The importance of improving employee wellbeing in the workplace cannot be understated – a 2016 Guardian study found that up to 43% of today’s workforce experienced work-related stress to some degree, at least half of the time.
With employers facing increasing pressure to alleviate the stresses and issues that a fast-paced workplace can create, cost-effective promotion of wellbeing can become an easy way of avoiding staff dissatisfaction and health issues.
Allowing the freedom to work from home when someone is in need of childcare, for example, can help to reduce the loss of productivity, since the employee likely has no choice but to stay at home.
Introduce Perks and Incentives
Breaking up the standard working day or week is an easy and effective way of promoting positivity in the workplace.
There are plenty of ideas, based on any budget, that could work – from a ‘social hour’ on a Friday, where employees can down tools early and share refreshments together; regular staff parties or celebrations; free lunches or even dress-down days. Anything that can increase positive conversation in the workplace can go a long way to promoting wellbeing.
Consider a Clear Desk Policy
Asking employees to commit to a clear desk policy can bolster a happier outlook in the office.
A clean and clear work space immediately looks better, and makes life easier for everyone – when office paraphernalia is properly organised and put back in its correct place, time is not wasted trying to track it down when needed.
Invest in Your Kitchen
This doesn’t mean a pricey kitchen refit. Something as simple as ensuring there are enough clean tea towels can be a surprisingly easy positive contribution.
If you do have the means to take it further, consider adding a dishwasher. Not only is it a great time saver, but the hygiene aspect can help to avoid spreading germs around the office (we all know someone who doesn’t bother to wash up their mug or cutlery from lunch properly).
Get Involved in Community Outreach
An excellent way to boost a positive atmosphere is to get involved in the local community, and look for charitable opportunities. Giving employees something to focus on beyond their day-to-work, as well as something that is inherently positive, like charity work, is a win-win situation.
Discourage ‘constant work’ Culture
A huge issue for today’s workforce is the culture of always being ‘on’ and never taking a break. Encourage employees to take a proper lunch break, away from their desk, as this can improve concentration as well as provide a much-needed rest. Consider adding social areas to your workspace, where employees can take breaks together. Also, determine if you can make it easier for employees to access fresh air during their breaks.
The same rules can apply to working late – if you find that employees are embedded in a culture of working late ‘just because’, take steps to ensure they leave on time. If employees are finding working late necessary just to get through their workload, ask why – is it a case of them having too much to do, or do they perhaps need extra support in their role? This is a major key to avoiding work-related stress, so if you’re not able to make any other changes, do try to ensure you at least look at this one.