The workplace is tougher than ever for many, with 6/10 employees globally now struggling with the effects of stress at work. A 2014 gov.uk study suggested that high levels of employee wellbeing is imperative to producing good business results, with poor levels impacting upon productivity and financial performance.
Looking at these stats, it becomes clear that focusing on improving employee wellbeing in the workplace can be beneficial for everyone – but how can it be done?
Create Informal Spaces
The rigidity and formality of the office can often cultivate an unproductive, stilted workplace. If employees do not have the space to break out from their desks, they may lack opportunities to increase collaboration and creativity. There is also a positive social impact, with informal spaces removing physical blocks between colleagues (such as desks and desktops), and enabling them to converse in a more relaxed environment.
Consider Health and Safety
Regular reviews of health and safety procedures can help to boost employee wellbeing. Consider not just the actual policies, but ways for employees to communicate health and safety concerns or requests. Ensuring employees are kept safe within the office is also key to avoiding accidents and unnecessary illness. Don’t just think on a global level – consider individual needs, such as ergonomic design of workstations or usage of employee kitchens.
Favour a Flexible Working Policy
The average person spends 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work. For many, work commitments can be overwhelming, and can often leave little time for other important self-care commitments. Flexible working can help solve the issue of work/life balance for the average employee – being able to choose working hours can allow them time to attend important health appointments that are only available during 9-5 hours, for example, or to avoid commutes made stressful by train strikes, while still maintaining dedication to workload.
Assign Realistic Workloads
The recent news of the French ‘right to disconnect’ law has sparked discussion within many global businesses regarding the relation between workload, particularly out-of-hours workload, and employee wellbeing. Taking time to consider workload policies (along with ensuring they are enforced), and gathering feedback on how workloads are managed by employees, can make great strides in improving employee wellbeing.