Resilience In The Workplace and having a work life balance is important. In a 2012 survey of 483 leadership professionals, nearly 60% reported being either at work or connected to work between 13 .5 and 18.5 hours per weekday and an average of five hours on weekends. That amounts to around 72 hours per week of work-dedicated time.

When you consider the amount of time, attention and commitment, it constitutes a significant portion of one’s life on an annual basis.

Ultimately, time is our most crucial currency; it is the only valuable asset that cannot be replaced or returned. Once a moment is spent, it is gone forever. It is far more valuable than money in many regards.

We spend so much time at work. It is important, then, to consider work time as part of the larger picture of our wellness.

We can compartmentalize work time and personal life, but we spend such large chunks of time devoted to career, it only behooves us to consider the long-term implications on quality of life.

Resilience in the workplace serves many purposes. It can improve morale, offer greater retention rates and give a greater sense of overall satisfaction.

It is rare that one can have an absolutely miserable work life and not have it leak over into personal life, at least a bit.

Teyhou Smyth’s Signs That You May Need a Workplace Resilience Boost

Are you noticing some changes in your usual patterns at work? Consider some of the following telltale signs that your resilience needs a boost.

Monday dreads on Sunday morning:

Are you already dreading your return to work well before the weekend ends? Do you find that the thought of returning to work robs the joy from your time off?

Challenges staying present:

A compromised sense of wellness at work can steal our ability to stay ‘in the moment.’ If you find yourself drifting off from the task at hand (whether at work or at home) and your mind is racing or unable to focus, this can be a sign that your resilience needs a tune up.

Dwelling on negativity:

Occasionally all of us can become negative about issues going on at work, but if your negativity seems to take up the most space in your thoughts and feelings at work, that is a red flag about your resilience.

Depression and fatigue:

Not all depression and fatigue are created equal. Sometimes it can be related to cracks in resilience. Monitor your emotional health. Do you feel more down, hopeless and exhausted? Do you find that those feelings are connected to workplace energy?

Ways to Build Resilience at Work

Workplace slumps happen. If it feels like your slump is lasting longer than it should and it is because of circumstances at work, it may help to try some of these ideas to boost your resilience.

Revamp your work schedule:

Recommit to normal hours. Just because you’re used to spending far too many hours at work, doesn’t mean you should continue.

Stick to normal business hours. Dedicating the correct number of hours to work will allow you to have more time for your personal life, which has probably taken a back seat to your job.

Sometimes having less hours ahead of you to complete a project can actually boost productivity.

Create a day-end ritual:

Separate your work time from personal time by creating a buffer between the two worlds. Tailor your day-end ritual to your own needs. If you are someone who feels invigorated by a run, or a few laps in the pool, make that the activity that officially separates your work day from your evening.

It can also be something simple such as listening to certain types of music to change gears, changing your work clothes or altering some other aspect of your physical self.

The symbolism of changing from one part of your identity into the next can help ease the transition and make your personal time intentional and free.

Infuse your passions:

Reconnect with the positives of your career. What are some ways you can bring your life-passions into the work?

Often companies desperately need creative ideas to boost morale in the office, to develop new business ventures and shine light on the areas that become stagnant.

Infusing your interests and passions into the workplace can offer the business a new strategy for improvement while giving you something to focus on that is connected to your heart instead of just your head.

Disconnect from mood-killers at work:

There will always be a minimum of one negative, pessimistic co-worker in every office. Often more.

While it can be entertaining to listen to the rumors and postulations of negative co-workers, it will rarely improve your mood and may contribute to your decreased resilience over time. If you’re unable to avoid negative persons at work, try changing the subject when dreary topics are mentioned.

If you’re feeling able, tell the person that you’re making an effort to stay in a positive frame of mind at work, in spite of the challenges that are going on. Negative co-workers rely on an audience, so if you fail to participate it will likely discourage them from bringing it to you.

Put it into perspective:

Work related stressors can become quite toxic to the mind and body. Try to stay focused on the fact that this stress is from a job and that this job is not your entire life. You are not tethered to this job indefinitely, you have options. Feeling stuck is one of the most significant contributors to challenges with resilience.

So much in life is temporary, and our workplace circumstances are possibly one of the most fluid in all of the changeable factors in one’s lifetime. Resist the urge to stay stuck if you are truly unhappy.

It may feel more comfortable to stay in what is familiar, but if your life satisfaction is at stake, no job or career gig is worth that.

Be patient with yourself as you rebuild your resilience. It will happen over time and you may not even notice it at first.

Remember to honor your values as you explore what would help you to focus on self-care and resilience. The journey to resilience in the workplace can be peaceful if you listen to your needs and respect your process for healing.


  • Dr. Teyhou Smyth

    Performance Coach, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Keynote Speaker, Licensed Therapist (#115137)

    Living with Finesse

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