April is stress awareness month, so there is no better time for us to write an article about workplace health and wellbeing than now. Workplace wellbeing has been an ongoing trend which has seen meteoric growth in the last few years. The 2020 pandemic triggered a huge shift in focus towards better workplace health and wellbeing practices in a bid to aid employees in dealing with stress, anxiety and uncertainty. As things settle in 2022, new trends are emerging that will shape the new normal of our workplaces.
Today, we have a look at 6 ways managers can redesign work to support well-being and yield long-term benefits to any organisation and its employees. Read on to find out more!
1. Encourage Physical Activity
Physical activity plays an important role in employees’ health, well-being, and quality of life. A healthy employee is also one that is more productive, better motivated and less likely to require sick leave. Remaining physically active can be challenging in office situations, which is why managers are encouraged to think outside of the box when it comes to promoting physical activity in the workplace. A great way to encourage employees to remain active is to provide an on-site gym or other activity facilities such as walking paths or the introduction of standing desks. For a range of top quality stand up desks, be sure to visit https://standdesk.com.au.
Aside from in-office activities, organising corporate hikes, walks and other sporting events can be another effective way of encouraging employees to remain active, fit and healthy.
2. Embrace Flexibility
Work-life balance is an important aspect of any healthy work environment. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. As such, managers are encouraged to embrace flexibility when it comes to work schedules. Implementing flexible arrangements can lead to greater employee engagement and productivity, better staff retention and an overall healthier and happier pool of workers. One great example of schedule flexibility comes in the form of remote working. Some of the benefits of remote working include:
Less stress from having to commute to work on a daily basis;
Better work/life balance;
Better job satisfaction; and
Custom environments that are more conducive to work.
3. Create Awareness Of Mental Health
Creating a mentally healthy workplace has many benefits for both employers and employees. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and other dissociative disorders have been on a steady rise over the last few years, making it more important than ever for managers to create awareness of mental health.
Some ways you can do this include removing stress where possible by setting expectations about workloads, prioritising what must get done, and acknowledging what can slide if necessary. Ensure that your team is made aware of available mental health resources and encourage them to use them whenever they feel overwhelmed or burnt out. Recognising and promoting mental health is an essential part of creating a safe and healthy workplace and is vital in creating a healthier and happier environment for both management and staff.
4. Design A Healthy Work Environment
It comes as no surprise that the office environment itself can have a huge impact on performance and productivity among employees. As such, it is important that managers focus some effort into creating a healthy, productive office space that everyone can stand to benefit from. One great way to create a more positive work environment is to ensure that your space is clean, organised and well thought out. We highly recommend plenty of natural light, good air flow, and the inclusion of indoor plants that are proven to improve focus, clarity and creativity.
If possible, providing a pantry area or separate section of the office where staff can take a much needed break is also advised. Don’t forget to include some complimentary coffee, drinks and snacks to keep staff as comfortable as possible during gruelling work hours.
5. Employee Recognition
Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and that includes your employees. Recognition at work can motivate employees, offering them a sense of accomplishment and value. Numerous studies have also found that recognition is more effective and memorable if it comes from a manager or company leader, as opposed to a happy client or customer.
Recognising your employees’ efforts can be as simple as sending a handwritten note to say thanks, a gift hamper for excellent performance or a publicly acknowledged award. For some other ideas that you can implement, be sure to have a look at this page.
6. Conduct Regular Check Ins
Last but not least, conducting regular check-ins with your staff is always recommended. Meeting regularly with your employees and maintaining open communication lines can help managers recognise if a staff member appears to be overwhelmed or overly stressed. It is also important that managers pay attention to any changes in thinking, performance or behaviour that are often telltale signs of exhaustion or burnout.
If you are worrying about an employee’s wellbeing, it’s important to set up a meeting that won’t intimidate or frighten them. You can also consult your organisation’s employee assistance program provider for further assistance or advice on the matter. Whatever the case, be sure to practise compassion, care and understanding if someone is struggling.
Promoting workplace wellness and organising wellbeing initiatives starts at the top. When you invest in wellness, you are also investing in your most valuable asset: your people.
How do you maintain a healthy workspace? Don’t be shy – share some ideas in the comment section below!