Research has found that when organizations focus as much on well-being as they do on productivity, it resulted in a simultaneous boost in both the output and health levels of workers.
It should come as no surprise that healthier and happier employees are more productive. When we eat better and exercise more we are usually less tired and find it much easier to focus better and for longer. In fact, unhealthy lifestyles are correlated to unproductive workplace habits.
Although physical wellness is important, it is only one of the wellness dimensions that should to be considered when addressing wellbeing. In fact, there are three wellness dimensions: physical wellness, emotional wellness and social wellness. Each dimension plays an important role in improving employee wellbeing, and it is essential for the business managers looking to improve employee wellbeing to consider each dimension.
10 ways to Improve Wellbeing In The Workplace
1. Know your vision and values - engage with employees before deciding on any changes – to get an insight into current wellbeing levels and feedback on how to boost this. Creating a collaborative culture, with philanthropy at its core, is likely to be well received by staff.
2. Work smarter - look at workflows and patterns, sizes and locations of teams, desk ratios, use of technology and meeting rooms, facilities for mobile workers and provision of support/recreational spaces. A workspace that sounds, looks, feels and smells great, and reflects the individuality of the people in it, while meeting business needs, will be more efficient and morale-boosting.
3. See the light - Bring the great outdoors inside. Workers who have outside views are likely to be up to 25% more productive and process calls 12% faster, according to World Green Building Council research. Exposure to natural light increases productivity by 18% and better lighting in general pushes up work rates by 23%.
4. Breathe easy - Research suggests that improved air quality and ventilation increase productivity by up to 11% and thermal comfort by 3% - which doesn’t necessarily require fancy ventilation, air conditioning and heating systems, although these will help too. Humble indoor plants don’t just look nice; they also work quietly behind the scenes to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
5. Turn down the volume - Phones ringing, conversations and a general background hum can make it hard, if not impossible, for people to concentrate. By looking into providing quiet spaces for colleagues to work can decrease employee dissatisfaction.
6. Add a splash of colour - Yellow gets the creative juices flowing, green reduces stress and promotes calmness and blue promotes focus. Introducing splashes of colour, art, greenery and bringing the outdoors indoors can all contribute to wellbeing.
7. Get fit for work - Some 45% of workers complain that they have a stressful journey to the office, according to the British Council for Offices. So why not encourage employees to get on their bike or walk to work. Not only will they avoid being stuck in rush-hour traffic, but they will also get a boost of exercise-induced happy hormones before the working day even begins. Install cycle racks, a shower, changing room and lockers, which will also help you to increase your environmental rating. Or consider having a gym on-site or offering staff a discounted membership to a nearby gym.
8. Get your five-a-day - By providing healthy meal options, a juice bar, free fruit or even just somewhere for people to prepare good food, you’ll be helping them to eat well and keep their brains and bodies awake and alert. Also consider introducing break-out or relaxation areas where people can go to get away from their desks, get a change of scene, unwind or think creatively.
9. Get moving -
Workers sit for an average of 8.9 hours a day, according to the Get Britain Standing campaign – for many, that’s longer than they sleep. Sitting at a desk for longer than four hours a day causes stiffness, back pain and muscular problems, and it can disrupt blood sugar levels. Consider buying furniture to encourage people to get moving and be less sedentary. Staff who use standing or adjustable desks, sit-stand stools or chairs, and balance boards report less muscular pain, more energy and a greater focus. Also encourage regular breaks away from their desks.
10. Work on the move - Working nine to five, and only ever in the office, is a thing of the past for many people. Thanks to technology, people are increasingly getting their work done away from the office and at all times of the day and night. Consider offering flexible working hours and the ability to work from home, and on the move, in a bid to increase productivity.