Do you feel perpetually drained and overwhelmed yet unable to sleep at night? Do you lack motivation, feeling stuck in a never-ending cycle of stress and exhaustion? These are potential signs of burnout in the workplace.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a ” burnout ” epidemic in the workplace. The World Health Organization even classified it as a “syndrome” caused by prolonged workplace stress.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to burnout. Its symptoms include extreme tiredness, reduced focus and cognitive function, emotional imbalances, anxiety, and depression. If unresolved, it can lead to broader physical and mental health challenges.
Two-thirds of full-time employees have experienced burnout at some point in their careers, with women being more susceptible than men.
A proactive, comprehensive workplace wellness program can significantly reduce the risk of burnout and contribute to a more engaged and satisfied workforce.
In this article, I will walk you through a more holistic, root cause-based, and personalized approach to workplace wellness. Before that, let’s first understand the significance and benefits of workplace wellness.
What is Workplace Wellness?
In today’s context, workplace wellness is a comprehensive and proactive approach taken by organizations to support the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their employees. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it involves various programs, policies, and initiatives designed to create a healthier, more balanced work environment and promote the overall health of employees.
A well-designed workplace wellness program includes initiatives for physical wellness as well as mental health support through counseling services and stress management workshops. It promotes work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements and policies to prevent overwork. It emphasizes stress reduction programs like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
The executive health screenings focus on preventive care. Good workplace wellness programs also focus on activities that foster a sense of community.
Workplace wellness should be customized to the specific needs and culture of an organization. By addressing various dimensions of well-being, workplace wellness programs can reduce the risk of burnout and other work-related health issues.
Why is Workplace Wellness Important?
Placing a strong emphasis on workplace wellness fosters societal well-being by promoting health improvement in employees. By prioritizing the well-being of employees, companies can enhance productivity and cultivate employee loyalty toward achieving their objectives.
The potential benefits of workplace wellness are:
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Improved productivity
- Higher employee retention rates
- Enhanced communication and teamwork
- Better recruitment
Employees with good health generally incur lower healthcare expenses and are less prone to take sick leave. They also do not endure stress, sleep deprivation, or burnout.
Thus, if employees feel content with their work, talent acquisition and retention thrive.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine may not be effective for workplace wellness due to the following reasons:
- Focus only on treatment and not prevention.
- Lacks personalized holistic approach.
- Treats only the symptoms and not the root cause.
- Treats symptoms in isolation without considering the patient’s mental well-being, lifestyle, and environment.
- May not address lifestyle factors such as nutrition, stress management, exercise, and work-life balance.
- Inadequate focus on mental health.
Conventional medicine recommends only rest and consumption of multivitamins. Although it could be a start, this approach is not enough for patients to get back to feeling like themselves again. In short, workplace wellness requires a more comprehensive and holistic approach that should consider all aspects of an employee’s well-being.
What is Functional Medicine?
According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that aims at identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. It takes a holistic, patient-centric approach and addresses the whole individual, not just symptoms.
However, functional medicine does not reject traditional medicine concepts. The core principle of functional medicine is that overall wellness is not solely physical. It simply considers other factors, such as lifestyle choices, genetics, nutrition, physical health, mental well-being, emotional activities, stress, and environment beyond the obvious, that influence overall wellness.
For instance, if you are suffering from a financial issue, you may undergo physical symptoms of stress. Thus, functional medicine considers wellness a complete mind-body system that considers overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
All it needs is an open discussion between the individual and the functional medicine expert, where the expert provides personalized health plans according to the unique needs that aim at both treatment and preventive care.
The functional medicine approach empowers people to take charge of their health.
A Functional Medicine Approach to Workplace Wellness
Functional medicine can play a significant role in corporate wellness by offering personalized holistic solutions combining physical, mental, and emotional aspects. It helps organizations create a healthy work environment, providing employees with a better work-life balance and avoiding burnout.
Here is how functional medicine helps in workplace wellness:
1. Individualized Health Assessments
Assessing every employee individually is the foundational step. It helps uncover current potential issues and underlying causes of their symptoms.
The assessment involves a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s medical history, family history, lifestyle choices, diet, physical activity levels, mental health, and stress levels. The findings of this comprehensive assessment aid a functional medicine expert in offering personalized treatment and recommendations.
In addition, employers can get insights into their employees’ health risks, identify areas where they need intervention or support, and customize wellness programs accordingly.
2. Personalized Health Plans
A functional medicine expert provides personalized health plans to each employee based on the health assessment findings, health goals, and lifestyle. These plans encompass a combination of activities and support mechanisms to target different areas, such as stress management, nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, and various other aspects.
3. Nutrition and Diet
When it comes to dietary choices, there is no single approach that fits everyone. Every individual’s diet plan should be customized based on their nutritional needs, current health conditions, lab results, medical history, and lifestyle.
Based on individual health assessments, a functional medicine expert guides employees on dietary choices. They get a personalized dietary plan tailored to address their health issues, such as food allergies, diabetes, and weight management.
4. Stress Management Techniques
Chronic stress can lead to insomnia, depression, high blood pressure, infertility, anxiety, and more. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a significant role in stress response.
Functional medicine experts examine the underlying cause of stress and help with proven methods to manage stress and control anxiety. They suggest various stress management techniques, including mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, and even stress-reduction workshops.
Moreover, they might even prescribe natural supplements to address hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation and restore balance while calming the nervous system and reducing stress.
5. Physical Activity
Employers recognize the need for physical activities and how they can improve mood, reduce stress, and help lose weight. They create initiatives such as fitness programs, access to gyms, and ergonomic workstations to prevent occupational injuries and boost physical health.
A functional medicine expert can recommend tailored exercise plans by taking into account an employee’s fitness level, physical health condition, and health goals. They can also ensure that physical activity does not further contribute to the risk of burnout.
6. Strategies to Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is one of the most critical ingredients to avoid burnout and achieve optimum health. Functional medicine experts recommend multi-disciplinary strategies to improve sleep quality, which include:
- Stress management and relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and gentle stretching.
- Comfortable sleep environment in the workplace to take a short nap during breaks or rest periods
- Nutritional foods and natural supplements consumption for restoring balance in mood-regulating chemical messengers and promoting better sleep.
These strategies will be customized for each employee based on their needs.
Why Should You Choose NutraNourish’s Workplace Wellness Program?
Building a workplace wellness solution from scratch can be complicated and challenging. This is where NutraNourish can help you!
Our Workplace Wellness Program helps organizations take care of their employees’ health and wellness, which, in turn, leads to improved productivity and a higher success rate.
With Nutranourish, your business receives a dedicated suite of bespoke workplace wellness program, which includes:
- One-to-one consultation to determine and address individual wellness-related ailments.
- Interactive group sessions for better employee engagement.
- Fill out a short health questionnaire.
- Science-based health screening for early detection and disease prevention.
- Presentations and workshops to promote the benefits of workplace wellness.
- Personalized wellness plans focused on exercise, diet, sleep, stress management, and hormonal balance.
- Personalized advice, emotional support, and actionable tips.
- A dedicated team to monitor each employee’s well-being.
Our team at Nutranourish believes that every employee deserves optimal health. We are here to educate and empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices for their better work productivity, quality of life, and work-life balance.
Nutranourish has run multiple corporate wellness programs, mindfulness sessions, and nutritional talks for reputed companies in Singapore.
Furthermore, our corporate wellness program offers several key features that set it apart from others. Our program is:
- Result-oriented and research-backed, designed with success in mind.
- Adaptable, dynamic, and targeted to the exact wellness needs of each employee.
- Offered by skilled and experienced functional medicine practitioners.
- Simple and easy to follow.
- Adjusted along the way while monitoring the progress continuously to ensure the best outcome.
- Collaborative, where we involve management to encourage employees and help them achieve their wellness goals.
To know more about the workplace wellness program, reach out to us here. Our team will be happy to help you build a healthy workplace environment where employees can thrive with better health outcomes, and you can improve your company’s success rate.
A functional medicine approach to workplace wellness has multiple benefits. It promotes employee fitness and health, enhances productivity, reduces absenteeism and burnout, and elevates job satisfaction.
Nutranourish offers a comprehensive functional medicine-based workplace wellness program that addresses root causes, treats holistically, and focuses on preventive medicine.