How to improve wellbeing in the workplace
Statistics suggest that employees in the UK might not be as happy as you think. According to the National Employee Wellbeing Survey, stress was the cause of almost half of all sick days taken; yet 95% of employees were unwilling to admit this to their bosses. Mental health issues have a serious impact on productivity, morale and staff turnover, yet they’re seldom addressed in the workplace.
Is your company geared towards promoting wellbeing in the office? If not, here are some simple changes you can make to boost the happiness of your staff.
Tips to Improve Employee Wellbeing
Give staff ‘ownership’ of their workplace
A recent study found that staff who were allowed to customise their workspace were happier, healthier and 32% more productive. This means more than just a few personal photos on the desk. By letting employees decorate their work-zone, you’re not only helping them to express themselves creatively, but giving them the autonomy to make decisions – which makes them feel valued.
Encourage regular physical activity
Few things adversely impact mental wellbeing as much as being stuck at a desk for several hours. Research reveals that incorporating physical activity into the working day boosts concentration and engagement, so it’s worthwhile encouraging your staff to get active. Whether it’s taking a five-minute stroll outside or cycling for ten minutes on the office exercise bike, physical stimulation can really help to keep staff productive and happy.
Most issues in the workplace arise through a lack of communication. Allocate time for each member of staff to have regular meetings with either your HR team or yourself; to provide feedback, suggest ideas, and discuss any grievances they might have. These meetings should be held in isolated, relaxing areas of the office – creating a ‘quiet zone’ for this purpose may work well.
Consider flexible working
Lancaster University's recent research found that 70% of companies in the UK will be offering flexible working options to their staff by 2020. When you consider the benefits, it’s hardly surprising. Staff appreciate the ability to successfully combine their home-life with work, and they also value the trust that their employer places in them. Remember, the number of hours worked shouldn’t be the main priority, and nor should visibility in the workplace. Output and productivity are key to the success of your business, and this can be achieved with staff working flexible hours from alternative locations.
Create an inspirational environment to work in
If your current office is cramped, dated or simply depressing, it may be time to search for new premises. Your focus should be on creating a pleasant, inspiring workplace, which is laid out in a way that best supports your staff in their daily practices. Even moving to a larger office can have enormous positive impact on employees.
Personalise their career path
Not all staff respond to the same incentives. One employee may be driven by financial reward, another might prefer extra days off to spend time with their family. Take the time to find out what motivates each employee, then use this knowledge to your (and their) advantage.