Not surprisingly, for the vast majority of my life Friday was my favorite day of the week. The lead-in to the weekend, the last day of school and then eventually work… I know I’m not the only one!
During college, Friday had less meaning. I worked full-time AND went to school full-time, which was difficult to say the least. Once classes were over for the week, I usually had work over the weekend. For almost 2 years in fact, I didn’t have a single day off unless I was sick.
I used to take pride in working regardless of how I felt. It was a badge of honor to come in exhausted, eyes red and swollen, feeling cracked out on a daytime cold and flu medicine and telling people, “I’m fine” when we all knew damn well I wasn’t.
Serious credit goes to my last boss on fixing this thought process… At some point she sat us down in a manager’s meeting and said, ENOUGH. She told us, if you’re not feeling well, STAY HOME. First, we don’t want your germs being spread and getting more people sick. Second, take care of yourself and rest so you can come back to work at 100%.
Wow. Game changer.
This was the first company that actually encouraged me to take care of myself, but having a decent Sick Leave policy was what made it possible. When we don’t feel supported, we can’t do what we need to do. This is true in our personal AND professional lives.
Seeing “The Great Resignation” has been eye-opening. America’s workforce is sick and tired of working themselves to the bone without support from their company. There is a demand for some kind of balance between work and personal well-being. What is the point of working if you can’t even do the bare minimum to care for yourself or your family?
It is amazing to see this nationwide demand for better working conditions, something we haven’t seen in at least 100 years. Self-care is a necessity for a good life and it doesn’t always require money or much time even. However, I fully realize the LEVEL of self-care that would be ideal can be a privilege and is definitely a modern construct.
Friday has a different meaning to me now. It doesn’t always mean the end of my workweek anymore as I’m often working weekend shows. In fact I’m often getting ready for the weekend work on Fridays now. But! My personal level of satisfaction and well-being is at an all-time high so that’s okay.
I have more meaning in my life now with Simple Apothecary and I strive to maintain a balance with my personal life. I didn’t go into self-employment only to be continually working as I think that is a harmful preconceived notion and social construct.
Taking time for self-care and ensuring my well-being is of the utmost importance. I strive to show myself respect by taking breaks from work and honoring myself if I don’t feel well. Taking time off and doing things that feel good is a priority, leaving me to return to work refreshed and feeling good.
This may seem a bit hollow at this point in time as Simple Apothecary is comprised of me, myself and I, but I am pledging right now to always treat my future employees with the utmost respect, the same thing I strive to do with myself. Having it written down (so to speak) and published on the website gives me future accountability.
My promise is of course designed to help others (i.e. my future employees), but it’s also somewhat self-serving. I know for a fact that happy employees mean far less turnover and far more productivity. There’s a great example of this success with the story of Dan Price, a CEO who raised the salary of every single employee to a minimum of $70,000 a year. While everyone predicted it would ruin his company, it did the exact opposite.
Nurturing a culture of self-care and well-being is a central theme for the company. In fact, its in the opening line of the Mission Statement:
Simple Apothecary will cultivate a sense of well-being through every aspect of its presence. From the creation and manufacturing of each product, across the length of the customer experience, through every opening of a jar.Simple Apothecary Mission Statement
When I wrote this mission statement, it was as much of a commitment to future employees as it was to the customer. It is also a commitment to myself- I want to be the boss everyone wants to work for AND I want to set the example for the company. I promise that Simple Apothecary will do what it can to facilitate a sense of well-being in ALL of its employees, including me. This will include things like a living wage for all employees, ample sick leave, vacation time, and paid time to volunteer. You can learn more about the entire Ethos of Simple Apothecary here.
I’m curious now. What does “a sense of well-being” mean to you? How has this been facilitated in your work? What would you like to see happen in your workplace? What does your ideal boss and working conditions look like?