Employee wellness is a celebrated and necessary component of the modern workforce. A workplace that promotes employee well-being is highly important to job seekers, employees, and employers since there is an observable relationship between employee wellness and productivity. Find out more about how balancing your life and work by pursuing wellness materializes into producing better quality results.
What is Wellness
It is unfortunate that many individuals have experienced overwhelming workplace pressure, feeling exhausted and paralyzed by the fear of underproducing. This pressure-cooker work environment leads to unhappy employees who are burnt out and in turn, less productive. This condition is known as presenteeism; employees are physically present at work but are mentally checked out. And that’s exactly where wellness comes in. So, what is workplace wellness? In order to achieve employee wellness, we ought to understand what this actually means.
Wellness refers to a state of being where one’s mind and body are content, bearing the mental strength to go about the day. When a person reaches a place of optimal well-being, they’ll be able to handle any hurdles or setbacks with minimal stress and realize their full capabilities. Wellness in the workplace can be achieved through a host of online facets, such as online health resources and virtual office work platforms.
Wellness and Productivity
So, now that you have a better grasp on what wellness means, it’s time to dive deeper into how it positively correlates with workplace productivity. When it comes to productivity, employee engagement is key. One study by Gallup found that highly engaged teams, comprised of workers whose well-being is valued, show 21% greater profitability and markedly lower rates of employee turnover and absenteeism. If your team operates remotely, there are many ways to ensure employees stay engaged and productive online.
Motivation To Perform Well And Be Productive
It is up to company leaders to keep team morale high. If employees see that their managers are passionate and energized, they are likely to act in the same positive manner. Maintaining an atmosphere where everyone is truly present and eager to work hinges on robust employee wellness initiatives. According to the American Psychological Association, 91% of employees whose company executives support wellness initiatives believe they are motivated to produce their best work.
How Remote Work Affects Employee Wellness
Employees who work remotely generally exhibit greater levels of productivity than their office-goer counterparts. This productivity boost can be partially linked to healthy wellness habits that remote and hybrid employees are able to pursue more easily.
Remote and hybrid models offer work-life balance
Fully remote companies, where employees can work from their location of choice without being bound to a physical office site, give employees the chance to incorporate wellness into their lifestyle. Such a model does away with the hassles associated with commuting, allows disabled individuals to work more comfortably, and makes travel more feasible. Some remote companies even allow employees to lean into their night owl or early bird habits and work hours that best fit their desired schedules. Hybrid models also exist where employees can work from home for a certain amount of time and reap these benefits as well.
Virtual Offices Promote Employee Wellness
Virtual offices are an excellent tool for enabling employees to have fulfilling workdays. On virtual office platforms, employees are able to engage in burst communication and feel the warmth of human connection without having to sacrifice work-from-anywhere benefits. These interpersonal relationships are paramount for achieving and maintaining wellness.
Types of Wellness
Employee wellness can take on many different forms, all of which are equally important. Listed below are four types of wellness, as well as concrete steps that employers and employees alike can take to support each area. By focusing on all 4 of the wellness types, employees are at much better odds of showing up to work happy and healthy.
Humans crave connection. Therefore, workplaces should be an environment where social connection is valued. Virtual offices are able to replicate in-person camaraderie by creating a sense of community and belongingness where employees can easily approach one another. Managers should also seek to cement meaningful team relationships for their employees by hosting fun virtual events, like happy hours, game nights, coffee chats, and company offsites.
Physical wellness is an essential aspect of one’s overall wellness. Due to the fact that most employees spend a lot of time indoors sitting in front of their computers, employers should remind them of the benefits of moving around and going outdoors. This can be done by purchasing a standing desk, doing jumping jacks, or exercising, even in small bursts like a five-minute walk around the block. Employers should give breaks during the day to encourage movement; after all, an active body fuels an active mind.
Some employers also provide wellness stipends for their employees to encourage physical wellness. For example, Kumospace gives their employees a stipend to spend on their personal wellness. Employees can choose to use this stipend toward wellness endeavors like a gym membership, massage, or even a facial!
Additionally, employers should promote healthy sleeping habits for employees. While some people naturally prefer later nights or early mornings, employees should be able to log off of work at a reasonable hour to have a substantial amount of personal downtime and get a standard 6-8 hours of sleep. A well-rested body and mind are guaranteed to function better the next day at work.
It is crucial for employers to have a structured process in place to conduct annual or semiannual payroll evaluations and adjustments. Employees should know that they are being compensated fairly for their time and work. In order to reach a state of economic well-being, individuals must be able to afford their lifestyle and plan their personal finances accordingly.
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Life is bound to throw unexpected occurrences our way, and it’s important to deal with them in a healthy manner. Sometimes you need to consult with a professional to understand the depths of your personal well-being and come up with solutions. One way to approach this is through online therapy. Resources like Talkspace make having a quick 30-minute session with a therapist simple and easy, and some employers will even make it 100% free for employees.
It is also crucial that employers provide time off for sick days, vacation days, and personal days, in addition to other benefits, to attend to such needs. Providing employees with the time and resources to take care of personal needs enables them to come back to work refreshed and with a clearer mind. After all, everyone needs time to rejuvenate on occasion. This wellness measure unlocks employees’ potential to be able to accomplish their personal and professional goals.
How Employee Wellness Programs Benefit Employers
Employee wellness programs are designed to enhance employee health following structured initiatives. Examples of such programs include:
- Gym reimbursements
- Health screening
- Mindfulness practices
- Nutrition counseling
- Financial planning
- Meditation classes
- Support groups
- Fitness classes
- Stress management programs
- Therapy sessions
While the types of wellness programs offered can vary across companies, the main goal is to improve employees’ health education and lifestyle goals by supporting the different types of wellness previously discussed. This will, in turn, lead to a positive work environment where employees feel supported. It is also important to note that wellness efforts can be seamlessly facilitated remotely through telehealth visits, online fitness classes, and online activity logs.
Employee hiring and retention
For the sake of hiring and maintaining the best talent, it behooves employers to prioritize workplace wellness. According to a study conducted by Forbes, 87% of employees reported that they consider health and wellness initiatives when choosing an employer, and 89% of workers are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work if they support wellness efforts. This underscores that wellness is a key pillar individuals seek when considering a career option, and employers should know that.
When talking about productivity and wellness, another concept should also be explored: performance. Productivity often connotes the quantity of work that can be accomplished during a set amount of time. But by valuing wellness, another advantage, known as performance, surfaces. With workplace wellness initiatives in place, not only will employees produce more work, but they are also more likely to produce better quality work.
Maintaining a positive workplace
Feelings such as burnout versus employee satisfaction can ebb and flow for a company and often fall on a spectrum for individuals. Holiday times, busy seasons, and life events can influence an employee's demeanor. Luckily though, for a company with regular wellness check-ins and established programs, negative feelings can be addressed and put to rest much faster. Overall, happier employees will contribute to a more positive company culture at large.
In order to make the wellness programs as successful as possible, it’s advisable to collect feedback periodically from the employees who benefit from such programs. Feedback can be collected anonymously, in the form of wellness surveys, or through face-to-face check-ins with employees. Any and all company feedback is valuable. By giving employees the opportunity to voice their opinions, trust will be built between the employer and the employee. Feedback is useful in making significant improvements to the wellness programs and the company at large.
Workplace wellness can take on many different forms and follow various implementations. Overall, employees whose wellness is taken care of are likely to show up to work engaged, which translates into increased productivity and company morale. Also, employees who see their supervisors engage in wellness efforts are more likely to do so themselves. Employee wellness is beneficial for employers and employees, a workplace cornerstone that should be valued by all.
Employee well-being provides numerous benefits to employees and employers. Employees who participate in wellness initiatives are likely to feel better, both physically and emotionally, and in turn, be more productive at work. Employers who provide solid wellness programs are more likely to attract job applicants and will experience greater company morale among their employees.
Virtual offices can boost employee wellness by allowing employees to form meaningful connections with their coworkers in a way that feels natural. Virtual offices can also be a great platform for employers to organize team social events, like game nights and happy hours, which enhance social wellness.
Employers can promote employee wellness efforts by creating programs to improve employee well-being both inside and outside of the office. When companies support employee wellness, employees are likely to have greater job satisfaction and be more productive and engaged.