Well-being at work – and for life



Working capacity can be imagined as a block of flats. You can build your working capacity in the same way as modern properties are constructed and then maintain your property throughout its life cycle. You must estimate the condition of your property regularly, in addition to updating its technology and optimising the conditions.  This will increase the useful life of your building while also making it more pleasant, comfortable and productive. 


Selfish in a healthy way

A building must have solid foundations. Your well-being building is founded on your health and your physical, mental and social ability to function. You are responsible for maintaining these. Your employer is responsible for providing a healthy, safe work environment, along with occupational healthcare services. 


The occupational healthcare unit is there to help you, but you must lay the foundation for your own working capacity.  The occupational healthcare unit cannot decrease the risk caused by lack of exercise or other harmful habits. Employers can purchase expert services from the occupational healthcare unit, but they cannot buy healthy employees. You must take responsibility for your health and ability to function. 


The life-cycle model: a desire and ability to learn

The second floor of your well-being building consists of expertise based on your education, professional knowledge and skills. In Finland, the state provides everyone with a comprehensive education free of charge. Employers later support and supplement this education through internal and external training.


However, a high-quality education does not mean that you are not responsible for your ability and willingness to learn new things. You must have a desire to further develop yourself. Working life keeps changing, and employees must adapt to the changes throughout their careers. You enjoy your work more when your knowledge and skills are up to date.


An optimal attitude

The third floor consists of your personal values, attitudes and level of motivation. These are integral to your working capacity – so much so that they could even be regarded as being part of the foundations of your well-being building. Your attitude plays a significant role in terms of your work and working capacity. If your job gives you more than it takes, it supports and strengthens your working capacity. Consequently, your working capacity suffers if you do not enjoy your work. You should check and optimise your attitude at regular intervals.


The employer’s responsibilities

The top floor of your building is made up of management, the workplace community and working conditions, with the employer being responsible for all of these. This floor also includes the values and attitudes of the workplace, as well as supervisory work and the functionality of the workplace community. The various floors of the building complement one another. Each floor must be built carefully and maintained and renovated continuously, so that the building does not collapse over time.  


Make a commitment to your well-being

My building is important to me, and I want to maintain my working capacity, as I am selling my expertise and professional skills to my employer. We have entered into an agreement: I generate revenues for the company using my expertise, which I maintain and develop further.


I take care of my working capacity, so that I will be able to work as agreed and be compensated for my efforts in line with my employment contract. Even though my job is an important part of my life and identity, I also take care of my health, expertise and professional skills for selfish reasons. I want to remain competitive in the labour market in a constantly changing society and live a long, healthy, happy life. Above all, I want to be a healthy mother, spouse, daughter and friend.


Let’s take care of our well-being buildings throughout their life cycles – for our own sakes!

Niina Mäkelä

The writer is HSE Manager at Are. She takes care of her well-being through winter swimming, going to the gym and reading books. 

occupational healthcare
work capacity
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