In this blog post, we will discuss the various well being in the workplace ideas to create a positive office environment and culture.
Why promote well being in the workplace?
Organisations who support their employees well being see improvements in the following areas:
- Reduced sickness
- Higher productivity
- Increase in customer satisfaction
- Lower turnover
- High job satisfaction
Workplace and positive mental health
It’s been reported that there has been an increase in mental health issues over the past 10 years. This has led to the recognition of the need for workplace wellbeing practises to cover psychosocial needs alongside physical ones. It is important that employers focus on both aspects of employee health and wellness.
Fostering employee well being will help people and businesses. Promoting wellbeing can help prevent stress and create a positive working environment for individuals as well as organisations. A good well being at work contributes to increased levels of employee engagement and organisation performance
The legality of mental health in the workplace
Discrimination against people with mental health issues and esteem issues at work is still prevalent. Despite findings that a significant proportion of the workforce will experience poorer mental health during their career.
The Equality Act 2010 in Great Britain provides substantial protections against disability discrimination for those with mental illnesses. There are a number of conditions that can qualify an individual for protection under the Act. The effect of these conditions needs only be substantive and long-term, with this time period being at least 1 year in length.
Your organisation should make reasonable adjustments to accommodate employees with disabilities, including those with mental health conditions.
Covid-19 and employee wellbeing
COVID-19 has brought a lot of attention to people in recent months, which is a concern in and out of the workplace.
Employers play a very important role in protecting employees from the risk of infection by implementing strict health measures like social distancing. Staff should also be encouraged to work at home where possible and put in place the same vital safety measures for site-based workers like health and social care staff.
Covid-19 and employee mental health
The implications for everyone's health and wellbeing during and after the pandemic are substantial. For example, a health and wellbeing survey found that more than 80% of organisations are concerned about the risk of COVID-19 on employees' mental health.
The social distancing and increased homeworking can make it difficult for employers to care for their employee's wellbeing. But in the face of a global pandemic, it has become more important than ever.
Next, we discuss well being in the workplace ideas to promote a more balanced workforce and happier culture.
Well being in the workplace ideas
The wellbeing policy should be designed in such a way that employees are able to take care of their mental and physical health. A great workspace design reduces stress and makes employees more productive.
1. Physical and nutritional health
As well as making sure the workplace is a safe place to work, companies have to comply with Health and safety regulations. However, taking care of employee physical and nutritional health is important to employee well-being too.
Many companies are providing kitchenware in their spaces to allow for healthier meal options. From introducing soup and smoothie makers to providing healthier options in the staff canteen.
As a result, many of these companies are finding that with improved physical health and nutrition, there is less sickness absence. They also noticed an improvement in their well being score with staff feeling healthier and happier. This often resulted in employees having lifestyle changes outside of work too.
2. Workplace coaching
Japanese culture is a great example of coaching in the workplace. Through the senpai-kouhai (senior-junior) relationship at work, juniors have a mentor in helping them grow and adapt to thriving in the business.
Coaching in the workplace is an important part of success. Coaching can help alleviate conflict, improve performance and show employees how they can assist their teams. You'll find that the employee group will trust each other and unite as a whole. It can even help employees in their personal life, allowing them to overcome their own struggles and perform better in other areas of their life.
This is most successfully achieved when companies introduce life coaching experts to aid in well being. Whether talking about personal issues, helping lose weight or quitting an addiction, speaking with a confidential life coach can help individual happiness.
3. Personal growth
Organisations need to provide employees with opportunities to improve their personal growth.
From career development, positive workplace relationships and allowing creativity to flourish.
Every person wants to feel like they are contributing and making a difference in the workplace. It is not just about the paycheck or getting a promotion, it is about feeling like we are making a difference and that we are doing work that we enjoy.
Personal growth is important for employee well-being because it gives us an opportunity to learn new skills, gain new perspectives, and have more fulfilling careers. This can be achieved by being open to feedback, seeking out opportunities for growth, taking on new challenges at work or outside of work.
4. Office Design
In today’s workplace, employees are being pushed to their limits. They have to work in a fast-paced environment and produce high-quality work in a short period of time. This can be overwhelming for anyone, especially when they have to deal with other office-related problems such as an uncomfortable chair or a bad office design.
Some companies are already taking the initiative and focusing on the well being of their employees by implementing healthier office designs. They do this by creating spaces that promote physical activity and provide more natural light.
Ways to achieve this is by introducing:
Great for allowing lots of light and making office spaces appear bigger. Natural light has been shown to have a positive impact on well being and mental health.
Sit and stand desks:
Standing while working increases blood flow to the brain lifts mood and reduces the risk of weight gain.
The sit/ stand desk allows employees to have the option of standing or sitting. It gives them the flexibility to maximise their comfort and productivity throughout the day.
Tech giants are infamous for having OTT breakout rooms. But creating a break space for your employees needn't be expensive or decadent. It may benefit your employees to have a quiet space to retreat instead of soft furnishing and calm music. Or you could take the lively pool spaces with games machines. Whatever you decide, having a space where your employees can relax their minds is important for regaining energy to return to work.
It is important to understand that people are not just working for the sake of working. They want to be able to work in an environment where they can have social interactions. These interactions are important for employee well being and productivity.
Workplace stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism and turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in three Americans reports experiencing high levels of stress on the job.
Team Building activities can help reduce workplace stress by promoting socialisation and bringing people together.
One study found that team building activities can increase morale, productivity, and quality of work life. They also found that these benefits are most pronounced when employees are engaged in team-building activities with their supervisors or managers.
A well thought out well being policy should be communicated as a core component to the organisational culture. This is especially important in the recruitment phase.
As a committed organisation to well being you should have a clear statement to developing a healthy work environment. This should be clearly stated on job advertisements and any recruiter branding to attract top talent candidates.
As we covered earlier, it’s especially important not to discriminate against mental health in the recruitment phase. If a candidate does disclose their mental health struggles during their interview you should respond with compassion and what you’re willing to do as a responsible organisation to support them.
This gives all candidates a clear guideline on how they can receive support in their role and what the company's limitations are in aiding them.
7. Financial well being
Financial wellbeing is something that many people don't think about. But it is important to take care of it because financial problems can easily turn into mental health problems.
Some of the ways companies can provide financial support to their employees well being are by:
- Having retirement planning
- Having fair pay and benefits
- Flexible working hours
- Child support flexibility
- Employee assistance financial support. (by providing links to external support who can help give free financial advice. (E.g. debts, counselling, financial advisors etc.)
long-term commitments to a better well being
Employers need to start thinking about their culture, leadership and people management as the bedrock for a wellbeing initiative. Therefore, should they neglect these, both employees and the business itself will suffer.
Each individual of the organisation should be recognised and appreciated for their efforts.
With core support by senior management, employees will see these well being efforts as more genuine. With genuine interest, employees can feel valued and supported as important members of the team.
The well being initiatives should constantly be under review. Employers should ask for feedback through employee surveys and keep the communication active.
Caring for the well being of our employees will take your organisation far. A valued employee is more hardworking, productive and proud to do their role for an organisation that has a genuine care for them.
We hope you enjoyed this post on well being in the workplace ideas. For more blog posts like this see our post on: Top 6 Benefits of a Positive Candidate Experience.
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