Over the last few years, employee priorities have changed. More and more people are pursuing work environments that allow them to have a happier and healthier work experience. Companies that can embrace this trend will see the benefits of having highly productive employees and the ability to attract some of the best talent in the marketplace.
Creating this new well-being-focused work environment can be challenging, especially for teams that work remotely and are geographically dispersed. Here are five easy ways to promote a happier and healthier work environment regardless of whether your team shares a physical or digital workspace.
1. Refocus Your Why
Employees are happier when they know their work means something. Unfortunately, getting trapped in the repetitive activities of the day can cause employees to lose sight of the big picture and the overall purpose of their roles in the company’s success. According to one survey, two-thirds of employees don’t have a clear understanding of their company’s vision.
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the entire organization understands the company’s strategic goals and how they can personally make an impact. Helping them understand “The Why” of their work, will make their jobs more fulfilling and purpose-driven. If you get the feeling your team is losing sight of the overall objective, it may be time to refocus your why and provide much needed clarity.
2. Invest in Employee Growth and Development
It’s important for companies to provide the training and development needed for their growth within the company. However, there are lots of benefits that any form of education, not just job-specific training, can have on happiness and job satisfaction. Maybe your employee has always wanted to learn French or has an interest in classical music. Businesses can still encourage and support these educational opportunities.
Providing opportunities to learn even if the company has nothing to gain shows that you care about their personal growth. Plus, you don’t have to pursue expensive perks like formal tuition assistance. There are plenty of educational resources online like Udemy and Coursera that offer a myriad of courses under $50. Simply, give employees an allowance each year and make it clear they can choose whatever educational options they want. No strings attached. You might even further encourage this by changing policies to allow them to spend a few hours of their workweek completing coursework or studying.
Employees at the foundational levels of the organization are the true backbone of any company. They are the front line that builds products and interacts with customers. In large organizations, upper management can quickly become disconnected from their employees.
Companies can solve this by implementing “skip level” meetings where managers two or more levels above an employee spend time one on one discussing opportunities and challenges. This can provide the leader with new perspectives. It’s especially important to turn any feedback into real action. This will demonstrate that the employee was heard, and you want to make a difference in their work environment.
One study found that businesses lose over $300 billion annually in turnover and lost productivity due to employee burnout. To build a happy and healthy work environment, employers need to check in on their employees’ well-being and promote self-care.
Employers can encourage more self-care by offering additional mental health days, promoting exercise through free gym memberships, and stocking healthy snacks around the office. Even changing the culture to allow employees to unplug from company electronics in the evenings or weekends without fear of being reprimanded can have a positive impact on an employee’s mental health.
As the pandemic subsides, more and more employers are trying to aggressively get their workers back into the office. This has left many remote employees frustrated and scratching their heads. If they’ve been able to successfully perform their work for the last few years from home, why the push? While the debate continues around the pros and cons of in-person versus remote work, many companies could benefit from embracing a hybrid approach. This would help reach a middle ground between workers and employers and capture the benefits of both worlds.
Instead of implementing an all or nothing approach when it comes to work location, strategically planning high-value in-person events or collaboration time can be extremely effective while still permitting the work-life balance and flexibility that remote working provides. Instead of killing the work from home model, companies can also make additional investments in technology to improve remote working.
For companies looking to provide a great balance between remote working and having a physical office space, shared office environments may hold the key to the perfect balance. At Lakeside Workspaces, our goal is to provide our members with affordable alternatives to traditional office space. Contact us today to see how we can help you reimagine a work environment focused on employee health and well-being.