It’s no doubt how the global zeitgeist has become more focused on health and wellbeing as a whole over the recent past. It is equally true that some of this has integrated into our working lives. In fact, before lockdown, it was becoming more common to hear of free fruit in the office, discount schemes and more in day-to-day jobs.
In their 2018 study, Working Well: A global survey of workforce wellbeing strategies, Buck found that 40% of businesses had achieved a culture of wellbeing, as opposed to 33% in 2016. When looking into the types of schemes that employers are utilising, the study reported that the “most rapidly growing and highly-rated offerings were flexible work policies and wearable sensors/trackers to assist with sustainable lifestyle change.”
And, looking forward it seems the numbers are only going to increase as “over half of respondents intend to add several offerings within three years.”
What’s more, we’d predict that the on-going COVID-19 pandemic will garner further calls from employees for their workplaces to embrace a culture of workplace wellbeing and we could potentially see a seismic acceleration in the implementation of these schemes when the economy bounces back.
With these simple initiatives can come great reward, however. Because, although businesses will have to implement them and pay for them, the health and happiness of our employees translate directly to their output. Whether it’s staff feeling happier and more excited to come into work or staff being healthier in themselves and minimising the number of sick days and doctor visits needed, helping our staff live healthier lives means that they will be in a better place to create great work.
Think of your workforce like a car. A car that is well-maintained with frequent services, looked after with care and filled with the highest quality fuel is much more likely to work better and last longer than a vehicle that is given simply the minimum amount of attention. Your workforce is the same, and the more you put into them the more they are likely to give back.
In their study, Ten Years Of Health And Well-Being At Work: Learning from our past and reimagining the future, Optum explored advocacy services, which help aide employees with complex health conditions, and reported that: “Employers who have contracted with these services are reporting success. In fact, nearly two-thirds of these employers are noting better health outcomes, improved productivity at work and increased utilisation of the right benefits and services.”
When looking for a new job, it seems that a positive work-life balance is one of the main driving factors people consider. This work-life balance means that people are looking for a job that won’t occupy their private time and will give them the opportunity to enjoy life outside of working hours.
One of the knock-on effects of a well-implemented wellbeing scheme is just that, employees feeling happier both at work and at home. Totaljobs explains: “There is greater value placed on a healthy work-life balance today than ever before, especially amongst millennials. People are generally more concerned with their all-around quality of life and mental health than overworking for the possibility of more money – and when employees are happier, productivity levels are suggested to rise.”
So, how does your company plan on improving their worker wellbeing in the coming years? It’s important to work from the ground up and ensure all of the systems you have in place are working effectively for your staff before introducing new initiatives. This can mean making sure you have the best of breed HR and payroll solutions, like iTrent payroll or Sage People as well as many others to making sure that staff are happy with the workplace culture.
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