of income. I was unemployed for a while after I left college, so I know the pain that not having a job means.
However, that doesn’t mean that a company is doing me a favor by giving me a job.
It’s an exchange.
They give me money, fine. But I provide them with the time of the only life I have to spend with people I probably don’t have much in company, to perform an actual task the company needs to function correctly.
So I don’t only expect a check but a climate that allows me to perform at my best with moderate satisfaction.
In my case, what I wanted was simple. I wanted diversity and opportunities to work on engaging projects by design.
What am I talking about?
Doing the same daily task is ok for many people, but for others, it robs us of the thing that makes us, us. Curiosity.
Wellness programs are not only paying me to attend the gym. It understands that we are a group of diverse people with different strengths and weaknesses and that Managers that genuinely care about wellness should consider that.
Am I being naive?
Yes. The world is very complicated. But I’m also a realist.
I now run a business that I created based on one of my natural talents, writing.
I love what I do, and most importantly, for a capitalist like me, I make more money than I used to.
Why Corporate Wellness Is A Good Business
Corporate wellness is a fantastic business because I’ve seen in the trenches what a bad climate can do for a person’s mental health and the type and quality of work they can deliver.
As I said, I’m a cynic, so I don’t expect companies to be loving entities, but it’s a great business idea to design a work climate that feels warm and honest.
Where fear is not weaponized as a tool to “motivate. “
Authentic motivation is creating spaces where people feel at their best. After all, they’re performing meaningful tasks because they were designed by Managers who care about the human behind the worker.
I have seen first-hand that happiness with what you do means more money, obviously, if you play to your strengths.
Companies have money to understand their people’s strengths and should leverage that.
Because wellness is what you do all day, not just a nice-to-have side program created by HR.