Annie Nilsson - May 11 2021

Health & Wellness in the Workplace

HHave you ever experienced one of those days where your brain just isn’t working? Perhaps you’ve hit the dreaded 3 pm slump and you’re practically ready to start snoozing at your desk.

Or maybe, you continually wake up in the morning with zero motivation and energy to get through the day. We’ve all been there. 

In fact, most workplaces (and their employees) aren’t enjoying the best of health. Employees are feeling overworked, under-rested and increasingly stressed, with a serious toll not only on work outcomes, but workplace culture and employee wellbeing.

When it comes to health and wellness in the workplace, there are a range of components that play an important role. So, we’ve done a deep dive on some of these key factors, including sleep deprivation, smart supplementation and the impact of our working environment on wellbeing. 

The connection between workplace culture & wellness

Whilst work is one of the most significant contributors to positive mental health, poor workplace culture, whether that be in an office, at a construction site, a school, medical centre or a gym, can have the opposite effect not only on your emotional, but physical wellbeing too.

With poor communication, hyper-competition, micromanagement, bullying and a lack of focus on employees all playing a role, poor workplace culture has been linked not only to mental health problems, but substance abuse, absenteeism and lost productivity.

Moreover factors including workload, suitability of tasks, resource allocation, unclear objectives and inflexible working hours all contribute to workplace stress. In turn, increasing the risk of burnout, anxiety, and even poor dietary and sleep patterns.

However, this doesn't have to be the be all, end all. When it comes to mitigating these factors, setting boundaries play a vital role in relaxing after work, and improving sleep in the face of a negative working environment. 

Sleep deprivation & performance 

Quality sleep (that means without circadian disruption) is vital when it comes to maintaining high levels of attention, as well as cognitive performance while we’re awake.

Simply put - without your beauty sleep, your performance will take a serious hit. Particularly your processing capabilities, creativity, decision making, adaptability and emotion control. Poor sleep can even contribute to physiological changes that can lead to a predisposition to low mood and poor physical health.

More broadly, the financial impact on poor sleep costs the Australian economy as much as $66.3 billion annually in lost productivity, healthcare costs and declined wellbeing. With businesses directly, losing an average of $6.7 billion as a result of underperformance on the job due to sleepiness.

Now it's important to remember that sacrificing sleep for work, then working more to make up for lost productivity can quickly become a seriously vicious cycle. However with a better understanding of what helps, and hinders your sleep, we’re in a much better position to create important boundaries between work and home life. Essentially, improving both.

For for info on the science of sleep, including the secrets behind the factors impacting your sleep, click here.

Energy & supplementation

We’ve all heard about superfoods, but what about natural nootropics?

Sometimes referred to as ‘smart drugs’, natural nootropics are plant, herb and root extracts that have been touted by experts for their seriously vast range of benefits. From enhanced learning and memory, improved focus, attention and mental alertness, increased mood-boosting neurochemicals, increased energy and lowering symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Functioning similarly to cortisol, they work to normalise bodily functions and strengthen the systems which have been impaired by excessive stress - without any harmful or synthetic chemicals.

Some of the most effective options when it comes to boosting your energy and productivity include rhodiola rosea, ginkgo biloba, bacopa monnieri and ashwagandha.

For more info on our favourite natural nootropics, suss our piece on the brain-boosting supplements you won’t want to live without.  

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