How do you measure the happiness and wellbeing of your employees? Do you know how your staff are really feeling when they’re in the office and how they feel after leaving work?
In today’s fast-paced, technology-fuelled, budget-conscious offices it’s no wonder that employees are feeling the stresses and pressures of our modern workplace more than ever before. That’s why as a business you value your employees as your most important assets and treat them accordingly. After all, a happy workplace is a productive and successful workplace and your investment in your employee’s wellbeing will reap rewards for everyone.
Boosting happiness, morale and productivity in the workplace can be easy, fun, and you don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to make some simple changes with a big impact. We’ve chosen 10 of our favourite suggestions below to help you create a modern workplace with perks that staff will enjoy.
10 Tips to Improve Workplace Wellness & Employee Wellbeing:
- Provide healthy snacks and drinks in the office and encourage employees to eat their lunch in a communal area or outdoors rather than sitting at their desk. Healthy snacks are far better than sugar-fuelled nibbles which can often lead to employees feeling sluggish and less productive in the afternoon, so be sure to have a few healthy snacks on hand, such as fruit. Similarly, lunch breaks are important and even 20 minutes away from the computer screen will refresh tired eyes and increase productivity for the rest of the day.
- Encourage employees to be active during the work-week. You might consider offering a weekly lunchtime yoga class or free gym memberships, giving employee incentives to focus on physical fitness and the impact this has to overall health and wellbeing. Other ideas include promoting the cycle-to-work scheme and offering assistance with public transport or parking costs if your business is located in a larger city, to offset any costs your staff may wish to spend on fitness.
- Make your office interior greener with plants & flowers. Biophilia is gaining popularity in the workplace because we as humans have a strong need to align ourselves with nature (learn more about biophilia in our blog post ‘Biophilia – What is it and Why is it Important?‘). Studies have shown that plants in the workplace increase productivity, reduce stress and provide cleaner air, among other things. From as little as £2.50 per week for a floor-standing potted plant, Planteria Group can offer planting & flower arrangements services for your business which includes regular maintenance. For examples of our recent work see our projects and also our case studies.
- De-clutter your workspace and brighten your interior with a fresh coat of paint and some clever organisation. A bright and airy office will improve productivity and general well-being. We know too well that flat surfaces often get covered with paperwork, office supplies and other random items, so consider using planters on top of shelving to give a tidier appearance. We love storage solutions which also double as interior planters (as seen in this example), and did you know we also offer attractive storage solutions for fire extinguishers which double as planting containers?
- Provide in-office health checks and regular health screenings with a mobile doctor to promote healthy living. Consider offering this once a year.
- Offer flexible working practices if possible, which include working from home to promote a healthy work/life balance. Promote a positive focus on family and friends and encourage your employees to use their holiday entitlement to avoid a culture of ‘presenteeism’. Try to limit your work-related communication to office hours and to help reduce the likelihood of anxiety associated with being tied to technology 24/7.
- Offer training programmes or workshops for employees to learn new skills or brush up on advances in technology related to their job. This maintains employee expertise and can improve productivity. This gesture also shows your employees that you value them as individuals and are committed to excellence.
- Promote charity fundraising and volunteer work in the community. For example, Planteria Group invite employees to vote on a chosen charity each quarter and work together as a team to raise money through bake sales, sports tournaments, raffles and more. You could also consider a team-building day out of the office where you all volunteer your working hours to support a chosen charity.
- Create a chill-out zone free from technology. This space should be comfortable, clutter free and inviting. Encourage employees to take a 15 minute break and relax with music, a book or magazine or even a quick snooze.
- Offer monthly massage treatments for staff by bringing in a mobile therapist. Depending on budget you could either cover the whole cost or arrange for staff to book and pay a small fee. Find companies offering this service near you with a search on Google for “office massage London” or “local massage therapists”. Set aside some space in an unused meeting room for the therapist to set up a private mini-treatment room for the day. A focus on neck, shoulders and back will reduce stress and leave employees feeling refreshed and well looked after.
Above are just some of the many ways you can help improve employee wellbeing at work. Your employees will agree that these types of perks are very much appreciated and you may even consider asking for their input on other ideas that are meaningful for them.
Promoting wellness in the workplace is crucial in today’s world more than ever before. Our hope is that we’ve given you some unique suggestions for building a strong and supported working environment, benefitting employees and businesses alike.
NHS Health At Work Recommendations:
According to a recent 20 page report published by NHS Health at Work on healthy workplaces, health and wellbeing are defined as follows:
Health relates to a person’s physical and mental condition. Wellbeing is the subjective state of being healthy, happy, contented, comfortable and satisfied with one’s quality of life. Mental wellbeing relates to a person’s emotional and psychological wellbeing. This includes self-esteem and the ability to socialise and cope in the face of adversity. It also includes being able to develop potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others and contribute to the community.
Other more traditional suggestions made in the NHS report (NICE’s guideline on workplace health) for supporting employee health and wellbeing include:
- Offering employees help and encouragement to build supportive relationships
- Being open and approachable to ensure employees feel free to share ideas
- Consulting regularly on daily procedures and problems
- Recognising and praising good performance
- Identifying and addressing issues and concerns and taking any action needed as soon as possible to prevent problems escalating
- Identifying sources of internal and external support
- Agreeing relevant and realistic job targets
- Carrying out stress risk assessments and developing workplace solutions to reduce this.
Health at Work
NICE’s guideline on workplace health: management practices, recommendations 1.8.1, 1.8.2 and 1.9.1