For many of us it’s a constant challenge to maintain a positive mood with growing to do lists, and continuous change and distractions at work. Many employees are unduly worried by things they can’t control, which can lead to excessive stress and lost productivity.
This is compounded if long hours also restrict the time that can be spent on rejuvenation strategies, which are essential to bouncing back from setbacks.
Leadership teams need to be acutely aware of the mental wellbeing of managers and employees as it is critical to business improvement.
Positive mood is directly linked to productivity and creativity, and our mood is determined by the actions (or inactions) we take each week.
What is negatively impacting employee mood? We recently asked 470 managers and employees what were their biggest mood vampires in the previous week.
Whilst there are clearly a lot of elements that impact our mood, it was interesting to see the most prevalent. Although these mood vampires were self-nominated, they are also validated by science. The top 6 are:
Lack of quality sleep – 60%
Getting a good night’s sleep is like hitting the reset button. From a health, memory, and appearance standpoint we need somewhere between 7 and 8 hours sleep each night. Our busyness and distracted life combined with low levels of exercise can contribute to difficulty sleeping. Short duration sleepers are 35% more likely to experience substantial weight gain.
Not enough exercise – 56%
Mayo clinic research shows that just a 30 minute brisk walk is enough to improve our mood for up to 12 hours compared to those who don’t exercise. All of us can make time for a walk before or after work or at lunch time.
Financial stress – 41%
Material wealth is not the best predictor of financial wellbeing – it is financial security – knowing that you have enough to pay for your desired lifestyle and are prepared for unexpected events – this is 3 times more significant than income alone. According to a Harvard study, spending money on ourselves is not linked to wellbeing, but spending money on others is.
Not enough “me time” – 40%
We all need alone time to focus on one thing that is really important to us. For some people that is a reading or a hobby, for some it is exercising, and for others it is time with loved ones. Ideally we can identify something that helps us recharge.
Not enough quality time with family and friends – 40%
The longest longitudinal wellbeing study is the Harvard Grant study which has followed the same group of men for over 75 years. The one critical finding from this study is that the best predictor of health, happiness, long life, and financial wellbeing is “warm relationships”. It is imperative to make time for those who are good for us.
Not counting my blessing enough – 39%