When we think about work and our workplaces, the word sustainability is often thought of as we consider the impact on our environment, our people and our profits.
With the impacts of an uncertain working and liveable world as a result of COVID and lockdowns across the globe, the future of work needs to consider a sustainable world that more specifically nurtures the “human” needs of our people.
The desire for better balance, greater sense of purpose and higher life satisfaction has greater awareness than ever before and the time to support and nurture these non-negotiable needs is now.
In its Global Wellness Economy: Looking Beyond COVID report, the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has highlighted that the global health and wellness market could be worth almost US $7 trillion by 2025, bringing to light that “the pandemic has brought new shifts that accelerate many wellness drivers, including a growing awareness of the role of the built environment in health, a growing focus on mental health and well-being, a rethinking of the balance of work and life, an expanding focus on social justice and environmental sustainability, and much more,”
With the rise in an aging population and the prevalence of chronic disease, the way we support and address health and wellbeing is being influenced by simplified approaches, enabled working environments and a “healthy aging” mindset.
When you google or talk about “healthy aging” you are instantly met with headlines limited to the older generation. We never think about or consider that we should be thinking about aging healthily from an early age, until now. A Melbourne University study, the Healthy Aging Program (HAP) has been focused on improving the understanding of health across our lifespan to help promote healthy aging and aid the prevention of disease. And excitedly, they have recently released details of their Women’s Healthy Aging Project (WHAP) where they have spent the last 30 years examining the health of Australian women from midlife.
There is much we can take from this study that can support and give rise to creating workplace cultures and communities that provide sustainable health for our people. We can foster workplaces that create environments for people to thrive, to do meaningful work, to live out their why, to live a life of great satisfaction and of course this all starts with our health, at all ages.
What are some of the ways we can do this?
Bring awareness and education of the life stages to the forefront. As people, we evolve through various life stages from puberty, to parenthood, to Menopause, to midlife, to older years. We change, grow and experience all that aging brings but, we are often brought down by stigma, perceptions and taboos of most life stages. There is an opportunity to shift perspective and bring wellbeing programs that support and enhance the life stages of our people, so that we can support healthy aging and a sustainable livelihood.
Broaden your mindset from simply offering the 3Fs (Fitness, Flu Shot, Fruit Box) to incorporating the 3Ms (Meaning, Motivation, Mentoring). Research from the Wellbeing Lab Workplace Survey highlights that people can reach a state of consistently thriving if workplaces go beyond just the EAP and 3Fs and adopt a broader whole health lifestyle approach.
Embrace an integrated approach of Me, We and Us. This framework created by Aaron Jardin, highlights the importance of addressing wellbeing and in this case healthy aging across multiple levels within a workplace – at an individual, team and wider business perspective. It affords the opportunity to bring to light the expertise, the people skills, the abilities of every person on every level and integrate that awareness and acceptance at all ages. Imagine a world where we embraced aging and used mentoring as a means to prevent chronic health conditions.
There is no doubt that the health and wellbeing of “people” has greater heightened awareness than ever before, but are we putting our energies into the right places? Every single one of us has the opportunity to create ripple effects of positive health from one person to the next, from one generation to the next, yet we live and work in a reactive state of being. We never consider that our health starts from the moment we enter the world right through our lifetime, nor that we can mentor and motivate those around us. As a business world, it is here we can make the greatest impact on a sustainable healthy future for our people and the time to do so is now.
Own Your Health Collective works with businesses to design workplaces of the future by addressing gender specific health and wellbeing needs across life phases that see people reach their peak in life and at work.
Fully accredited coaches, we use our complimentary passions in business, health and well-being, education, personal development and individual expertise to reveal the innate needs of men and women so they can work with optimum health, energy & performance.