5 things to do to improve well-being in the workplace

At Handler, we look at our team’s well-being as the most important thing  – before getting new business, making new hires, completing projects, etc. We strongly believe in its importance and made sure to make this a high priority within the company.

With that in mind, in the past few months, I’ve taken on a role within Handler as a sort of “well-being officer.” The goal is to be the person others can look to, someone who will actively check in on teammates, and make sure we’re all paying attention to our well-being. When we say “well-being,” we’re really talking about five areas: financial health, spiritual health, physical, emotional and mental health.  It has been a tough couple of years for everyone, right?

Since taking on this role, there was a statistic I found that stunned me. Before COVID, people in the workforce identifying as having significant stress and anxiety were in the high to mid-teens. That number was resurveyed in 2022, and that number is now over 40%. So, there’s this significant increase in Americans identifying as having high levels of stress and anxiety. 

Two members of Team Handler, recruiting firm in Atlanta, are sitting at a meeting table discussing their next search

If that doesn’t get your attention fast, I don’t know what will. 

Sure, some stress is a good thing— it provides the adrenaline that you need to attack a tough project or reach a goal you’re searching for. 

But when stress becomes dangerous is when you have this constant feeling of being overwhelmed, you don’t have someone to talk to, you feel alone and you don’t feel supported—when you kind of lose your boundaries and your limits. 

If you have this feeling like it’s never going to get better, then you’ve hit the burnout stage, and you need to immediately take steps to address it. 

Here are 5 things we are encouraging others to do to improve well-being in the workplace:

1. Don’t say yes to everything. 

The big thing for us is monitoring that urge to say yes to everything and getting in the habit to say, “What a good idea! Let me think about it.” It’s not a matter of if that is important, and is it more important than something else. It’s a prioritization. We all have important things to do but, we only have finite resources: time, energy, and brainpower. It’s all limited.

2. Have a plan for the day.

Knowing you have a plan for the day and sequence brings calmness because you’re organized and planned, and you’ve thought about what you have the resources for. If you look at your time management and have a sequenced plan, that can keep you from being totally out of control.

3. Nurture yourself with things you enjoy.

I used to feel guilty playing tennis. But now I don’t because that brings me self-esteem, it brings me good exercise, it’s a ton of fun and it really is true, you can help re-energize yourself. I’m not very good, but it sure is fun! Make it a priority to schedule that for yourself

4. Watch your negative thoughts.

Watch the negative thoughts. You can choose how you think about your day. If you come to your day with gratitude, optimism and caring for others first, that positive attitude can carry you through a lot of negative thoughts you have throughout the day. 

5. Care for one another.

You have a purpose, and it’s greater than yourself—that’s something to start with every day. You have to be caring for one another: the people you work with, your boss, your neighbors, your friends and especially your family.

The key to all of this is that you find a way to replenish yourself. 

That’s what we’re hoping for our team. That after a long day, you can go away, and come back with new energy to start the next day. Don’t ever let a day go by where you feel like you’ve got nothing to give. Make sure you always make your well-being a priority.  As a working Mother all of my life, this has been a challenge for me. How about you?