What does wellbeing at work look like?
There’s no question that the COVID pandemic has massively impacted the way in which we work, with more companies than ever seeing a shift towards focusing on employee wellbeing rather than simply performance. So what exactly does wellbeing at work look like and how do we promote this further?
What is workplace wellbeing?
Wellbeing is essentially the conjoined aspects of a person’s life; their physical health, their mental health, their emotional health, their stress levels, their personal relationships, their lifestyle habits. Everything that happens in a person’s life can contribute towards their overall feelings about it, and whether or not they feel safe and well.
When you talk specifically about workplace wellbeing, it’s about the factors that can be controlled by the company and the ones which encompass the role itself. So this could include various aspects, such as workload, responsibilities, expectations, working hours, working environment, relationships with colleagues and work-life balance.
The coronavirus pandemic and the shift towards working from home (for many) highlighted that we were often tipping the scales in the wrong direction where working hours, expectations and ultimately, work-life balance is concerned. This has driven a large number of companies to not only focus on how to foster wellbeing in the workplace, but also the value it offers.
The value of workplace wellbeing
Obviously, the first value of focusing on workplace wellbeing is a happier team. But there are a number of other benefits too, especially for the company.
Firstly, happier, healthier staff are far more likely to be more engaged with the company and the work they’re doing. The positive effects on productivity with this are two-fold, as it’s naturally harder for people to be productive if they feel they are suffering with their mental health. So combatting this and working towards making your employees happy can help to see a massive spike in productivity.
This also normally leads to higher staff retention rates, and can help to attract the best talent. Creating a happy, healthy workplace environment means that fewer people look to work elsewhere, in turn saving the company money on hiring costs. It can also save the company money on sickness absences.
Ultimately though, ensuring employees wellbeing is at the top of the priority list creates a healthier, more positive working culture which has a knock-on effect on all areas of the business.
How to foster wellbeing in the workplace
The important place to start is to realise that workplace wellbeing shouldn’t be considered an “add-on” or something that would be nice to have; it needs to be ingrained into the company culture and reflected in the other policies of the business. For example, it would be hard for a company to claim that they valued wellbeing and work-life balance if their employee working hours were 48 a week, full-time in an office.
A good place to start with workplace wellbeing is to ask your employees what they need. This is because ‘wellbeing’ looks different to everyone and there is very rarely a one-size-fits-all answer.
However, popular inclusions are hybrid working, unlimited annual leave, flexible hours, and company social events, all of which we at Dice offer. There are also a number of other things you could explore including access to mental health apps for employees, sports and wellness activities or “mental health days”. It’s all about doing your research, listening to your employees and finding a strategy that works for you.