Data from close to 9,000 female employees looking at the wellbeing needs of women in the workplace found 80% of women place the wellbeing of others above their own, 70% rate as anxious frequently and 65% rate high general stress levels. Moreover, two-thirds of women rate their sleep quality as low, and not surprisingly, nearly three-quarters of women rated low energy levels.
There is also a clear link between sleep, energy and productivity at work with workers who rate their sleep quality as very good also experienced:
• Better concentration levels (11% higher)
• Less stress at work (17% lower)
• Increased engagement at work (16% higher)
The data clearly shows that women are impacted by balancing work and life demands and they are suffering with poor mental health and high stress.
With women placing their own wellbeing as low priority they are missing out on the key elements of healthy lifestyle like exercising; with a quarter of responders reported that they don’t exercise at all. This is unfortunate as those who rate themselves as fit also report 20% less anxiety, 20% less depression and 20% increased positivity.
Women in the workplace will benefit greatly from focusing on their own wellbeing and making time for exercise, healthy eating and improving sleep habits.
The research also found a third of women are feeling that work is negatively impacting their wellbeing, and 80% find work regularly stressful. Just under half of the women reported having flexibility in their work hours and locations, and a similar number feel unrecognised for their efforts when at work.
Five ways to prioritise the wellbeing of women at work:
Help women take regular breaks.
Encourage them to take short breaks as this shifts the mindset towards self-care. Research shows that women who take a full lunch break rate up to 10% higher levels of wellbeing and are 10% more likely to prioritise their wellbeing than those who never take lunch breaks. Moreover, those who take regular short breaks are 16% less depressed and 15% less anxious than those who don’t.
Encourage good eating habits.
Continue to support your female workers who maintain good eating habits. When catering for work functions, always include healthy options. Swap out sugary drinks from your vending machines and offer healthy snacks in your breakroom.
Promote opportunities to get active.
Support more women in becoming active. Organise group fitness or exercise activities at work. Why not choose activities that are aimed at women?
Offer flexible work arrangements.
With a positive impact on female employee’s mindset, flexible work should be offered whenever possible. You can allow flexibility when it comes to working hours and location to help female employees feel less stressed.
Implement an all in one wellbeing program.
Women in the workplace who access a holistic Employee Assistance Program, such as EAP Assist, report improved wellbeing.
For further support & advice contact EAP Assist.