Well-Being Moment Promoting Well-being for a Virtual Team

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As you may remember, if you read any of my previous posts, I am intrigued by Peggy Thoits theory that the role of employee comes in 5th after: parent, spouse, friend, and religious observer.  I am conscious, as a supervisor of a virtual team, to support all areas of interest and importance to my team members and am always seeking interesting ways to do so.  Yesterday, I discovered one and learned a personal lesson too.

Well-Being Moment

I participated in a monthly team call yesterday for another division within Bright Horizons.  They started their call with a "Well-Being Moment."  Prior to the call, one member of the team is identified as being responsible for sharing an experience or practice that supports their overall well-being and can be an encouragement for their colleagues to do the same. The person identified to lead this portion of the meeting (I'll call her Helen) proceeded to tell the group about the time she and her husband share each morning and each evening as a way to connect before and at the end of their day. 

They begin their mornings sitting in their sun room, perhaps reading a book together or sharing what they anticipate will happen during the day. It is a quiet couple of moments before they start their busy and sometimes hectic day. In the evening, after limiting themselves to one hour of television, they repeat the process. In essence, they are book-ending their day with protected, deliberate time to connect and communicate to support the health of their relationship. I was really drawn into Helen's description of her intentional time with her husband. She is making her relationship with her husband a priority, which is appropriate and healthy. Although I love my husband dearly, I am not nearly as careful to communicate effectively with him on a regular basis. I hate to admit that a few texts or emails may constitute the totality of our "communication" on a given day given that once we are both finished with work...well, we're finished. No energy left for having a meaningful conversation.

It's Not "Having it All." It's Work/Life...Prioritization

The importance Helen is putting on her spousal relationship reminded me of a woman Lucy English and I interviewed during research we conducted on Breadwinning Moms. The woman was struggling with responsibilities associated with having children and a mother, who was in the early stages of dementia, living in her home.  She also realized that all those responsibilities were impacting her relationship with her husband and therefore was ready to make some tough decisions about her mother's care. "Each thing takes a bit of a toll and the worst thing that can happen is losing my husband - he's my life partner." It is clear that both Helen and the woman we interviewed are structuring their lives and making decisions that support their role as spouse (2nd most important role in an individual's life, according to Ms. Thoits). As you have already surmised, participating in the Well-Being Moment was an "aha" experience for me - both personally and professionally. 

My husband and I will have a discussion (probably on the weekend and not at the end of a long day) to identify time we can protect for quiet, uninterrupted conversation. I also plan to start my team meetings with a well-being moment from this time forward. Not only will we have the opportunity to learn from each other, I will gain deeper insights about what is important to each of my team members when they have a chance to share their Well-Being Moment. I think this will lead to some interesting questions and discussions. Our team is a tight-knit group but how comfortable will they be sharing personal practices or goals? What topics will they talk about in a group setting? Does it make it easier or harder to talk about this type of information given that we are virtual and aren't in the same room? I imagine I may write more on this topic as we move forward.

What Do You Think?

Would a Well-Being Moment serve as a useful tool for encouraging communication and well-being in your workplace?  Would you be comfortable leading a Well-Being Moment if your supervisor asked to share? What would you share with your coworkers????
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
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