A wellness expert from the Six Senses Destination Spa, Phuket, opens your eyes to the dangers of workplace stress

By Ana Maria Tavares from the Six Senses Destination Spa, Phuket, Thailand 


Recently, you were given a Six Senses Wellness checklist. Here, Ana Maria discusses the importance of ‘Corporate Wellness’. If you own a business or work any type of job, you have to read this compelling article…

In the celebrated tome Good To Great, Jim Collins asserts that “good is the enemy of the great.” With wellness, just being OK is not going to enable a workforce that offers inspiration in all its avenues; from the mind of the employee, to the body of the worker, to the very spirit of the individual. “Greatness” [as Jim says] takes a lot of smart action in the right places and at the right time: in the case of wellness, it’s about firstly creating wellness in the workplace – that is the good; then about creating a well-business – that is the great!  
There’s a revolution in wellness coming to the corporate world and those companies that are not responsive or able to partake in offering wellness opportunities to their staff will not survive.
We have all met people in the past nine months that have left their jobs or been made redundant, yet they are finding options outside the workplace – opportunities and experiences that they never knew existed. And in many cases, they are living more fulfilled lives – without working in an unhealthy organisation. Others are wising-up to compelling evidence that an unhealthy workplace could be killing them; from obvious health risks with waitresses or barmen who refuse to work in a smoky environment; to top executives, who choose a job not simply for economic reasons – but an essential quality of life and a healthy workplace.
Stress can be a killer
It is already common knowledge that emotions such as stress are killers – a University of Central London Report suggested that chronic heart disease in stressed working people was 68% higher than for those reporting no stress.
This stress that affects people’s lives comes mostly from the workplace and while the workplace is not responsible [the individual creates their own stress through their attitude and belief and through “choice”], the working environment can support the reduction of stress. 

Workplace wellness programs can be effective
They have shown a huge number of benefits, from reducing absenteeism and presenteeism (staff being present at work but not performing to their highest potential) to allowing people to live with lower stress, less pain, more energy, an increased self-esteem and better health.
Steven Covey once said that “we are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”  The greatest challenge of business is to make occupational environments compatible with the spiritual journey – as another visionary author, Studs Terkel quotes in his 1972 book Working: “work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.

Companies need to transform their soul by simultaneously shifting objectives, building more people-centered structures and living their values to sincerely reach the goal of offering an environment of wellbeing for their employees and a position of greatness for the organisation.
Ways to become ‘a well business’

To become ‘a well business’, leaders must evolve from environments fearing economic failure and champion environments that celebrate human endeavour. Compassion and profit are not mutually exclusive; neither is personal or professional growth.
It will not be long before every company seriously pursuing a long-term future will seek professional guidance to steer their wellness assets and encourage their spiritual growth in the same way that they once hired TQM and ISO experts to develop their systems. Most visionary companies already include a balanced scorecard approach to business – conceivably many will add a fifth dimension to the present classical balanced scorecard approach – that dimension will be wellness… 
For advice on how to improve your concentration and reduce stress, read this RESCU article with tips from the experts at Mind Gardener.

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