In today’s world, the relationship between work and lifestyle is increasingly close. Developments such as company health initiatives, telecommuting, in-office gyms, standing desks, and walking meetings are just a few examples of the blurred boundaries between health, work, and their roles in everyday life. In the tech industry, corporate campuses are making more of a push to foster fitness, creativity, and play.
We see how workplaces are encouraging health, but how can health support work in return? In other words, what can a commitment to health “give back” to work, and what lessons from healthy living can be translated to healthy business? The three following foundational principles for maintaining personal health can be applied to business for dramatic results.
Balance the In and the Out
Optimum health and fitness demonstrate a careful balance between input and output. There is a budgeting that takes place in achieving health, and this give-and-take relationship is essential for business success as well. As a company grows, it must replenish itself with more employees to be able to execute the added work. If sales and success steadily decline, a company may have to cut back on some of its “indulgences” and become much more stringent in its hiring or its expenses. If a company plateaus and does not balance its employee structure properly, it may become “top-heavy” and need to disperse its staff from having too many management or executive positions and focus more closely on entry-level jobs.
Another element of healthy living that can be applied to business is the need to move quickly and move often. With technology constantly updating, social media feeds posting on a live, by-the-second basis, and product concepts becoming obsolete at increasingly rapid pace, no business can afford to remain stagnant or disconnected. One of Forbes’s “30 Under 30” professionals and the Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar+ tweeted it this way: “Son, I want you to have this watch. The firmware is outdated, the OS is slow and it only runs Yelp, but it’s been in our family for 3 years.” Providing consistently updated and relevant content on Facebook, Twitter, an onsite blog and other social platforms is essential for a business to reach its target audience and keep from falling behind its competition.
Choose the Real Stuff
Mom taught us that eating real food is better. We know that colorful and fresh produce, whole grains, and raw nuts and seeds are far more conducive to personal health than processed, packaged foods loaded with preservatives, laden with artificial flavors and colors, and spiked with sodium or fake sugar. Choosing the real over the artificial is similarly important to the health of a business. More and more, consumers (and the search engines they use) are looking for real content, genuine value, and authentic messaging rather than pushy sales messaging or product-focused social media posts. Rather than looking to achieve success by deceiving users, healthy businesses truly look to solve problems and ease customer frustrations.
So what does a well-balanced business subsist on? It feeds itself on real customer satisfaction and retention, genuine relationships amongst team members, and enriching engagement from real people rather than fake fans and followers. Healthy companies nourish their reputations by developing supportive and strong networks, and contributing to their community.
As companies eagerly incorporate features such as fitness trackers, game rooms and sleeping pods to promote the health and happiness of their employees, they stand to gain (the good way) from applying principles of personal health to their own business strategy. The close relationship between work and lifestyle isn’t one-sided; as workplaces prioritize wellness, the principles of personal health will cultivate business success.