The Importance of Wellbeing in the Workplace

 

Is your workplace healthy?

It’s safe to say the world is constantly changing, and sometimes it can feel like a lot to keep up with. Since most businesses rely on brilliant creativity to stay ahead of the game, employer expectations are ever increasing. Not only are businesses needing their employees to be exceptionally creative, but they also need them to be adaptable, intuitive learners, churning out great ideas that are constantly moving the company forward.  Sometimes, that can get overwhelming.

For employees to do their best work, they have to be in the best mindset.  Constant day to day tasks with threatening expectations causes stress to build up. Stress impairs ability to concentrate and leads to lower productivity and higher levels of absenteeism.  In turn, stressed out employees are trying to meet expectations that almost become impossible. Overall, disengaged employees can’t produce optimal work which then becomes a direct hit to the company’s bottom line.

So, how do you create a healthier environment that allows your employees to meet and exceed expectations?

 

Understand It’s More Than Fitness

It’s important to know that encouraging physical health into a work day routine is important. However, it is not the cure all. Ergonomics has been a focus in the workplace for years. Your chair adjusts in 10 different ways to help you achieve perfect posture, but how does your office environment affect your emotional and cognitive health?  Research has shown that physical, emotional and cognitive health are intertwined. In order to support employees on all levels, companies are beginning to focus on creating a holistic workplace.

“Companies are interested in driving greater innovation. They’re betting they can reap positive results with a more creative, engaged and innovative workforce. In a knowledge-based, global economy, investing in wellbeing is completely in the interest of doing business.” – Beatriz Arantes, Steelcase researcher

Invest in Wellbeing

Researchers at Coalesse furniture found that “Environments that combine comfort, function and emotional satisfaction can inspire people to do their best work as well as increase productivity, satisfaction and engagement.”  Based on these findings, Coalesse developed tips for bringing wellbeing into the workplace.

  1. Blur the lines. Spaces that blur the boundaries between work and home create a comfortable environment, invite people to relax and think outside the box.
  2. Loosen up. For people to work comfortably, feet don’t always have to be on the floor. Relaxed postures can still support their productivity.
  3. Let it be. Work can happen anywhere— a few minutes here, a few hours there. With many ways to get things done, the “right” way is to let people choose their own work destinations.
  4. Encourage escapes. A non- traditional, “third place” setting gets people re-energized and optimistic about making progress, especially if they can count on convenient access to power while they’re there.
  5. Allow for alone. Most people toggle between introverted and extroverted modes throughout their work day. Spaces that allow people to escape, ponder and disconnect support cognitive and emotional wellbeing.
  6. Create an unplug zone. A space with zero connectivity to wi-fi and power will encourage people to have face time with each other, read a book or rest their eyes.
  7. Be moody. Different work modes call for different surroundings. Some materials and colors stimulate creative thinking, others can frame the mind for contemplation and repose.
  8. Put nature to work. Bring wellbeing to the office by providing the option for people to work outside. Fresh air and natural light are refreshing, and it’s been proven that working outdoors or near natural light improves creativity, productivity and engagement.
  9. Create choices. One person’s lounge can be another person’s workstation. A range of settings and support for transitions can accommodate different work styles.

 

We recommend implementing these to start guiding your employees to healthier mindset, and overall wellbeing. To learn more, please visit https://www.steelcase.com/insights/articles/live-well-work-well/