Blog

Providing thought-provoking leadership, workplace and community insights.

Future of Work: Focusing on Overall Well-being

overall well-being
  • Published
  • 1 June 2021
  • Category
  • General

This is the third part of a periodic series on The Future Workplace.

Forward-thinking companies are re-examining their benefits plans and wellness programs to focus more on total worker health.

Historically, overall employee well-being has not been a top priority. However, a shift in thinking seems to be occurring. It has the potential to become a seismic change.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, employers were becoming increasingly concerned about their employees’ physical and mental health. During the pandemic, the need for targeted wellness interventions has become even more pronounced. Conditions affecting the body and mind are associated with employee disengagement and absence, increases in accidents and injuries, higher medical costs and poorer quality of life.

Sustaining Well-being

Some obstacles to sustaining well-being in the workplace that have come to light are worthy of attention. For example, in employee surveys, Grokker Innovations Lab found:

  • Job activities have become more sedentary since the start of the pandemic – even for those working onsite.
  • A significant number of employees report experiencing insomnia, fatigue and/or low energy.
  • There are more cases involving the onset or worsening of aches and pains or digestive issues.
  • Lack of motivation has become a commonly occurring condition.
  • There is a sense of poor separation between work life and home life.

Crafting a Strategy

Evidence suggests a caring culture that promotes employee self-care helps build a more resilient workforce. Employers now have an opportunity to listen and learn from employees, devise actionable plans to support them, and follow up for ongoing success.

Taking an employee’s sense of well-being in various aspects of their life (e.g., physical, mental, social, financial) into consideration is associated with benefits including:

  1. Improved productivity: When feeling well, employees display better work habits and decision-making.
  2. Higher morale: Employees feel more competent and valued when their needs are met at all levels.
  3. Better retention: Employers who support work-life balance are more likely to attract skilled candidates and retain well-qualified employees for longer periods.
  4. Positive attitude: Happy employees are brand ambassadors whose enthusiasm shines through in customer encounters.

When developing or re-imagining wellness programs, experts recommend employers introduce:

  • Options for flexible work hours and job-sharing
  • Efforts to destigmatize mental health disorders
  • Meaningful digital content on health and well-being
  • Policies that promote diversity and inclusion
  • Fewer meetings, especially sequential ones, enforced break times, and stretch and flex breaks are also recommended. Giving employees training and autonomy to make decisions is also likely to improve their sense of well-being because they reinforce self-efficacy.

Measures of life satisfaction differ considerably among individuals. A one-size-fits-all approach to overall well-being will not have lasting impacts. Wellness programs will get more traction when they are based on personal interests, abilities and incremental improvements that can be measured over time. Consequently, workplace interventions and well-being programs must align with employees’ personal goals.

WorkCare’s Solution

WorkCare supports employees’ physical and mental health throughout their employment journey. We become one with the workplace by allowing workers at all levels to be engaged in their own health and well-being while producing positive business results for their employers.

We offer customized onsite solutions, including full-service facilities, strategic personnel placement, 24/7 telehealth consultations, mobile medical and near-site operations. Our onsite staffing options are flexible.

This past year has delivered a wake-up call. Employers who sleep through it may find themselves struggling to maintain a genuinely engaged workforce.

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Out

When you subscribe, you’ll receive periodic updates on our news, publications and events!