Exploring Key Dimensions of Wellness in the Workplace
Workplace Inspiration

Exploring Key Dimensions of Wellness in the Workplace

|Aug 23, 2023
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Running a successful business is about a lot more than making profits, and the well-being of your employees is a significant marker of how well a company operates. Modern offices are far more in tune with the importance of wellness within a business, but understanding how to use the dimensions of wellness and interweave them with strategies and office culture can be tricky. 

Here is a complete guide to the dimensions of health and well-being and how you can apply them to managing your workspace. Whether you are part of a shared commercial office space or work in a predominantly remote team, the principles and values remain the same, and we have some great tips and ideas for everyone on our list. 

What Is Wellness and Why Is It Important in the Workplace?

Before we look at the individual dimensions of wellness, let’s discuss briefly what they are as a whole and why they matter. 

Wellness is, in short, the conscious development of every part of the self beyond illnesses and ailments to a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be well. It is the idea of balancing the different elements that impact the mind, body, and spirit to strive toward the highest possible level of complete inner health. 

People who believe in actively pursuing wellness aim to thrive rather than just get by. Businesses should want to excel and exceed goals and expectations. The two go hand in hand.  

Achieving great things as a business generally relies on the people who are part of it operating at their best, and it is hard to do your best at work when you are not at your best mentally or physically. Businesses should encourage wellness as part of their staff culture to create a supportive and successful environment.

What Is Wellness and Why Is It Important in the Workplace?

What Are the Seven Dimensions of Wellness?

Here is an overview of the seven dimensions of wellness and some of the general ways they apply to people’s lives.  

Mental Wellness

Mental wellness can be divided into two dimensions: emotional and intellectual.  

The intellectual dimension of wellness is not about being smart- it is about taking steps to actively learn through life. It is about keeping your brain active by taking on new challenges, looking for ways to develop your understanding, and continuously working out that all-important muscle. 

Some examples of intellectual well-being exercises include reading, writing, researching, problem-solving, and studying. 

On the other hand, the emotional dimension of mental wellness is about controlling our emotions and reactions. Being emotionally well means recognizing, accepting, processing, understanding, and managing how you feel. 

Some ways to uphold emotional wellness include having open discussions, getting enough sleep, managing stress levels, spending time with loved ones, and doing things that make you happy.

Mental Wellness - dimensions of wellness

Physical Wellness

The physical dimension of well-being is about more than being disease and sickness-free. It means all-round healthy living, including a balanced diet, exercise, regular sleep routines, and treating your body well.

Physical Wellness

Social Wellness

Social wellness is all about how we interact with others. Balancing alone time with spending time with others- and managing how we spend our time- contributes to a healthy social life. Some people have a harder time than others being sociable and putting themselves out there, but being open-minded and looking for comfortable ways to expand your circle are good places to start. 

Financial Wellness

Financial wellness is not about having lots of money- it is about efficiently managing the money that you do have. Budgeting and setting saving goals help people stay financially well.

Financial Wellness - dimensions of wellness

Spiritual Wellness

Faith, religion, and spirituality contribute to spiritual well-being, but you don’t need those things to look after this dimension. Focusing on relationships, connecting with nature, and taking time to reflect on yourself, your goals, and your purpose all help you keep your spiritual wellness in check. 

Vocational Wellness

Vocational wellness means participating in activities and ventures that help you expand your skills, interests, and talents. These things are important to help people feel happy and fulfilled in their lives. 

Environmental Wellness

Last but not least, environmental wellness means surrounding yourself with things that make you feel good. It often involves nature and the great outdoors, but it can also mean making choices that make you feel good about how you live.

Environmental Wellness - dimensions of wellness

Ways to Explore and Encourage the Dimensions of Well-Being in the Workplace

How does all this apply to working environments? Here is a little more information about how you can take the seven dimensions of wellness and use them in your business or workplace. 

Mental

Without mental wellness, people’s working lives can quickly steer off course. It is difficult to commit to any other well-being dimensions and their applications if you or the people you work with do not feel emotionally and intellectually well and supported. 

Places of employment have a duty of care to their staff to provide an environment that is encouraging rather than damaging to people’s mental health. It can be a tricky balance between people’s needs and the company’s needs. 

Any business will suffer if its staff are unhappy. Sure, adding time for discussing and promoting mental well-being and arranging events to help improve morale within a company can cost time and money, but the cost of not having them is likely far greater. 

Some of the simple ways you can keep mental wellness a focus in the workplace include: 

  • Providing comfortable break rooms and workstations
  • Arranging regular team-building exercises that make a difference
  • Offering flexibility through hybrid working
  • Keeping working hours reasonable and manageable
  • Asking for feedback and listening to the answers
  • Recognizing and rewarding people for good work and other contributions to the company
  • Making people feel valued

Mental dimensions of wellness

Physical

When the body is not well, everything else tends to slip a little. In offices, people spend so much time sitting down that they are causing potentially long-term harm to their bodies. Keeping staff active is good for their health, but it also stimulates focus, productivity, engagement, and motivation- even if it is just a small change. 

A sit-stand desk is one of the simplest but most effective ways to boost physical wellness at work. The calories burned standing vs. sitting is not a new one- but the possibilities for advanced and comfortable standing desks have forced people to pay attention to their resting calorie burn

You may be skeptical and ask yourself, “Is it bad to stand all day?” If so, you are not alone. Some people don’t realize that having a standing desk does not mean standing there for hours. Active sitting is also effective- and the best way to realize that is to try it. Does standing burn calories? Yes, it does- but sitting can also be good for your posture and muscles if you do it properly. 

Picking the right office furniture and setups is a major first step in maintaining physical wellness in the workplace. Having standing desks opens up all kinds of possibilities for staying active and engaged, but it doesn’t stop there. 

Team fitness activities and healthy living incentives work well in shared offices. Weekly classes or team challenges focused on physical activity and wellness can build comradery and promote a culture of health. Here are a few suggestions. 

  • Standing desk time challenge (total hours spent standing during the week)
  • Step counter challenge (incentive to hit a total daily step count for set consecutive days)
  • Sponsored team hill climb or fun run
  • Weekly fitness sessions for the whole office

Physical dimensions of wellness

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Social

Even remote workers need to maintain some sort of social connection workwise. Otherwise, it can begin to feel very isolating. The best ways to encourage social wellness in business strategies depend on your setup, but the principles are the same. 

In offices, social interaction and engagement is much easier. People work together every day, and with the right environment and opportunities, they are likely to build social bonds fairly easily.  

Companies can encourage this further by organizing shared experiences and events, and even the way you layout the office can change things. Using an L-shaped motorized desk as a communal standing workplace brings people together to think on their feet as a unit and be more active, productive, and engaged. 

Hybrid working setups should focus on maximizing the time people spend in the office to make people feel part of something even when they are not there. Updates between in-office and out-of-office staff can help maintain a united workforce, and weekly or bi-weekly team meetings with everyone are recommended. 

Fully remote workers and companies have a harder time with social wellness because most people spend most days working alone. In these instances, video calls, chat forums, and shared advice boards can help people communicate and feel more like part of a team. 

All companies should consider having some sort of social interaction guidelines that reflect their work culture and lay out any rules or requirements for social behaviors.

Social dimensions of wellness

Financial

As far as businesses go, the most important aspect of financial well-being is getting the balance right between how much you spend on achieving the setup and office culture you want and how much benefit you get back out of it in other ways.  

Whether you are a remote worker or a corporate office manager, it can be difficult to know what is worth spending money on and how to spend less without losing valuable elements.  

A good example is buying the best home standing desk to encourage more movement and keep your body and mind healthier. It is a worthwhile upfront expense because the benefits are so great. Budgeting for the best choice of office chair is also important and should take priority over less important things.

Financial

Spiritual

It is important to be inclusive in the workplace when it comes to spiritual wellness and how people pursue it, regardless of whether or not it has anything to do with religion. Having dedicated quiet spaces that people can use for prayer or meditation is great for businesses with the facilities for one, but it is not realistic for most companies and offices. 

One way that every workplace can promote spiritual wellness is through goals and gratitude sessions. This works for remote teams, SMEs, major corporations, and every type of faith and can help people feel more connected to one another.  

Mindfulness sessions for staff are also quite effective. It could be a weekly class or a more occasional team retreat depending on the scope of your business- or it could even be short daily sessions between teams in a casual setting.  

Vocational

Although vocational wellness may not seem particularly relevant to the workplace, it is connected to everything else and does play a role. People who feel fulfilled outside of work are more mentally well, and that translates to more focused, productive work at their place of employment. 

You can encourage people to share their vocations and even start groups within your business. Start a bowling team, a hiking group, or any other club or team that allows people to boost their vocational well-being while strengthening bonds with coworkers and enhancing the overall fulfillment they get from work.

Vocational

Environmental

There are many ways to bring environmental wellness into your workplace. It can be anything from adding greenery and plant life to your office décor or setting up your desk to face outward and make the most of natural light. 

In a team environment, managers and business owners can introduce regular team activities that involve going outside. Outdoor walking meetings, weekly yoga at the park, or monthly team trips to enjoy nature are all possibilities.  

You could also encourage staff to walk or cycle to work where possible as part of an incentivized challenge.  

Final Thought

From buying an ergonomic adjustable desk to introducing team health challenges, making conscious efforts to promote wellness on every level is a key ingredient in the recipe for success. Businesses are built on people, and keeping those people fulfilled, content, healthy, and happy goes a long way to doing the same for your company. 

It doesn’t matter what your role is, how big your team is, or what type of office you work in. The seven dimensions of wellness apply all the time to everyone, and exploring them as part of your working practices is the way forward.

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