The Future Workplace Whitepaper (Preview): Chapter 3, Employee Wellbeing

The Future Workplace Whitepaper (Preview): Chapter 3, Employee Wellbeing

With the effects of a global pandemic, the future of the workplace is set to rapidly change. In our whitepaper you’ll hear from the experts and learn about emerging workplace trends, and what businesses will need to embrace in order to emerge from this period successfully.

We’ve published chapter 3 here, to give you a taster of what’s inside the Future Workplace Whitepaper – Enjoy!

The future workplace whitepaper book mock up

Chapter 3 – The growing importance and focus on employee wellbeing

The effects of COVID-19 on our physical and mental health cannot be underestimated. Bringing to the forefront the importance of physical and mental health for us all, this period has accelerated discussions on employee wellbeing measures and how the workplace should support it.

What measures can companies take to support employee wellbeing?

According to Dr. Paul Litchfield, Chief Medical Officer at Compass Group “First and foremost, treat your people with the dignity and respect they deserve as fellow human beings. All too often we hear the mantra “our people are our greatest asset” but then see the workforce being given less care and attention than the IT systems or the vehicle fleet. Looking at people management through a wellbeing lens alters what we do as companies and there is growing evidence that it creates more successful businesses.”

Many companies want to do something about wellbeing but don’t know where to start. Dr. Paul Litchfield recommends using a wellbeing framework that focuses on the key wellbeing drivers – health, security, relationships, environment, and purpose. Plotting out what you already know onto this framework will help identify any areas requiring improvement or innovation in response to the changing environment.

As always, any activity a business undertakes should be supported by a strategy and wellbeing is no different. If your wellbeing measures are to be sustainable – measurement is a must. Historically, the focus of measurement was on the avoidable costs of failure such as the impact of sick days, but that ignores the more lucrative boost of the top line. There is now strong evidence that improving employee wellbeing leads to greater productivity, employee engagement, and higher sales.

Formulating a wellbeing policy

Questions companies should be answering when formulating a wellbeing policy:

  • Have you got an evidence-based framework for what you’re trying to achieve?
  • Are you focusing on the organisation as well as the individual?
  • Have you covered the key drivers of wellbeing (health, security, relationships, environment, and purpose)?
  • Are you talking and listening to your people?
  • Are you measuring both the inputs and the key outputs that matter to your people and the business?

Employee health and wellbeing is an area being boosted as businesses plan to or already offer:

  • Flexible working (location) 59%
  • Flexible working (hours) 43%
  • Access to mental wellbeing platforms 37%
  • Cycle to work schemes 26%
  • At home benefits 25%
  • Fitness subsidies 20%

However, only 8% include healthy food provisions in their employee benefits strategy.

Safe and flexible access to healthy food is a vital pillar of mental and physical wellbeing and needs to be considered by businesses moving forward. The food we eat impacts our concentration, productivity, the immune system, and more. It has even been suggested that having a healthier diet and keeping fit will reduce the severity of COVID-19. If businesses can provide excellent and safe food services to their employees at home or in the office, it will positively impact their overall wellbeing and performance at work.

Conclusion

If we put employee wellbeing at the centre of our workplace strategies, we can achieve greater productivity, employee engagement, higher sales, and growth. If you want to learn more about the future workplace, download the Future Workplace Whitepaper here.

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