Happy workers are more productive workers. In fact, according to a study by the University of Warwick, well-being in the workplace results in a 12 percent boost in productivity, while unhappy employees are 10 percent less productive. While well-being — defined as a state of happiness or satisfaction — is a difficult concept to tackle, especially when there are multiple stressors often associated with work, there are various ways you can improve the well-being of your staff. Here are five of them.
1. Create a Comfortable Work Environment
A more relaxed, comfortable work environment could have a significant impact on your employees' well-being. Indoor plants, for example, release oxygen into the air and absorb carbon dioxide — something that boosts ventilation in the workplace. Research shows that improved air quality at work could increase staff productivity by as much as 11 percent.
A clutter-free office could also help. The average worker spends 4.3 hours every week searching for papers — such as files, folders, important documents, etc. — in the office, which often results in higher stress levels.
2. Introduce the Concept of Mindfulness to Your Employees
Mindfulness — a simple form of meditation that encourages one to focus on the moment — could improve the well-being of your staff at work. Healthcare company Aetna introduced a mindfulness program and staff soon reported lower stress levels. The result? The company saved $2,000 per employee in medical costs and received around $3,000 per staff member in productivity.
3. Realize the Importance of Work-Life Balance
Heavy workloads can soon take their toll on your employees, resulting in stressed out staff. However, encouraging a healthy work-life balance could help improve well-being. Forty-four percent of staff members believe flexible work schedules increase happiness at work, while 33 percent think more vacation time will have the most significant impact on work-life balance.
There are various ways you can introduce the concept of a better work-life balance to your staff. For example, you might want to organize a social event where your employees can meet each other away from the office.
4. Support Social Outreach Programs
Community outreach — providing services to local communities — could lead to satisfied workers, according to research. These programs help build trust among staff, connect companies with the local community and create opportunities for critical reflection. Examples of community outreach programs include fundraising drives, helping out at a nursing home or volunteering at a local hospital.
5. Encourage Staff to Cycle to Work
Walking or cycling to work increases well-being, according to a study in the United Kingdom. People who had an "active commute" said they were happier than workers who traveled by car or public transportation. Much has been written about the health benefits of cycling. This activity builds muscle, provides an aerobic workout, reduces stress significantly and is beneficial for the brain, heart and blood vessels.
Work is the biggest source of stress for American adults, according to one study, beating personal issues and lack of job security. Moreover, 40 percent of workers say their job is stressful. There are various ways employers can approach this problem. Creating a comfortable office, promoting a work-life balance, introducing a mindfulness program, supporting the local community and encouraging staff to cycle to work can reduce stress and lead to a happier, more productive workforce.
Learn more about encouraging physician and employee wellness within your organization by assessing their well-being. Try a free demo of the Well-Being Index instantly and get started.