As the world reopens and life becomes its face-paced, hectic self again, this year's World Wellbeing Week is more important than ever. When you spend a third of your life at work every year, being happy, healthy, and content is vital for your well-being.
Studies have shown that companies who don't support the well-being of their employees have noticed an increase in absenteeism, reduction in employee engagement and ultimately a drop in productivity.
Mentalhealth.org recently published the following statistics,
- 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace
- 12.7% of all sickness days in the UK have been attributed to mental health
It raises the question – what can employers do to support employees and bring harmony to the workplace? With employees returning to the office, many for the first time in over a year, it is expected that workplace anxiety and stress will increase therefore, businesses need to be supporting their employees and their well-being.
In recent years companies have begun introducing wellness policies and benefits into the workplace, from an extra day holiday for your birthday, to gym memberships, to workplace counselling. Companies are starting to prioritise the well-being of their employees, knowing that supported employees will be more productive and the workplace will be a happier environment. There is a range of ways a business can support employee well-being, but essentially it comes down to three areas – physical health, mental health, and office environment.
We are looking at some of those companies and seeing what they have introduced to the workplace.
ASOS recently announced the introduction of summer hours where staff get to finish at 3pm every Friday over summer allowing employees to focus on themselves. This incentive is on top of the multitude of benefits they offer that fall under the categories of health, wealth, and inner self.
The accountancy firm, KPMG, consulted with their employees regarding a return to the office post-lockdown. As a result of the consultation, they announced that staff would be splitting their workweek between home, the office, and site visits allowing for a greater work/life balance. In addition to this, to promote and encourage well-being amongst their employees, they also announced that any staff who completes their 35 hours of work per week would be given an extra two-and-a-half hours off per week so they can relax, reconnect, and recover.
When Norwich based retailer, Naked Wines, renovated their office, they designed an environment that would feel less corporate and more like working with your mates. As part of their initiatives to improve employee well-being, they have introduced post-work Friday beers, ping pong and table football tables, and boot camp training sessions. When they were at the drawing table for their new workspace, they looked at the stairs and thought, why walk down the stairs? Why not use a giant slide! They have created an office environment that makes the day fun.
Named the Fastest Growing Company in Europe by The Financial Times, Perkbox has put employee well-being as a core value of their beliefs. Naked Wines has established a work environment that is both human and dog friendly. They also organise team-building events, from wine tasting to awards. Ultimately, creating a workplace that is fun, supportive, and inclusive. They also provide their employees with wellness and workout guides to ensure their mental and physical health is looked after.
These are just some of the thousands of companies that have begun to prioritise employee well-being. Looking after your employees no longer stops at health and safety guidelines, but ensuring your workplace promotes the health and well-being of its employees as a priority will help your business retain staff and attract new talent in the long run.
Businesses that have implemented wellness initiatives into the workplace have noticed an increase in productivity by 12%. Are initiatives like those discussed above enough to make employees feel like their well-being is valued by their employers, or is there still room for improvement?