Who doesn’t want to be healthier and happier? Of course, these are goals that everyone wants to achieve. However, they are harder goals to conquer than people might think. The good news is that there is a science to wellness at work, and VUHRD Professor, Dr. Katina Sawyer wants to help spread the word about research-based practices that can enhance health and wellness in the workplace. For that reason, Dr. Sawyer co-founded a health and wellness blog, Workr Beeing in late 2017. With Dr. Patricia Grabarek, her friend from graduate school, she decided that it was time to take the research on health and wellness out of the libraries and put it into the hands of real people trying to make ends meet on a daily basis.
How did she decide to do this? The story is that she and her friend, Dr. Grabarek, were at the wedding of a mutual friend when they got into a conversation about the lack of research-based practices in organizations. Dr. Grabarek is a consultant at Infor and, through her dealings with many clients across industries, found that folks were often lacking quality information about how to enhance employee wellness in scientifically valid ways. From the academic perspective, Dr. Sawyer was feeling concerned that she was spending a lot of time writing research papers that might not ever be utilized by the organizations she sought to affect change within. The solution seemed to create an easy to navigate resource that would bring the research to people, in a fun and simple way. From that conversation, Workr Beeing was born.
The mission of Workr Beeing is to apply science to help employees build a happy, healthy work life for themselves, their teams, and their organizations. As a result, the blog answers pressing health and wellness-based workplace questions. For example, how do you best manage stress at work? How do you handle conflict effectively? How do you unwind properly after a long day? What is the best strategy for getting readjusted to work after a vacation? How do you balance work and family commitments? The blog also outlines the personal experiences that Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Grabarek have had in applying these principles to their own lives. All of the tips that they share are based in peer-reviewed research, but are boiled down into clear takeaways that HR professionals (and all other kinds of professionals!) can use to improve their working lives. The point is to make research exciting – if no one uses the findings of these studies, what is the ultimate goal of producing them? Workr Beeing is trying to fill that gap.
All of the tips that they share are based in peer-reviewed research, but are boiled down into clear takeaways that HR professionals (and all other kinds of professionals!) can use to improve their working lives.
The content for the blog is further enriched through the professional development opportunities that Dr. Sawyer is participating in to learn what business people really need to know about health and wellness. For example, Dr. Sawyer and Dr. Grabarek attended the Create and Cultivate Conference in LA, which focused on female entrepreneurship. They are attending sessions on well-being at the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology conference in April. Further, they have attended various networking events and workshops about the topics that they are covering (wellness and health at work) and about creating effective blog content more broadly.
Overall, Dr. Sawyer hopes that Workr Beeing will create a community of employees, managers, and top level leaders who all want to drive health and wellness in ways that have actually been demonstrated to work. Right now, Workr Beeing has a strong social media presence on Facebook, Instagram (@workrbeeing) and on LinkedIn. However, they are looking to expand their social media presence to Twitter and to continue to grow their following on the platforms they have already started to engage with. They also have big plans for 2018 to create even more avenues for getting the word out about the cutting-edge health and wellness research that could
benefit their community. Finally, they plan to apply for several grants and awards to create an even stronger pipeline of future projects and to begin to conduct research on their own.
If you’re interested in following Workr Beeing, you can sign up for the blog’s email list through the website or follow their accounts on social media. They also love engagement from the community, so feel free to like or comment on blog or social media posts. Dr. Sawyer is open to suggestions if anyone in the VUHRD community would like to be featured on the blog or on social media. If you’re interested, you can reach out the Workr Beeing team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s hoping that her “hive” continues to grow and create positive change for employees at work and beyond! Check out the site at www.workrbeeing.com!