Would it be weird if your entire office had shared New Year’s resolutions? We don’t mean pairing up with a few colleagues and committing to eat celery sticks for lunch to beat the bulge. What we mean is office-wide, shared resolutions that aim to shift things – sometimes big things – for the better. According to the Robert H. Smith School of Business, having office resolutions is a really good thing, especially in the wellness and social departments. More on these in a minute.

But first – why, oh why are we talking about this in February? Because around 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by Feb according to a whole bunch of sources (Forbes, Business Insider, Psychology Today). So we thought we’d play some mind trickery and jump-start your resolutions in the month they’re meant to, apparently, fail. A bit of Jedi thinking there we say.

Feb resolutions | Office Space | Office Resolutions

Let’s talk wellness. Healthy employees = lower insurance + less absenteeism

This is no great shakes. We all know that if you have healthy, un-out-of-breath staff this is a good thing for your pocket and your productivity. But what we tend to forget is that if you want an entire office to suddenly get healthy so they – and you as a manager or CEO – can reap the benefits, you’ve got to lead by example. Humans look to leaders and then do what they do. Author Michael Schrage sums it up like this: “The true lead-by-example test is who follows those examples and how. Do colleagues and clients see those examples as leadership? Are direct reports inspired to admire and emulate? Charm and charisma are wonderful, but good examples can prove as persuasive as great presence.”

So if having ‘get healthier’ as an office-wide New Year’s resolution can make a lasting difference, you need to be the first one to do squats while waiting for the communal microwave to ding. The first one to pack a homemade, low-cal, high-fibre lunch and then show it off as though it were plucked from the silver tray of a Michelin-star restaurant. You need to act and lead by example to incite real, big, resolute change. And you need to act consistently. It’s also an idea to have specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound resolutions (the classic SMART acronym).

Next let’s talk social, and by that we don’t mean randomly hanging out on the balcony

‘Social’ in the context of work is defined as ”actions of others that are either helpful or intended to be helpful” such as mentoring and providing emotional support (which we suppose could happen on a balcony). Research defines four types of social support including task support, career mentoring, coaching (how to handle organisational politics for example) and collegial social support (like discussing any personal issues or concerns).

And why does focusing on ‘social’ matter as an office-wide resolution? Because social support is a predictor of job satisfaction, and this should matter to you as an employee and as a big old boss. The happier an office’s social climate the more likely, and potentially longer, an employee will stay. And more specifically, one study found that task support is in fact most positively associated with job satisfaction and tenure. That means we can’t just be allocating tasks willy-nilly with no framework, guidance and structure. Take the time to set people up for success and you’re one step closer to ticking ‘social’ of that list of resolutions.

Employee Wellness

Both employee wellness and social health tie into something bigger

Now wellness and a good balance of social support aren’t the only office-wide resolutions you can focus on. Perhaps upskilling everyone’s virtual presentation skills should be a number one priority – one can only say ‘Please mute your mic’ politely so many times before your shrill, school principal voice takes over.

But if you like this idea, and are stumped as to where to start, focusing on these two aspects could kick-start something meaningful. Why? Because wellness and social support factor into how much individuals perceive their holistic well-being as being valued by workplace resources, such as supervisors and the broader organisation. And if their perception is ‘I’m valued’ – which comes from you leading by example as a line manager or actively showing up to ask about their home life – then they feel more connected to colleagues and the company as a whole. This is good. This is a big, shifting thing that can lead to greater commitment, happiness and overall satisfaction which (in most cases) gives your bottom line a nice little boost.

Now the real question we’ve gotta ask is…do you have a functional, affordable, good looking office space to do all this ‘resoluting’ in? If the answer is no, come to Office & Co. Our spaces in Cape Town and Joburg are geared to help you succeed and are fully COVID compliant. Explore our workspaces today.

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