Wellness at Work — Part 3

Your Colleagues

In part one, you learned how to prevent injuries at work and how to manage your physical symptoms if you have any.

In part two, you learned how to achieve wellness at work despite having to perform strenuous mental duties.

But what if your undesired symptoms are not about you, but rather a result of complex relationships with colleagues?

You are not alone.

Here is how you can get started:

1. Negotiating

Some issues at work need to be discussed with our colleagues or our superiors.

An issue can be anything from having an unsafe workstation; to not having enough breaks; to having an overwhelming workload; to not understanding a duty you are required to do; to working with someone that makes you feel uncomfortable; to working with someone who disrespects you, etc.

The list is limitless.

Negotiating can help solve some problems if done correctly.

Step 1: Decide who is the person (or group of person) you need to discuss with.

Step 2: Schedule a time and place to have the discussion.

Step 3: Make sure the issue you want to bring up can be explained clearly and concisely, as well as with a rational tone.

Step 4: Gather facts if you can.

Step 5: Find potential realistic solutions to the issue, in advance.

Step 6: Make sure you treat everybody with respect before, during and after the discussion (even the people that are not part of the discussion).

Step 7: Make sure you can explain why and how solving the issue would add value to the workplace.

Step 8: Provide space and time for the people to reflect on your proposal.

2. Delegating

Sometimes, we have a workload that is bigger than it needs to be.

Does your workplace have administrative assistants? Maybe they can help you tackle some administrative duties or can show you administrative tools that would make your work easier.

Does your workplace have assistants, clerks, students? Maybe they can help you with a few tasks!

Do you have a task that you hate doing, but your colleague loves doing? Maybe you can switch a task or two!

Are you tackling a duty that is too complex for your position or level of training? Maybe your manager can take care of it or help you find effective solutions. Or if you are a business owner, making you can hire an expert to come in and help you find logical steps to follow.

Are you the head of the company and find yourself with no time to breath? Maybe you need to hire someone new to help you with your workload.

Delegating is not a weakness. Delegating is working smartly!

3. Socializing

Socializing at work can make the work day more interesting.

Conversing with others at work can make time go by faster; it can allow you to learn some new facts; it can allow you to make friends or even laugh!

Conversing with others at work can make us feel like we are part of a group and prevent feelings of loneliness.

Conversing with others can allow us to help someone in need or to share our stories. Talk about a boost of energy!

You don’t have to be friends with everybody at work, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect.

This can have a positive effect on your physical health; your mental health; your level of confidence and your perception of work.

Connecting with people at work is very powerful and easy to do. All it takes is for you to be more available and aware of the people around you. Participate in whatever activities your workplace is hosting; have your breaks and meals in the lunch room; Participate in open conversations; or even just smile!

4. Let it out

Sometimes it takes more than just a friendly conversation. Sometimes you dislike work because you are stuck with an impossible duty or situation.

Sometimes you face challenges outside of work that come haunt you when you are working.

You go to work and you feel like you are headed to climb Mount Everest.

Sometimes what you need is to just let it out.

Do you have a colleague who has good listening skills and a lot of compassion? Have a seat with them and try problem solving the challenge you are facing!

Maybe your colleague has had the same thing happening to them, or they know someone who has! Maybe they can point you to another person or a service that could help you out! Or maybe all you need is someone who listens to you for once.

Some challenges cannot be faced alone. Speak up! You’d be surprised how many people feel the same way you do.

5. Participate in a committee

Sometime all you need is to have different roles inside your job position. Does your workplace have any sub committees working on projects? A lot of committees in workplaces have a difficult time recruiting members! Maybe all they need is an extra pair of hands, or another point of view!

No committees? Or none that interest you? Create one!

Try finding a project that would require weekly meetings and at least 3 people or more.

Does your workplace have a wellness group? Be the one to suggest it! A lot of workplaces are embracing the new wellness at work philosophy but do not know where to start!

Maybe you have another idea in mind for a new committee! Try pitching the idea to your superior. This means your idea must:

- Add value to the company or your work place.

- Be realistic

- Be clear and simple to understand

Maybe your workplace or your company needs a bit of exposure. This can be done by signing up to community events, trade shows, expositions and more.

Your workplace can gather up a team and participate in a fundraiser. A lot of fundraisers have exciting activities such as sport tournaments, races, concerts, festivals and much more.

In case you missed it,

Read Wellness at Work — Part 1: Your Body

or Wellness at Work — Part 2: Your Mind

Julie Richard, BHSc, BSc(OT), MOT