A Call For Work-Life Integration for a Multigenerational Workforce
Purpose and passion are of highest importance to today’s workforce. Employers who heed this call develop a workforce of authentic, courageous and trustworthy employees who feel inspired to do their best work.
The popularity of a mentally and physically health-enhancing lifestyle is soaring among employees, and employers are increasingly aware of the productivity and engagement benefits from a passionate, committed, and “well” workforce. Nevertheless, there’s always room for improvement.
Today’s “culture of busyness” prevents each of us from squeezing time for mental health and well-being into already packed schedules. Information pours in from millions of communication channels, words and phrases that began surfacing in the 1970s and 1980s — “hectic,” “whirlwind,” “consumed,” “crazy,” “constantly on the run” and “way too fast” — appear with astonishing frequency, we are connecting with hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media, we are obsessed with fear of missing out, “time management” slices up our days into meetings and to-do-lists, and the challenges of mental and physical well-being are increasingly complex and varied.
As for multitasking, a 2012 survey found that 38 million Americans shop on their smartphones while sitting on the toilet (yes, I admit, I am guilty but Amazon is so instantly rewarding). And another found that the compulsion to multitask was making us “as stupid as if we were stoned”.
Life in the early 21st century wasn’t supposed to be so hectic. Psychologists treat burned-out clients who can’t shake the notion that the busier you are, the faster you work, and the more you multitask, the more you are considered competent, smart, and successful.
But be warned. This turbulent lifestyle comes with a price — in Canada and the US, that means one in five adults — more than 50 million people struggle with some types and level of distress and mental health challenge.
In response to this unrelenting tide of change, employees are increasingly calling for more work-life balance opportunities, a greater sense of purpose and community, a clear mission and purpose for work, and the tools necessary to make positive changes in their personal and work lives.
When employees say they seek “balance” they typically don’t mean “work less.” In contrast, they mean work differently and more flexibly…there’s a big difference.
This difference calls for new tools, new understanding of mental and physical well-being, new methods of connecting, learning, and sharing…a new model of psychoeducation, new subject targets for coaching and counselling, and new evidence-based approaches to coaching and counselling.
Traditionally taught psychoeducation focuses on important topics, like stress, depression, change, relationships, but often lacks a specific, relevant, contemporary focus. For years, cognitive behavioural and behavioural modification, techniques have proven solid grounds for learning ways to improve one’s mental health, well-being, and achieve better work-life ‘balance.’ But many of these topics, and techniques lack specificity, practicality, relevance, or meaning to a fast-changing, mobile, technologically-savvy, multi-generational workforce — a workforce work-life integration, not work-life balance.
Motivating, engaging, and retaining employees through supportive leadership, fair compensation and reward, good job-fit, and opportunities for better work-life integration, will (hopefully) never cease as a company’s priorities. But employers must carefully consider which new evidence-based strategies they will use to promote mental and physical well-being, which issues are most relevant and meaningful to a new world of work and personal life, and how solutions can be communicated and operationalized into demonstrable and measurable behaviour change using evidence-based and current psychological techniques.
Ready To Help Your Employees Excel and Thrive?
Avail is a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) based holistic well-being solution for organizations and their employees. Avail’s proactive, mobile-first, anytime platform uses clinical and behavioural data-driven insights to provide employees with personalized well-being profiles that are increasingly refined to reflect changes in well-being as circumstances change. Each profile aims to equip employees with insight and actionable skills to achieve optimal mental well-being, strengthened resilience and a mindset that promotes high engagement and performance.
For employees with untreated mental health problems or who want to improve their mental wellbeing without stigma or privacy concerns, Avail’s Care Navigator recommends options ranging from psychoeducational content (e.g. articles, videos) to professional care from our national provider network. Care resources can be augmented with any care options your organization provides. For administrators, Avail’s aggregate analytics and insights track your organization’s care service utilization and identifies trends in the mental health and well-being of your workforce.
Visit us at https://avail.app/organizations