From sleep rooms to meditation, the concept of mindfulness at work really came to fruition this year but in 2017, workplace flexibility and a more tailored approach to wellbeing will dominate the conversation.
Vanessa Bennett, founder and coach at Next Evolution Performance explains in many ways, wellbeing has become like a 'box' companies simply tick which in reality, doesn't lead to high performance.
"The problem with it is that the aim should not be wellbeing -- the aim should be high performance and wellbeing is just one of the ways that can help get us there -- but that's going to be different from individual to individual," Bennett told The Huffington Post Australia.
Ahead, Bennett outlines how this approach needs to change along with three other workplace trends we'll see more of in 2017.
1. A more tailored approach to wellbeing
"We know that mindfulness doesn't work for everybody. Humans are built differently which is why implementing yoga classes or meditation for your team isn't going to be effective," Bennett said.
Instead, Bennett believes the focus should be less on wellbeing and more on performance, and how you can achieve more with less, which is where leadership come in.
"Leaders need to know how to coach their team to not only take care of themselves but work smarter, not harder, and that largely comes from leading by example," Bennett said.
2. High burnout does not equal high performance
As part of Bennett's coaching program one of the first things she does is request sick leave reports.
"If your team is over-stressed and over-tired, as a manager, that is a bad reflection on your leadership skills," Bennett said.
"There is enough evidence to show that working crazy hours consistently doesn't equate to high performance," Bennett said.
3. Energy management
"People really need to focus on how to manage their energy and brain function for performance -- and we're going to see a lot more of this in 2017," Bennett said.
She explains we cannot work in the same way we did in the industrial revolution because today, we are being contacted 24/7.
Energy management is about how you can use your brain function to understand what your perfect attention span should be for you.
"It's about knowing when you should be doing your heavy tasks depending on the time of day for you," Bennett said.
4. More work-life integration
According to research from recruiting consultancy Robert Half, after a payrise, 42 percent of Australian employees would like more workplace flexibility.
"We have a lot more technology at our fingertips allowing us to be far more contactable than we've ever been before, and we need to see this as a positive, not a negative," Bennett said.
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