Creating a positive workspace has been proven to positively impact employee well-being, morale, and creativity. Whether your workspace is physical or virtual, there are simple steps you can take to ensure that all of your team members feel supported and motivated. More than 70% of workers experience burnout at some point. Overwhelmed and overworked employees can take up to 28 sick days a year. Worryingly, turnover due to burnout may cost employers 15%-20% of the total payroll.
Focusing on employee well-being will not only increase workplace satisfaction but also provide tangible results in the form of increased job performance and long-term retention. In this article, we’ll look at how businesses can foster a healthy and thriving work environment for their employees.
Identify Sources of Stress
Every work environment comes with some level of stress. Normal stress levels are okay, but chronic stress significantly impacts an employee’s health and productivity. As a starting point, employers need to understand the primary sources of employee stress to improve the office work experience. Some common sources of employee stress include:
- Heavy workload and poor time management. Employees can experience burnout when there is too much to do and not enough time. Employers can help by ensuring that workloads are manageable, providing training on time management techniques, and encouraging employees to prioritize their tasks.
- Interpersonal conflicts with colleagues, supervisors, or clients. Conflicts with colleagues, supervisors, or clients can lead to decreased morale, productivity, and stress levels. Employers can help address this stress source by promoting open communication, encouraging conflict resolution, and providing training on effective interpersonal communication.
- Lack of clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and job security. When employees are unsure about their roles, responsibilities, or their futures within the company, it decreases job satisfaction. Employers can help by providing precise and consistent communication, establishing clear expectations, and encouraging long-term goals.
Recognize Hard Work
Recognizing and rewarding hard work can do wonders for employee well-being. You can do so by:
- Offering a clear framework where employees can measure their progress and success.
- Provide regular constructive feedback as well as praise.
- Offer tangible rewards (bonuses, extra paid time off).
- Personal recognition (let your employees know individually that they are valued).
Ergonomics and Workspace Design
Unsurprisingly, the adage “if you look good, you feel good” applies to workspaces as well. The design and layout of a workspace can significantly impact the work experience. To that end, workspaces, tools, and equipment should be compatible with the user’s physical capabilities. This can include adjusting:
- The height of a desk or chair.
- The position of the computer monitor.
- The placement of the keyboard and mouse.
These small changes can help to prevent musculoskeletal injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain, and increase overall comfort and productivity.
Health and Safety Policies and Procedures
Having clear and comprehensive health and safety policies and procedures will make your employees feel safe. This can include regular health and safety inspections, the provision of personal protective equipment, and the implementation of emergency procedures in the event of an accident.
In addition to ergonomic design, it’s also essential for employees to take regular breaks and engage in physical activity throughout the day. Sitting for long periods can lead to issues such as poor posture, eye strain, and back pain. Encourage your employees to take short breaks, stretch, or go for a walk to help prevent these issues.
Focus on Work-Life Balance
One of the most significant factors affecting an individual’s mental and emotional well-being is the balance between work and personal life. A healthy work-life balance allows employees to:
- Reduce stress
- Maintain a positive outlook on their work and personal life
When this is disrupted, it can lead to increased stress, burnout, and other mental health issues.
Allow for Different Working Styles
The modern workplace is no longer a one-size-fits-all environment. Different employees have different working styles, and accommodating these differences can go a long way in fostering a positive and productive work environment. Here are some ways in which employers can encourage different working modes in the office:
- Collaborative spaces for meetings or project work.
- Quiet rooms that can be booked by employees who need to work in silence.
- Noise-cancellation headphones for those who enjoy working surrounded by colleagues but also need quiet to focus.
Wireless Charging Stations
Studies show, that employees today spend only about 40% of their time at their desks. Accordingly, they want a certain level of freedom to move around the office and a workspace that provides an ideal source of comfort and collaboration with others. Investing in a wireless charging station allows employees to move around without having their phone or tablet chargers with them. Thus they can move between different settings for independent or teamwork.
Additionally, a Frost & Sullivan study showed that cell phone use adds about an hour of productivity daily. Therefore, if charging a cell phone is as easy as putting it down at a wireless charging station, employers will find that employees are less likely to waste time trying to find a power outlet multiple times throughout the day.
Encourage Leisure Time and Hobbies
Encouraging employees to pursue their hobbies and interests outside of work can help to reduce stress and increase overall well-being. In addition to flexible work arrangements, employers can support employees by offering:
- Paid time off for vacation.
- Personal Days.
- Mental health days.
Employee Support Programs and Resources
Employers can provide support programs and resources for their employees, such as:
- Counseling services.
- Access to mental health resources.
- Support Groups.
Create a Positive and Inclusive Work Culture
Focus on fostering a work environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and provides opportunities for growth and development. When employees feel respected, valued, and included, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to their work.
Organize Social Activities
There are many ways to incorporate social activities into the workplace, from team-building exercises and company outings to after-work events and holiday parties. They will help:
- Improve team dynamics
- Enhance employee morale
- Improve communication
- Increase creativity
The key is finding activities everyone will enjoy and bringing employees together in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.
Workplace Wellness Programs and Initiatives
Workplace wellness programs and initiatives support employees in maintaining a healthy lifestyle but can also foster a positive and supportive work environment. This can be done through the following:
- On-site fitness classes.
- Healthy food and snack options in the collaboration areas.
- Complimentary drinks (water, coffee, tea).
- Air purifiers or desk plants.
- Meditation and mindfulness workshops.
A Thriving Workplace is a Win-Win and We can Help!
At Waterways, we’re always keen to help you maximize your business potential and optimize employee well-being. A focus on positive workspaces is transforming the traditional business model. Promoting employee well-being is crucial for a healthy and thriving work environment. Contact us today and let’s discuss how your water dispenser and filtration needs can contribute to an enhanced workspace.