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Happy, Healthy Trolds are better for Everybody


I am lucky. I work in a place where people smile and show a genuine interest in your work. They are sociable. They are kind and they are polite. I leave my door open and people greet me as they pass, but generally they let me get on with my work.
Physically, as well as socially, I am in a healthy working environment, sociable without being invasive. I feel supported by those around me and that is good for my mental health, too!
Here’s the thing. I work in my own company which is based in a business centre. Most people aren’t that fortunate and have to work for an employer in a large environment. I know my life is a bit risky – if I don’t work, I don’t get paid – and most people won’t or can’t take the risks that this style of working involves.
What is it about bigger structures – companies and corporations – that destroys that sense of freedom, enjoyment and mutual support that is so fundamental to our health and wellbeing at work?
I am sure that it isn’t to do with information. We have known what makes for good working environments for many a long year… (By far the most unhealthy working environment I ever worked in was in a university medical school!)
Surely, the kernel of an unhealthy workplace is to be found in the organisational culture that has developed there. And that is down to the leaders – both official and those who are self-appointed.
There is something particularly unpleasant about the relationship between the corporate manager and the individual. Good managers are rare and there are many lovely people who simply can’t do the job. Sadly, their shortcomings allow others to extend their influence and many people’s working lives are blighted by the games people play if they feel that one of the herd isn’t behaving as they should.
I tried that life and, I have to say, it didn’t suit me.  Today, I am happier, my family is happier, the dogs get walked more, I feel fitter, I cycle to work, I work harder, I smile at my colleagues, we chat, I listen more… and so it goes on.
It is a virtuous circle, but it needs to start somewhere.
It could start with you. Why not go to work today and be happy and friendly to people?
After all, we may not all want to run a company, but that we can still make it our business to be good company, don’t you think?

From → Health, Practice, Research

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