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Wellness at Work and Home

21st April 2022

While at a conference recently we found that people were concerned about wellness at work and home, particularly identifying housing as an impact on wellness.  A recent article confirmed what we’ve probably always know, that our housing situation impacts our wellness.

With the news continually reminding us that housing is an ongoing issue in B.C. and acrosss Canada, we need to remember that housing isn’t a privilege, it’s a fundamental right.  One that many of us have struggled with in recent years.

We spent some time with Shelly exploring her thoughts on the topic of wellness at work, and homes with the connection between housing and wellness.

What is wellness in the workplace to you?

An environment where I feel physically and mentally well.   Has a strong leadership that appreciates employee wellness, work life balance, being heard, and little things like a focus on meditation.  This has helped to create a high functioning team that achieved success.

There is a continuity that allows for the workplace positivity that allows for overflow and connectivity between work and home.  Conversely negative impacts in the workplace can have negative impacts on your personal life, and influence your wellbeing at work and at home.

Have you worked for a company that you would say has had a focus on wellness?

Yes, I’ve experienced toxic workplaces, as well as really positive work environments that have provided support for things like the aspects I mentioned above.

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty, where I currently work, has a very strong focus on wellness.  I have a fantastic managing broker who provides support and mentoring and leaves me feeling confident.

Early in my career in a different sector,  there were situations that have been stressful, and impacted my confidence, but my management team were able to help me navigate and learn from the situation.

Real estate can be stressful with many details, deadlines, and expectations our team here is very focused on keeping us balanced in what can be a very stressful environment.

Why is wellness in the workplace important to you?

We spend so much of our time working, and in real estate that includes weekends and evenings.   I’ve been exposed to situations that strong leadership have been able to help navigate. The workplace has the potential to impact your mental health, and drain you.

Regardless of how positive you are, and how well you can do your job, workplaces with negative environments can erode confidence, and wellbeing meaning you may be bringing some of these negative attributes home, influencing your personal life.

When you have a positive workplace, with a focus on wellness, you can be more effective, and efficient, you enjoy your work, and there’s a ripple effect creating waves of positivity, this can help to build high performing teams, and overflow to your life in general.  You’re just in a more positive place when there is wellness in the workplace.

We were at the Buildex Conference, and a stable housing situation came up as a wellness component.  The idea that there is a connection between how stable your housing situation is to your wage, your commute, and the quality of housing you have impacting your wellness.  What do you think?

Definitely 100% agree. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs identifies shelter as a fundamental need.  How can you work towards success, and other aspects of wellness when a basic need has not been met?

I am hearing that the lack of housing, the price of housing, the lack and price of rental accommodations are impacting employers’ ability to retain and recruit.  Housing is a basic need that needs to be met. I’ve seen some creativity such as multiple families purchasing homes together, but it’s tough.

I’m hoping that all levels of government can work together to address this critical situation. Everyone deserves shelter, a home – it’s a basic need.

Closing Thoughts

While it might not immediately jump out as a wellness in the workplace aspect, increasingly workers are worried about housing, and their ability to afford it, or worse, find it and it’s impacting wellness at work and home. The quality of housing can also clearly have impacts on our wellness with asbestos, lead, and mold creating genuine health issues in the home.

Housing issues can create mental health issues as well such as anxiety in workers, adding to workplace stresses and challenges.  It can also create challenges for employers in recruiting and retaining staff at the moment.

Housing it seems, is a relevant topic currently that can impact wellness for employers and employees and may require some creative thinking and solutions to address the issue.

Shelly McNeil is sponsoring our Wellness In The Workplace event April 27th at the Bethlehem Center in Nanaimo.  Shelly is a Royal LePage Diamond Award winner, and burst onto the real estate scene with personality plus. Years in the consulting business helped hone her people skills and her professional attitude. Shelly puts her heart and soul into understanding what her clients truly want through the often emotional experience of buying or selling a property.

Royal LePage Nanaimo Realty


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