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Hi there,

Here’s a question for you: what is workplace well-being, really? We talk about it all the time, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I’m not always 100% clear on what we’re talking about.

The average person spends more than 90,000 hours at work over the course of their life. That’s a third of their lifetime—and of course, about another third of that is spent sleeping, meaning that really we spend half of our lives working. In my view, that makes the boundary between “workplace well-being” and just regular old “well-being” pretty fuzzy. 

And indeed, the data kind of backs me up here. Research has shown that our mental and physical well-being in the workplace is intricately tied up with other parts of our lives. In today’s newsletter, we’re looking at well-being in and out of the workplace, and exploring what managers can do to support their people in all areas of life.

Until next time,
Katie and the wellness freaks @ TDL

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Today’s topics 👀
❤️‍🩹 Defining Workplace Wellness
🤖 Field Notes: Bringing CBT to the Workplace
💪 Solutions that Work

❤️‍🩹 Defining Workplace Wellness

🤖 FIELD NOTES: Bringing CBT to the Workplace 

We’re still in the midst of a workplace mental health crisis, with the bulk of US employees reporting some degree of burnout. AI has huge potential to address this epidemic, allowing personalized treatments to be deployed at scale.

A few years back, TDL was part of a mental health consortium at the forefront of digital mental health care. We worked alongside leading mental health experts to build an AI chatbot named Hikai, designed to help boost employees’ well-being at work. Find the case study here.

A digital illustration of a robot hand reaching out to touch a human hand.
💪 Solutions that Work
  • + Focus on quality over quantity. Many recommendations for improving employee well-being focus on reducing the amount of time spent working. And yes, the number of hours you work—and your access to reasonable amounts of paid time off—matters a lot. But data suggests that minimizing the quantity of work you’re doing is less effective than optimizing the quality of that work. More easily said than done, we know. As a first step, managers should start open dialogues with their teams to understand what would make their work more enjoyable, and how their roles could potentially be modified to move in that direction.
  • + Get back to basics. There’s a lot that employers can do to support employees’ overall health, which goes a long way in improving their holistic experiences of the workplace. Paying fair salaries so that workers can make ends meet and providing flexibility to accommodate different schedules are both excellent places to start.
  • + Build a culture of psychological safety. A psychologically safe atmosphere is one where employees know that they’ll have the space to ask questions, make mistakes, and diverge from the status quo without fear of negative consequences. Leaders can help make work a psychologically safe place by providing employees with flexibility to work in the way that best suits them, and by developing a set of strategies to manage conflict and difficult situations in a more compassionate way.
  • + Foster diversity—meaning diversity in background, experiences, personality, neurotype, and so on. The more homogenous an organization is along any of these dimensions, the more difficult it will be for any one person to express needs or opinions that may deviate from the majority’s. Updating your hiring procedures to eliminate bias is a crucial first step toward building a workplace culture where everybody can feel at ease. 
  • + Cultivate strong relationships between managers and team members. In psychotherapy, the “therapeutic alliance”—that is, the relationship that exists between therapist and client—is a key determinant of outcomes. Likewise, in the workplace, strong employee–manager relationships are key to sustaining engagement and satisfaction. If you’re a manager or leader in the workplace, showing up as your authentic self is a key first step.
A figure titled “The Costs of Poor Workplace Well-being,” showing some statistics about the economic impacts of low well-being at work.
Poor employee well-being costs employers billions of dollars each year. (Source: Gallup)
Status Quo Bias
We’re biased to feel like maintaining the status quo is easier than implementing any kind of change. But in reality, if the status quo is causing friction, then the upfront effort of effecting some changes will spare us lots of headaches down the road. Learn more about the status quo bias on our website.
What’s new at TDL

TDL is hiring! We’re hiring for a number of positions, both remote and based in our Montreal office. Some open roles include:

    • Consultant (MX)
    • Senior UX Designer (MX)

    Find out more by visiting our careers portal

Want to have your voice heard? We'd love to hear from you. Reply to this email to share your thoughts, feedback, and questions with the TDL team.
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