Entrepreneur.com released an article of tips for business success and the sixth tip they listed cannot be repeated enough: Don’t burn out. As the article cleverly said, “ When your body gives out, you’re done. Your heart doesn’t care how good a business you have; your circulatory system isn’t all that impressed with your money or accomplishments… You will burn out if you sacrifice your physical and mental health on the altar of your business.”

Employees Burn Out, Too

Although it’s important for business leaders to read articles and books dedicated to strategy, the bottom line, and intentional pursuits of one’s passion, it’s equally as important for employers to dedicate time toward pursuing and maintaining their health as well as the health of their employees.

Forbes released an article in October 2019 entitled We Need A New Kind Of Business Leader: Why 50% Of Millennial And 75% Of Gen-Z Workers Have Left Jobs Because Of Their Mental Health. The title is revealing but so, too, is the article itself, which says, “Companies and business leaders are failing to establish organizational cultures that both support and sustain their employees. Unsupported mental health conditions result in clear losses to productivity, engagement and retention, all of which cost U.S. businesses $16.8 billion annually. While many companies have begun offering mental health benefits, paid time off, Employee Assistance Programs, and occasional mental health days- which is actually an ineffective strategy- these resources do not transform the culture of work itself.”

Although any program and service designed to help and prevent physical and mental health issues is phenomenal, ask yourself: What if instead of focusing money and manpower on programs and services that address the physical and mental health issues that come from work, what if money and manpower were spent to transform the work culture itself? If the cause of physical and mental stress is the work culture, then shouldn’t we address the work culture?

Work Culture Directly Affects Physical & Mental Health

At least one-third of an adult’s life, on average, is spent at work. If that one-third of your life is miserable, the other two-thirds isn’t going to fare well either. As Huffpost.com states in its article 5 Ways Hating Your Job Can Ruin Your Health (According to Science):

  1. Hating your job can make you gain weight.
  2. Hating your job can lower your immune system.
  3. Hating your job can ruin your relationship.
  4. Hating your job can rob you of sleep.
  5. Hating your job increases your risk of serious illness.

The phrase “misery loves company” holds a great deal of truth. It is extremely unlikely for someone to feel unfulfilled and undervalued for one-third of their life, as they work, and then be able to compartmentalize that one-third so they are the spitting image of health and happiness and vibrancy in the other two-thirds of their life. Unhappiness at work bleeds into people’s personal lives and brings their personal life to its knees. In turn, that unwelcomed non-work life then leads to less productivity and motivation in their nine-to-five. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends.

Life Isn’t Easily Compartmentalized

The work culture matters as it directly affects the productivity of both employers and employees. It’s as worth it for business leaders to invest in their own health as it is their employees’ health. A leader can’t lead if they’re stricken with the consequences of poor health and a sleep-deprived brain any more than employees can reach their full productivity and potential while feeling like disposable cogs in an irrelevant wheel.

To achieve your greatest heights and to inspire others to do the same, you must fire on all cylinders. And to fire on all cylinders, you must fuel your physical and mental health as if your livelihood, both professionally and personally, depends on it because at the end of the day, both absolutely do.

Author: Evelyn Lindell