The Science of Well-being
What does it mean to thrive?
Our definition of wellbeing aligns with the most current scientific understanding that captures both the the hedonic or “feel good” dimension, as well as the eudaimonic or “living well” dimension of wellbeing. We recognise that a healthy mind extends beyond the absence of illness or disorders into factors that promote personal and social growth. Simply put, it’s the simple idea that we can thrive, rather than just survive.
How does the workplace relate to your wellbeing?
We spend around 40 hours a week within our workplace. And with our broad and inclusive definition of wellbeing, it should be no surprise that the workplace – both the physical environment and job-related characteristics can contribute to our mental health. By recognising this duality, we can begin to identify, measure the variables that relate to a positive work environment and work together to create a regenerative and thriving workplace. We can become the architects of our mental health and wellbeing.
The Rate My Space Edge
Employees with a greater sense of wellbeing are statistically more productive, creative, and satisfied with their jobs, – the effects of wellbeing also extend to reducing absenteeism and presenteeism. Our tool draws on the latest research within psychology and neuroscience to provide you with a complete picture. We help to understand your tenants, occupants, and employees, and empower you with the data for intervention and change.
Ten Dimensions of Thriving
Feeling alive is a very recognisable aspect of human experience – its a positive sense of aliveness that goes beyond simply having enough calories to function. It’s a state of mind where people approach life with excitement and zest with a level of enthusiasm that can only be described as infectious. Vitality can be understood as a dynamic reflection of wellbeing – one that incorporates both psychological and biological factors, and is scientifically related to other health and wellbeing factors.
As social animals, we draw on the presence of others to enhance our well-being. Positive relationships fuel thriving in two key ways.
Firstly, it acts as a normalising agent by helps to buffer individuals from the negative effects of stress. Having positive relationships, or simply people that you can “count on” helps us get through the bad experiences and to push us to succeed in our endeavours. Positive relation can therefore be thought of as a resource that can be drawn on to promote wellbeing.
Secondly, positive relationships, provide us with an anchor – a sense of purpose and meaning in life. The people in our lives and the quality of the relationships are a strong correlate of our satisfaction with life and we often make decisions that promote a sense of co-thriving with whom we share those relationships with.
Engagement or “flow” is a state of optimal experience in which we function at a peak level of performance. Its a state of mind where we are completely immersed in an activity to the point where we lose track of time and our minds are absent of past and future thoughts. There is a wealth of research to show that people are the happiest, creative, and more positive in a state of flow and is thus considered by many scientists as core pillar of psychological wellbeing or thriving.
Our emotional stability is related to the extent to which we experience tense feelings, restlessness, and excess worry about events and situations. In addition to social and individual influences, the physical work environment, with factors such as office design and the presence of unnecessary stressful triggers plays a key role in maintaining our emotional stability
The feeling of accomplishment is both intrinsically rewarding and essential for maintaining your wellbeing. Whether at home or in the workplace, our daily tasks contribute to this sense of accomplishment. While the nature of the task and your personality are important to consider, the physical environment can also help to facilitate your progress. Do not underestimate the influence of a well-designed workplace on your ability to complete your tasks!
Resilience is the ability to deal with what life throws at you. Being resilient isn’t a personality trait, but rather a dynamic learning process. A key aspect of resilience is the ability to take a different perspective – to see the bigger picture in a moment of stress and to acknowledge it as a learning experience. In regards to the workplace, environments that provide safety and structure, and a positive organisational culture can affect the development of individual resilience.
“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”
– Dr. Steve Maraboli
Optimism, like resilience is another psychological resource that can be drawn. Significantly, the research shows that optimistic individuals live longer, happier lives. Without delving too much into the “is the cup half empty or half full argument”t, a healthy dose of optimism is good for your psychological health. And the thing about optimism is that it can be learned, and developed over time
Self-esteem is generally thought of as the ability to believe to succeed in areas that are meaningful to one’s life, and is a reflection of your sense of worth. Within the realm of psychological wellbeing, self-esteem is a powerful correlate of other resources such as optimism and resilience, as well as outcomes such as happiness and productivity. Although self-esteem is rooted in our self-identity, we can foster it by creating a workplace that promotes integrity and self-responsibility.
Research and conventional wisdom tells us that the self is a poor source of meaning, and that a meaningful life is one where we direct our strengths towards a cause that is greater than ourselves. When people see how their efforts have a genuine impact on the lives of others, even mundane work becomes more rewarding.The workplace is a natural source of meaning. Whether directly in our role or through volunteering, we can all add more meaning by being connected to a greater cause.
Positive emotions can be thought of as nutrients. In the same way that we need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to be healthy, we need a variety of positive emotions in our daily experience to help us become more resourceful versions of ourselves. This emotional diet is directly related to how happy and satisfied we are and has broad implications for health and productivity.
We’re launching early 2017 – Watch this space!
Please register your interest if you would like to be one of the first to trial the tool, and we will keep you informed of developments.