Workplaces, Wellbeing, Productivity – What’s the Connection?

Apr 25, 2024

It’s no secret that our requirements from the office have irrevocably changed. 

With most employees now coming into the office 2-3 days per week, gone are the days of the office being a permanent fixture. 

However, this does not mean that the workplace is any less important than it was several years ago. On the contrary, it is now more important than ever that your workplace meets the mental and physical needs of your people. 

When at home, employees have comforts that are often unavailable in the workplace. There is no commute and there are fewer distractions; it’s no wonder that many prefer the work-from-home lifestyle. 

But working from home isn’t all sunshine and roses. In fact, a 2023 study showed that ‘23% of remote workers struggle with loneliness because they thrive on the energy of others to feel motivated and productive.’

There is a balance that needs to be struck, which is in your hands as an employer. Wellbeing initiatives deliver benefits to both the individual and the organisation. Here’s why it’s so important to invest in your employees’ wellbeing: 

The importance of wellbeing initiatives at work

We could talk infinitely about the myriad benefits of wellbeing initiatives to the employee:

  • Improved mental health
  • Better work-life balance
  • Increased overall productivity
  • Enhanced job satisfaction
  • Bolstered organisational loyalty
  • Better inter-team relationships

The list goes on and on. This is all incredibly positive, of course, but as a for-profit organisation, it’s essential that you understand how this impacts your bottom line. 

In short, Deloitte research shows us that employers see an average £5 return for every £1 spent on wellbeing support.

Not only this, but other studies show that “firms that have received awards for their health, safety and well-being initiatives had a 115% growth in earnings per share compared with the 27% earnings per share seen in their competitors.”

Investing in wellbeing support is a boon for your business and your people. Investing in support is one of the best things you can do as an organisation.

Here are some proactive steps you can take to bolster wellbeing in the workplace:

Proactive steps to take enhance workplace wellbeing

Appoint mental health first aiders

“Mental ill-health is the single largest cause of disability in the UK when accounting for direct costs of services, lost productivity at work and reduced quality of life.” 

Mental health first aider (MHFA) training is the mental health equivalent to physical first aid. 

MHFAs play a vital role in reducing stigma and promoting positive mental health in the workplace. They provide initial support, encouragement, and signposting of a person to identify and access sources of professional help and other support. 

By having individuals who are ready to respond to everything, from a potential mental health crisis through to someone having a particularly bad day, organisations have reported up to an 80% reduction in work-related illness absence cases. 

Train managers in handling wellbeing issues

Line managers will often be experienced in dealing with physical health issues, but may find it a little uncomfortable tackling wellbeing concerns, or may not know the best ways to handle them. 

Organising wellbeing awareness training for your management team can help them better address ongoing wellbeing concerns in your organisation. Couple this with insights from Workplace Consultancy (more on this later), and your managers will be better equipped to understand issues before they spiral out of control. 

Build a good team and encourage everyone to look out for one another

Creating a “caring culture” is essential in any modern workplace. 

At the end of the day, we’re all working together towards a common goal. By creating an environment that encourages your people to check in with one another, you’re helping to build bonds that strengthen your team and boosts productivity. 

Traditional workplaces often don’t factor in communal or relaxation space. It may seem counterproductive to dedicate office space to socialisation, but it can contribute to better productivity across the board. The stronger inter-departmental and interpersonal relationships your employees can build between one another, the better they’ll be able to work together to grow your organisation and meet its goals. 

Understanding your people – workplace consultancy

Wellbeing initiatives are all well and good, and are an essential part of any modern business’ ongoing success, but without a concrete understanding of your people’s wants and needs, you’re unlikely to maximise your return on investment.

That is why Workplace Consultancy is so important – it provides unique insights into exactly what your employees are thinking and what they’d change if they had the opportunity. 

How does Workplace Consultancy work?

Workplace Consultancy is made up of two main components:

  • Individual questionnaire – By individually (and anonymously) questioning employees, you provide them with multiple opportunities to open up about how they feel and what they want from their workspace. 

This provides us with a large quantity of qualitative data which can be analysed in terms of sentiment. This tells us how productive individuals feel at work and how susceptible they are to improvements to the environment in which they are working. 

  • Group workshops – These provide us with a huge amount of insight into where internal friction is and how the interplay between people functions. 

Group workshops are ideal for employees from across the organisation to get together and discuss, free of judgement, what they’d improve at work. 

Why is Workplace Consultancy important?

If you don’t understand what your people want, how can you provide wellbeing support that truly makes a difference?

Workplace Consultancy provides us with qualitative data points that can be used to quantitatively calculate a tangible ROI on your investment into both your environment and your employees’ wellbeing. 

We consider how your physical workplace can work to reduce any stress or friction for your employees. After all, your workplace is competing with the comfortable environment at home. If you want your employees to be happy coming into the office, you need to provide them with a space at work that truly delivers.

Need inspiration on how your environment can change to prioritise employee wellbeing? Click here

Fundamentally, your workplace is designed to help get the best out of your team

Throughout this process, you need to be willing to ask important, often relatively difficult-to-answer questions, including:

  • What makes your workplace work for you?
  • Why do you have an office?
  • Why are you asking your staff to come into the office?
  • What do you expect from people while they’re in your workplace?
  • Are you providing the best space/tools for your people to excel in their role?
  • Have you got the facilities to allow for successful remote working?

If you can’t justify why you want people to come into the office, then you’re going to have a hard time on your wellbeing mission. 

For many people, being encouraged to come into the office can prove a boon to their mental health. It provides a social outlet and an opportunity to destress and build on relationships. However, if your environment isn’t suitable, it can have an adverse effect. 

When you’re ready, our workplace consultants are here to talk. We can answer any questions you have, or can get the ball rolling on your Workplace Consultancy journey. 

Speak to a workplace consultant

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