A resounding message to come out of 2020 is that workplace wellness is not only important, it’s paramount.
It used to be, “So much has changed in the last five or ten years.” However, we are living in an age when significant and long-term change takes effect in a year. Therefore it is up to companies and organizations to recognize these changes and implement them to improve employee wellbeing.
Why Prioritizing Work Wellness is Fundamental For Your Business
Work wellness has been a central focus for some time, but it first gained attention in the collective consciousness of every HR manager and CEO when Mercer revealed in their 2018 Global Talent Trend how influential it is to business success. In light of this, here are some of the reasons you should focus on wellness in your business:
Wellness has a significant impact on the retention of employees in the workplace. Employees are more likely to see themselves remain in long-term employ at a company that prioritizes wellness and company culture as part of their philosophy.
As a business having to replace employees is a high-cost and labor-intensive experience that is avoidable. The average company spends 50% of an entry-level employee’s annual salary replacing them, the cost increases for executive or management level personnel
Healthier employees tend to be more productive. One 2017 study revealed that employee productivity improves by up to 5% – the equivalent to one full day of work a month – when their perception of wellness improves.
Conversely, employees who are disengaged and unproductive are reported to cost US companies $550 billion annually, as detailed in a report by the Engagement Institute
When retention rates, productivity, and morale are high, it’s only natural to expect an increase in competitiveness. Not only do most of the top-performing companies report increased levels of satisfaction and wellbeing from their employees, but this is also confirmed according to a meta-analysis conducted by the World Economic Forum.
Employee attraction is the key to ensuring your business is future-proof. As a business, your success depends on attracting premium talent.
Although there aren’t any official figures surrounding the effects of wellbeing on headhunting efforts, because working for a company where healthcare and wellness are priorities is advantageous to many workers, it’s reasonable to think that new talent will consider these aspects when choosing an employer.
How To Improve Your Company’s Approach To Work Wellness
Designate A Wellness Space
Your company’s wellness space should be a designated area away from the office bustle, where employees can go to recoup from illness or strain. The space should be – at the very least – 9 x 9 and should include furnishings that can be kept sterile but also enhance comfort. Consider using laminate for flooring and polyurethane for furnishings to ensure the area is easy to clean.
Using indirect light sources such as lamps and adding warmth to the room through the choice of color, warm or cool-toned neutrals – besides white – are ideal. The primary pieces that make up a wellness room are a reclining seat, a table, and storage for necessities like water. However, you can consider improving the space with other furnishings and decor.
For example, you can make the room cozy by adding paintings, plants, and other calming pieces.
Hone In On Individual Employee Needs
Your employees’ needs will change during their time in your employ. One predictable change is motherhood. According to requirements laid out by the FLSA, employers are required to provide a space that is shielded from public view for nursing mothers to express milk, this space cannot be a bathroom. Beyond these basic requirements, this is a key opportunity to improve wellness by creating a comfortable, functional, and serene space. A haven for new mothers. In the same vein as a designated wellness space, the room should be comfortable and clean.
Not only has the pandemic revealed how crucial flexibility is to the overall wellbeing of employees but it’s something workers have valued for some time. As more employees return to the office, consider keeping some of the positive workplace experiences. Creating a balanced environment, for example, by allowing employees to work within the office and from home, can be one way to incorporate flexibility into your workplace.
Besides all of the above criteria, the future of work wellness will depend on empathy, as discussed in Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2020. Senior management and middle management should be encouraged to be empathetic as animosity between employees and management, because of a lack of empathy, is attributed to 75% of avoidable resignations according to research by Gallup where they surveyed 1 million employees.
Ultimately, the future of work wellness lies in a delicate balance between physical and functional spaces and company culture. It’s by finding this balance that you’ll build a future-proof workplace.
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