Today I’m back in the office after two days of workshops for two different clients in London. My energy needed to be high to ensure I held the space and asked the right questions to help the groups reach their outcomes. I needed to be rested and I needed to ensure I was in the right headspace.
I commuted to London daily for years, and travel a lot for work, but as I learn more about my personal energy, wellbeing and effectiveness, I made the choice to stay in London overnight.
On Tuesday I was up at 5:30 to be on the 7am train. I booked a first class ticket to ensure firstly that I got a seat, and secondly to make sure I was in a quiet carriage.
On Tuesday night I stayed at a hotel a stone’s throw away from Wednesday’s venue, and paid more for the privilege.
And on Wednesday evening I travelled home first class, again to ensure a seat and some quiet reflection time so that I could be present with my family when I got home.
As a business owner, every penny of profit is important, it can be the difference between paying our people and suppliers and investing in the business, or not. But I will no longer put a price on my wellbeing.
I could have travelled to London and back on both days, I’ve done it many times before. But My energy is lower than normal, possibly the season, maybe I’m still pushing too hard.
I could have travelled standard class and hoped for a seat. I could have stayed further away from the second venue and paid less.
But my wellbeing comes first, because the cost of me not doing so, could mean I can’t function properly for the rest of the week. Or my focus or attention goes because of sheer exhaustion. I could risk not seeing my family as I head straight to bed when I get in - but I won’t.
Often in business, when it comes to wellbeing, we look at the cost of initiatives or new ways of working and only see the outlay, we don’t look enough at the possible cost of what will happen if we don’t invest upfront.
I can’t afford two days out of the business to recover from two days of delivery. I can’t afford not to have the conversations and relationships I want to have with my family. And I’m sure you can’t afford sickness absence, lack of productivity or people leaving because you haven’t invested in them in the ways you should.
For clarity, the additional costs of first class travel and a fairly lush hotel were less than £100 more expensive than travelling on both days (and saved me four hours travel time over the two days) and £73 more expensive than travelling standard class and getting a cheaper hotel - but the difference in my mood, my energy levels, my effectiveness and the value I can add to the business over the next two days - priceless.
So before you write off investment in wellbeing as a nice to have, I’d invite you to see it as a priority - because the cost of not investing could be damaging to your people, your business and your bottom line.
If you'd like to be more proactive in your approach to wellbeing for your people, talk to The Chrysalis Crew about our Wellbeing workshops and Wellbeing strategies.