The modern workplace is more competitive than ever. With the ability to work from home, on-demand technology and remote work increasing every day, employers need to stand out in order to attract and retain top talent, and this starts with wellbeing in the workplace.
More and more companies are focusing on creating employee-centric workplaces that focus on employee happiness and wellbeing.
These spaces help employees feel more connected, less stressed, happier and healthier. A study by Gallup found that businesses with high employee engagement have an average turnover rate of 5% vs. 20% in low-engagement organisations.
Let’s take a look at why employee wellbeing in the workplace is so important and how it can be achieved through a few simple changes.
What is employee wellbeing?
Employee wellbeing is based on the overall health and happiness of employees. It includes a variety of factors, such as nutrition, fitness, mental health and so on. Employee wellbeing plays a significant role in productivity, retention and engagement.
Wellbeing is important as it can improve not only the employee’s performance but can also reduce healthcare costs for the organisation. Wellbeing programs can improve employee health by providing them with the tools to live healthier lives. It can also reduce absenteeism, improve employee morale and increase productivity.
Why is wellbeing in the workplace so important?
As mentioned, wellbeing can improve productivity, retention, and engagement. A few key statistics show why wellbeing in the workplace is so important:
- The cost of absenteeism is around $200 billion annually
- Poor health and wellness are linked to 50% of all employee sick days
- The average cost of a single absence is around $2,000
- Lifestyle choices drive 80% of healthcare costs
- The average annual health care cost per employee is $5,000
These statistics show that having a workplace focused on health and wellbeing can reduce costs and make employees happier.
5 ways to create a workspace for wellbeing
There are a number of ways employers can create a workspace for wellness, such as the following:
- Healthy Eating – Employees who eat well will be healthier, feel better, and have more energy.
- Healthy Living – Employers can also provide resources for employees to live more sustainable, healthy lives.
- Healthy Rewards – Rewards are helpful for employee recognition, but unhealthy rewards can lead to unhealthy habits.
- Healthy Habits – Employers can also set aside time for employees to focus on their wellness, including meditation and stress-reduction activities.
- Healthy Workspace – Employers can also make small changes to the physical workspace to promote wellness, such as breakout areas and quiet zones.
Commit to Transparency
Transparency is important in any workplace, but it is especially important in an employee-centric business that champions wellbeing in the workplace. If employees feel like management is hiding something from them, it can lead to distrust and decreased engagement. This can also lead to increased turnover. Instead, commit to transparency by sharing information about the company with employees. You can do this in a number of ways, including having managers host office hours, sending newsletters, and hosting town halls and Q&A sessions.
Install lighting and indoor air quality improvements
Lighting and air quality improvements are small changes that will make a big difference in employee wellbeing. Start by upgrading your lighting to include more blue light. Blue light is helpful for productivity, but excess red light can lead to eye strain. You can also improve air quality by using advanced filtration systems and improving ventilation. Poor indoor air quality seriously affects employee wellbeing. This is especially true in industrial buildings. But offices can be just as damaging to employee wellbeing, which in turn affects productivity.
Offer fitness and wellness programs
Provide fitness and wellness programs for employees to improve their health and wellbeing. Also, make sure to partner with local businesses that provide fitness and wellness resources. You can also partner with health care providers to provide health assessments and information about lifestyle choices, which can help employees steer their wellness in a direction of their choosing.
These wellness and fitness programs can be as simple as bringing fitness classes to the office or providing a gym membership for employees. Also, encouraging your employees to take regular breaks from their desks, either for walking meetings or just to refocus for a bit, is a great way to promote activity.
Help with food and dining options
Employers should also help with food and dining options by providing healthy food options and dietary accommodations. You can provide healthy food options by partnering with a meal delivery service or installing a fully-stocked kitchen.
Alternatively, you could make the conscious decision to stock your vending machines with healthier options. No need to do away with everyone’s favourites, just slowly add more healthy choices as time goes on.
Some employers also provide food delivery and grocery delivery services to make it easier for employees to access healthy food, so they don’t have to leave the office in a rush for the nearest fast food restaurant. You can also make dietary accommodations by partnering with food delivery services that offer options for special diets, such as plant-based or gluten-free diets.
Employee wellbeing in the workplace is crucial, and there are many ways to create a more employee-centric work environment. Employers can start by improving lighting and air quality, providing fitness and wellness programs, and helping employees with dietary options.
Employers should also commit to transparency and make sure to provide small changes that will make a big difference in the mental wellbeing of staff and contractors. Having an employee-centric workspace will help attract and retain top talent, which can help employers win in the modern business landscape.