Why Wellness in the Workplace Matters for the Future of Your Business
Today’s transformative times offer employers a great opportunity — to reimagine the workplace and how it can better function for all. By better, we mean more productive, more efficient, and more innovative, yes, all of which enhance the company bottom line. However, we also mean healthier, more balanced, and more employee-centered, ultimately aiding the organization exponentially by increasing employee attraction, retention, and engagement — a key driver of continued success in a competitive marketplace.
A heightened focus has been placed on organizational approaches to employee health and wellbeing and the role corporations play in life-work balance. In the wake of a global pandemic, historic levels of burnout, and the massive shakeup of the Great Resignation, placing an emphasis on wellness in the workplace is paramount. As numerous studies have demonstrated, when employees feel cared for, they stick around.
Employers may be asking themselves what is considered “workplace wellness,” why it matters, and how they can design, develop, and implement strategies that establish a healthy employee environment. Here, we break it all down.
Creating a Culture of Support
Workplace wellness has many facets, making the concept harder to define, but even more essential to execute correctly. In shorthand, it means creating a culture where all employees feel individually heard, valued, and supported and that their health and wellbeing are important to their employer.
These inclusive initiatives encompass everything from comprehensive benefits packages that include mental health coverage as well as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging programs to workplace safety efforts, professional growth opportunities, and greater flexibility (deemed to be the #1 employee benefit today).
Empowering employees to share what matters most to them — flexible work schedules that allow for better balance, onsite amenities that bolster health and wellbeing, company policies that focus on fairness, just to name a few — allows employers to invest in initiatives that are sure to have an impact. Fostering a culture of feedback is imperative to ensuring an organization’s evolution, resiliency, and relevancy in the future of work.
The bottom line: An employer who strives to improve the employee experience, offers meaningful benefits, and commits to workplace wellness from the top-down can make a considerable impact on an organization’s financial, emotional, and social health. Savvy employers will listen to their employees to actualize programs that will have a positive influence in their organizations.
How to Design and Implement a Workplace Wellness Program
As outlined, establishing an employee wellness program at your organization takes careful consideration and — most importantly — employee input. That said, no two workplace wellness programs will look alike. There are step-by-step strategies you can take to create and carry out a wellness program that is tailored for your team:
- Conduct assessments: Talk to your team about what wellness in the workplace means to them. You might be surprised by what matters most. These surveys will give your plans direction and substance so that they’re beneficial to all.
- Gain buy-in from all stakeholders: Now that you have an outline, it’s time to communicate your ideas to the people who will need to make it happen, including your senior management, HR department, marketing team for internal communications, individual team leaders, and more.
- Establish goals and objectives — and a budget: identify goals and objectives that are easy to identify and quantify. Your bosses will appreciate it. From there, you can get a sense of what your plans will cost and the value of the investment.
- Design your program’s components: There are a plethora of workplace wellness plans you can pick and choose from, but, based on your employee surveys and research, you can select initiatives that will move the needle for your organization, such as revising benefits packages, instituting new PTO policies, offering access to fitness centers and outdoor space, presenting coworking opportunities that don’t involve a traditional office, etc.
- Evaluate success and pivot as needed: Your workplace wellness program is only as effective and successful as your employees are — if they’re not utilizing the program or the newly offered amenities, re-evaluate the plan and the way it’s communicated to the team.
Examples of Engaging Workplace Amenities
Flexible workplaces, including coworking spaces that allow for more freedom and adaptability, take much of the guesswork out of designing a workplace wellness program for your organization. These spaces are designed to offer your employees choice — the power to select office locations based on their individual needs. Here are a few examples of flexible workplaces that feature compelling amenities focused on enhancing health and wellbeing:
Fuse Workspace’s location in the hot hub of Austin, Texas, boasts not one but two outdoor patios with sweeping views of Hill Country. Access to outdoor spaces and greenery — and even something as straightforward as the presence of natural light in an office — has been shown to contribute to productivity, engagement, and mental health.
In downtown Cincinnati, OfficeKey’s coworking space features an onsite fitness center, child care center, and a dedicated Mother’s Room, designed to accommodate and support nursing mothers while at work.
Working moms’ needs are also attended to at Dayhouse Coworking, an inviting woman-owned coworking space in Highland Park, Illinois. A lactation room, Dayhouse Den (a quiet spot for reading, concentration, a power nap, yoga poses, etc.) and Smallhouse (a soundproof playroom for kids) cover all the bases for a stress-free work day.
Southern California is home to several Union Cowork locations, all of which are easily walked or biked to from nearby neighborhoods. Branded bikes, bicycle parking, and onsite showers, plus refreshing outdoor working environments and social gathering areas, allow your employees to enjoy the SoCal sunshine while getting the job done.
In Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Crown Center Executive Suites encompass another important aspect of workplace wellness — an environmentally conscious design. The building is LEED Silver certified, built with sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality top of mind so you can have peace of mind.
Health and safety measures are also a major concern for both employers and employees and an important component of workplace wellness programs in the wake of the global pandemic. Canada’s iQ Offices has completed the COVID-19 Safe Workplace Assessment from Get Ready Global, based on compliance with regulatory measures from national and state health and safety agencies. As the only Canadian coworking company with this certification, iQ Offices locations feature temperature screening stations, Rapid Antigen Testing, professional cleaning and sanitation services every two hours, and the exclusive Poppy Pathogen Monitoring System, the world’s only pathogen sensing and detection network that continuously monitors the air for the COVID-19 virus and all other known pathogens.
Instituting a workplace wellness program not only improves the physical and mental health of your employees, it helps your organization stay robust and viable, as well. Offering the attractive option of flexible workplaces — especially those decked out with thoughtful workplace wellness amenities — is a powerful way to communicate to your team that you are committed to their overall health and ongoing wellbeing.