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How work can be a haven from everyday worries

by | Jul 23, 2023 | Employee Engagement, PERMAH, Purpose, Strategic Narrative, Strengths, Wellbeing


I recently watched a video on Linkedin which featured expert employment and WHS lawyer, Andrew Douglas, talking about psychological safety in the workplace. In that, he spoke about the role that work plays as a haven from everyday personal stresses and anxieties and that really resonated. So I thought I should explore that concept further and here are a few thoughts.

Would you agree that being able to focus your mind on a job and use your talents can really give you a bit of temporary relief if you have any worries personally, with family or elsewhere in life? I do – it won’t solve whatever problems you might be struggling with but it can help you to live a bit better with those struggles.

Of course, you need to have the right “psychologically safe” work environment to do that. Simply replacing one set of stresses and anxieties for another doesn’t help – that just adds further weight and continuity of anxieties and that aggregation can be especially damaging to mental health and wellbeing.

So let’s consider why the right work environment can help us to manage our everyday struggles in life.

Firstly, work can provide a sense of structure and purpose, helping to keep your mind focused and occupied. When you’re engrossed in meaningful tasks, it can redirect your attention away from anxious thoughts and uncertainties.

Additionally, work often involves goal-setting and problem-solving, which can give you a sense of achievement and control over your circumstances. By engaging in productive work, you may experience a boost in confidence and a feeling of accomplishment, counteracting the negative effects of anxiety.

Furthermore, work can offer a social environment where you interact with colleagues and form connections. These relationships can provide support and a sense of camaraderie, which can be comforting and contribute to overall well-being.

When you look at these factors, the PERMAH wellbeing model makes a lot of sense as a tool to develop good mental health and wellbeing practice. Every one of the 6 pillars – Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment and Health – feature in those three ways that the right work environment can provide a haven.

A bonus is that, with the new positive duty that businesses have to eliminate or control psychosocial hazards, the PERMAH Workplace Wellbeing Survey can play a significant part  in meeting the duty to assess risks associated with psychosocial hazards in your workplace… every employee who does the survey gets their own personal wellbeing report and access to a personal wellbeing plan template and lots of tips on things to do to enhance wellbeing in each of the 6 PERMAH pillars.

Try the survey free at

iInterested in learning more about PosWork’s workplace wellbeing and psychologically safe workplace services? Call us on 1300 108 488 or email





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