IMPROVING EMPLOYEE WELLBEING – In the Office and Working From Home
The last 2 years has thrown a lot at us all. We have encountered a lot of disruption in the business world. However, there have been a few positives to come out of this global experience. One of them being an unprecedented focus on employee wellbeing. The mental, physical and emotional health of team members has become incredibly important to help businesses maintain momentum. Companies that have nailed their health initiatives have thrived.
80% of large and 50% of small companies have implemented employee wellbeing programs among their teams. Whether in the form of activities, incentives or company-wide policies, wellness initiatives should be as varied as the individuals they’re looking to serve. Different though they may be, the desired outcome is the same: better physical health, greater resilience, and increased productivity at work.
We’ve seen and facilitated many effective initiatives at Impact. All are trying to have a positive effect on employee wellbeing. Generally, they can be divided into three categories:
Flexible work hours and paid parental leave are great examples that have employee wellbeing at the heart. Employer-funded professional development and education are effective at improving growth and satisfaction in the workplace. Clear and easily accessible feedback processes can also be included here.
Many workplaces have had success with in-house yoga, meditation and gym classes. These programs allow for a scheduled mental break in the workday and a way to get moving. Others have financially incentivised physical activities that can be completed by remote and WFH teams. Some companies offer money prizes and self-care bonuses for reaching goals and trying new things. Charity work, company retreats and allotted personal project time can also be opportunities to recharge.
Employers can support their team’s wellbeing by adjusting the environment where they work. Healthy snacks can replace lollies and biscuits in the lunchroom. More natural light, plants for air quality and making stairs an appealing option over the elevator will all support a healthier way of life. For employees at home, making sure they have an ergonomic workspace and the supplies they need can make their physical spaces more inviting and healthy.
“Soliciting feedback from employees on their interests prior to picking a wellness program is essential to its success. Everyone sees wellness from a different perspective and enjoys different activities.”
– Josh Awad, Depression Alliance
For those not in the office, maintaining relationships is top priority. Working from home, sometimes in literal isolation, has been seen to disrupt employee wellbeing in a major way. Therefore, programs that encourage individuals to be social and reach out are invaluable. All efforts need to be genuine, though. The Director of Health and Wellbeing at Price Waterhouse Coopers, Sharon Ponniah, gives the following advice:
- Maintain connections.
- Be authentic and honest.
- Understand and acknowledge that circumstances and preferences vary widely. So be ready to address the actual needs of your team.
- Encourage meaningful breaks throughout the day and facilitate time outs.
Wellness initiatives that actually work are intrinsic to company culture. Building an atmosphere of compassion and genuine care in the workplace and at-home workspace are essential for getting through this period with our health intact.
If you’re looking to reach out to your remote teams and boost your employees’ wellbeing, Impact can help.