Old-school thinking places business and wellness at opposite ends of the life spectrum. You spent your day at your job and your night attending to your personal wellbeing. Work/life balance was talked about as if work and life were two different things.
We wrote earlier about the Triple Bottom Line, looking at businesses through the lens of people, planet, and profit. Using this framework, work and life are intricately intertwined and wellness applies to businesses as well as to the people who work there and who populate the communities in which they operate.
The Triple Bottom Line philosophy suggests that business and wellness are in fact two sides to the same coin and just as we could not talk about a person without considering her or his health, we can’t talk about a business without considering its wellness. And how may a business attend to its own wellness?
Ensuring the wellness of the people impacted by a business extends to paying a living wage and supporting a healthy and safe environment for its workers. This means allocating space and resources to onsite health and wellness programs such as gyms and clinics, and supporting families through programs such as flextime and on-site childcare. But people wellness goes further. Businesses should attend to the towns and cities in which they operate, being good neighbors actively engaged in creating and supporting strong communities. More broadly (and more challengingly), businesses strive to build a supply chain that similarly exhibits attention to the wellbeing of the workers and communities in which each link operates.
Businesses should strive for a positive environmental impact through such actions as attention to reducing the use of limited natural resources, building in harmony with the land, and recycling waste. They should espouse a corporate culture that supports attention to environmental impact as a key factor in decision-making at all levels, and plan for the responsible disposal or reuse of the products they create.
Too often, discussions of the concept of wellness forget to include profit as an indicator of business wellness. Yet businesses have an obligation to operate in ways that return a responsible profit in order to ensure the long-term viability of the enterprise.
Attending to people, planet, and profit commits businesses to wellness in a way that ensures sustainability
of not only the workforce and the planet, but also the business itself.