Workplace Wellbeing Advisor and Director of at menopause@work ASIA Pacific
Elevator pitch: Tell us about your role and the work your organisation does
I’m a workplace wellbeing advisor, helping to increase the wellbeing and productivity of leaders, teams and individuals. I help workplaces develop effective wellbeing strategies, create and deliver content on specific topics in the form of programs and webinars and also offer 1-1 wellbeing and productivity coaching.
At the heart of all my work is the mission of rehumanising our work ethic so it is fashioned around human biological rhythms rather than around machines. That’s why I am a Naptivist, promoting the powernap as a healthy way through the afternoon slump, and why I also take a life-stage approach to worker wellbeing so that larger biological rhythms such as menopause, can be accommodated.
What’s the current focus for you and your organisation in workplace health and wellbeing?
After three years of putting in a lot of groundwork, I am now getting incoming calls about helping workplaces become menopause friendly. I’m running webinars to help get the conversation started, and training managers to increase their wellbeing capability on this topic. This is a great time of year for me as Women’s Health Week and World Menopause Day give workplaces a convenient hook for addressing these topics.
What aspect of workplace health and wellbeing does your organisation do well in?
Creating and delivering engaging content that is up to date with the latest science. Many well educated people can glaze over at yet more wellbeing advice. The feedback I get is that I offer fresh insights and ways of thinking about self-care. The concept of Body Intelligence, for example, is one of the concepts that permeates my work. Clients also love it when I show the references so they know it’s not hippy woo-woo speak!
What’s your biggest challenge working in workplace health and wellbeing?
From a business perspective – The long lead times.
Form a best practice perspective – The tendency to schedule the easy stuff (eg seminars) but not tackle the root causes of staff ill health.
What do you feel are the key issues and considerations for people working in this sector?
For consultants like myself it’s important to define your particular expertise. There are so many aspects to workplace wellbeing, no one person or outfit can be good at them all. Then it’s important to form relationships with others who do complementary work so they can refer but also enrich your own understanding.
There is also a burgeoning list of social ills that workpalces are increasingly being asked to address – from domestic violence, to mental health and gender transitioning. The challenge is to define the key approaches that will make a positive difference to a number of these issues at once.
What do you think the future of workplace health and wellbeing looks like?
I think with greater awareness of organisations’ legal obligations, wellbeing will be integral to all businesses, rather than an add-on if there’s enough money left over. I’m working to have wellbeing regarded as an essential capability at all levels and should therefore be funded by learning and development, not just the wellbeing budget.
There are bound to be lots more apps and wearables, telling people when they are too stressed and need to take a break, or breathe differently. Personally, I prefer to build people’s internal awareness and body intelligence so they don’t have to ‘outsource’ their body intelligence to a device. So let’s see if I survive the tech takeover!
What are your key practices and priorities for your own wellbeing at work? What about your team’s?
Movement and Connection are my top practices. A walk with a friend in the nearby bushland at dawn, combined with resistance training at the gym, are my staples at the moment.
How does WayAhead Workplaces bring value to your organisation’s work, and to yourself as a professional?
It definitely helps me keep abreast of the events and training that are being offered in this space. And now that restrictions have eased, I’m looking forward to attending some of your events again – in person. Can’t wait.