The importance of meaningful work – career wellbeing

When looking at your overall wellbeing and happiness, it is important you assess a number of different areas across your life. One crucial and every important area is career wellbeing, which is usually overlooked and quite stereotypically classified as “normal” if it brings on stress and unhappiness. The Financial Review has previously reported that at least 40% of employees are stressed out with 12% saying that their stress was on an extreme level rating an 8/9/10.

Stress and productivity

Through the work of Gallup, we know that stress is the biggest cause of loss of productivity. These increased levels of stress lead to a decline in physical and mental health, decreased motivation, tardiness, absenteeism, presenteeism and poor financial return. Did you know that 26% of all GP visits are for anxiety and depression? And a recent study by law firm Minter Ellison confirms that there has been a 56% increase in mental health issues at work and 85% of company representatives are spending 25% of their time dealing with mental health issues in the workplace. What impact would this have to a businesses bottom line?

So how can we help address these issues? Having a purpose in life and a reason to get out of bed every single day is the key to building our wellbeing. Loving what we do and having meaningful work in our lives is critical in achieving happiness and in finding overall life satisfaction. The research suggests that if we use our top five strengths on a daily basis we are 600% more likely to be engaged in work and 300% more satisfied with our own lives. We know that career wellbeing is an essential element of an individuals overall wellbeing and if we have it, we are twice as likely to thrive in life overall. If we use our strengths each day we are 38% more likely to be productive, 44% more likely to give customer satisfaction and 50% more likely to have high retention.

Combine this research with some studies done by Harvard in 2013 and we know that employees who are in a positive mood are 31% more productive, can sell 37% more and are 300% more creative. This research is the key in building teams that thrive and building a culture that capitalizes on what people are good at  – their core strengths. It is absolutely critical we have meaningful work in our lives, have a purpose for getting out of bed each day and being in an environment where we can focus on our top five strengths each day.

What do you love doing and what do you do best?