It is 2 o’clock in the afternoon. You are sitting at your work desk, exhausted from the day’s work. You want to take a nap, play with your pet, and listen to some acoustic songs until you realize all that is not possible because you still have some hours left before you are allowed to go home. Moreover, it is a Wednesday, and you finally understand the quarter-life crisis John Mayer was talking about. Workplace Wellbeing is a necessary part of work culture these days. It benefits not only the employees but also the employers and helps in individual and organizational growth.
1. What is Workplace well-being?
Workplace Well-being refers to a work environment with happy and healthy employees. It includes factors like safety, fitness (both mental and physical), belongingness, productivity, and nourishment at workplaces.
Visit these links to learn about some methods to improve mental and physical well-being.
2. Why Does Every Office Need Workplace Wellness Programs?
Mental health has been one of the most discussed subjects of the last few decades. However, according to the Public Service Employee Survey, 2019, only 62.3% of Canadian employees described their workplace as psychologically healthy.
While this isn’t shocking considering the current rise in mental illness among youth, It is an alarming call for organizations and offices to follow some Workplace Wellbeing Programs.
2.1. It Reduces Health Risks
Remember the old saying, “Health is Wealth.”? You must be tired of hearing it all the time, but these words still prove to be golden as the same old saying is pushing many organizations to invest in human resources these days. With corporate lifestyle allowing little time for personal health, Workplace Wellbeing Programs are necessary for offices to motivate physical fitness and healthy behaviour.
They reduce the risks of lifestyle-related illnesses like elevated blood glucose levels, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other problems caused by an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.
Moreover, Workplace Wellness also reduces healthcare costs in the long run. It will reduce liabilities, insurance, compensation, and other social security expenses that the company usually provides to an employee.
2.2. It Decreases Absenteeism
Many surveys have already declared that a workplace with effective workplace well-being customs reduces the number of absentees and improves work-life balance. This is due to the better health conditions and lower stress levels of employees. Why will there be all the fuss about Monday morning blues if you love your office?
2.3. It Helps in Increasing Productivity
A healthy workplace gives satisfaction to people and gives them the motivation to work better. This intrinsic motivation that comes from within thus helps increase productivity and, in turn, benefits both the employer and the employees.
Ever dreamt of going on a road trip sitting on your swivel chair? It often happens that employees are physically present in the office but cannot work to their full potential because they are sick or simply not focused. Workplace well-being thus reduces this ‘presenteeism’.
2.4. It Makes Your Office Popular and Instills Team Spirit among its Employees
An office with a gym, a nap room, or a gaming area is no less than a dream, and an office that listens to your suggestions and welcomes ideas makes people feel valued and respected. An interactive environment gives them a feeling of belongingness and shared interests toward a common goal. Who doesn’t like an office that caters to your needs?
3. Use These 7 Ideas to Improve Workplace Wellbeing
According to the Prowell Model of Workplace Health and well-being, there are seven dimensions that contribute to workplace performance. They are organized as essential components of the major three domains of well-being- Physical, Mental, and social.
These Seven Dimensions of Workplace well-being also correspond to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs and motivation. It includes Biological and physiological Needs; Safety Needs; Belongingness and love Needs; Esteem Needs; Cognitive Needs and Self-Actualization. Thus, these dimensions can be used to improve workplace well-being.
3.1. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
Offices can provide healthy snacks or lunch as a part of their schedule. The architecture of the office can be designed such that it helps in some physical activity without exhausting the people there. Moreover, it can help in reducing the risks of continuous sedentary postures.
Adding motivating thoughts and quotes in the work environment will provide the employees with a healthy spirit and remind them to follow healthy behaviours.
Employees can be provided with bicycles for transportation and sports breaks for recreation. Employers can plan work outings and walking meetings. Walking meetings help in physical fitness and have also proved to boost creative output by 60%.
A gym or a yoga center might seem expensive to install but can benefit the organization as a whole. Employees can be encouraged to participate in weekly fitness challenges through small goals at the workplace. To know more about how you can improve your health, visit The Top Tips to Eat Well and Stay Healthy
3.2. Provide Comfort
All individuals are unique in their own way, mentally and physically, and so are their needs. Offices can interact with their employees about their basic environment and work needs and provide them with those if possible. For instance- the right chair!
Introduce flexible working hours to maximize productivity. Although discipline is essential in workplaces, a rigid time structure at offices sometimes limits the potential of the night owls and leads to presenteeism. Flexibility, however, reduces stress and improves mood. Allow ‘Work From Home’ to employees if needed.
- Unsick Day– It is a US-based initiative that introduces an off day for preventive care. Its website defines Unsick Day as
”A day off to visit the doctor when you aren’t sick. Take care of the important appointments that are easy to put off, like physicals and teeth cleanings, all with your company’s support. A healthier you means a healthier workplace. Everybody wins.”[/mfn].
3.3. Cognitive Wellbeing
Our body responds to stimuli; therefore, Workplaces must address the comforts of the major sensory receptors in our body and use them to improve the well-being and health of their members.
The smallest things like the colour of the room or the brightness of the blocks can affect our body’s senses. For instance, fluorescent light bulbs make some people dizzy and can cause fatigue and nausea. Specific colours are associated with increased eyestrain and metabolism. Therefore workplaces must include soothing colours that instil positive energy in the employees. You can also add inspiring Art pieces or greenery to the place.
Some people prefer to work in quiet surroundings while some can only explore their creativity in a chatty coffeehouse. Some like to think while listening to music, while others prefer complete silence. Offices can customize these needs and provide people with the auditory comfort that they require to work effectively and efficiently. It can be done by installing music facilities, thinking spaces, meditation rooms, etc.
Employees should be identified, and their allergies should be cared for. The job of the office should not only be to add plants at workplaces but also to know if any of its employees are allergic to any species. The offices must have separate smoking zones and should ideally be away from a polluted environment containing hazardous air.
The place must not be either too hot or too cold. Any discomfort to the employees can show in their work.
3.4. Provide a Healthy and Secure Work Environment
Workplaces should always be impartial and should promote healthy competition. The employees should be encouraged to work as a team. Learning should be focused upon. It should be free of prejudices and should never belittle someone’s voice.
This can be encouraged by slackening the workplace hierarchy and promoting gender equality in offices. Ideas should be acknowledged and appreciated irrespective of the person’s gender, position, age, race, or faith.
A secure work environment includes safety aids such as CCTVs and biometrics, to monitor unauthorized accesses. Offices must train their employees in safety measures for crises or accidents. It should make internal cells to address workplace bullying or harassment. Any issue addressed should be positively acted upon.
3.5. Additional Assistance
Additional assistance for employees like on-site daycare for children and pets, hospitals, Power yoga facilities, gaming areas, and mental health professionals who ensure confidentiality supports the Workplace well-being initiative.
3.6. Introduce Experimental Spaces
Google’s campus offers an all-encompassing wellness program which besides offering basic healthcare and fitness space also includes access to cooking classes, coding degree programs, and guitar lessons.
Microsoft offers Zumba classes, onsite walking, and running tracks, along with basketball, volleyball, and baseball courts. Asana provides its employees with ‘nap rooms’ to rest up, recharge, and de-stress. Offices can take examples of these big companies to try experimental spaces for the well-being of their employees.
3.7. Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
Encourage honest communication. The most important factor to consider at workplaces is mental health; since mental health is a consequence of all the other elements in the workplace. Schedule counselling sessions and listen to their rants about stress and workload. Look into their complaints and work to lessen their pressure.
4. In The End
Offices can plan mindfulness programs to reduce the workplace anxiety of their employees. They can install thinking rooms and meditation spots and organize problem-solving workshops to promote good mental health and creativity, which also ensures their cognitive well-being.
Workplaces should provide time for recreational activities and plan de-stressing events and activities such as open mics or a monthly basketball game among the employees. It also encourages digital detoxification.
Celebration of birthdays and completed projects helps the employees connect, which is necessary for mental well-being at workplaces and reduces stress.
Personal and professional accomplishments should be valued, and recognition should be made a part of the office culture. Workplace well-being makes the employees feel valued at their workplaces to work better.
5. Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Is Wellbeing at Workplace?
Workplace Well-being relates to all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how workers feel about their work, their working environment, the climate at work, and work organization.
Q2. What Are the 5 Areas of Wellbeing?
Physical well-being, financial well-being, career well-being, social well-being, and community well-being.
Q3. What Are the 7 C’s of Wellbeing?
Competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping, and control.