The ideal 21st century workplace is a state-of-the-art work environment that promotes productivity, efficiency and employee happiness. Although such an environment supposedly acts as a deterrent for the traditional profit-oriented businessmen, research has shown that improving this area of a company actually increases profitability. Gone are the days when businesses would exploit their labourers into working inhumane hours with no breaks and zero to little benefits. However, the onset of such a workplace utopia was a long, laborious and tiresome journey. With the rise of global capitalism, advances in technology, increased market competition and other varying factors, the priorities of workplace scenarios were ever-changing. In the recent past, mental health and employee wellbeing were recently discovered to be revolutionary in the nature of work and the workplace. Workplaces were seen to be one of the major causes of mental health problems in the common man’s life, and attention had to be paid to dipping employee motivation and productivity.
Why will “Workforce Wellbeing” be a popular trend in 2022?
Why is wellbeing so crucial?
Every working human being is an integral building block to their community’s economy and is a source of life sustenance. According to the Mental Health Foundation, work related stress, depression or anxiety led to 70 million lost working days in 2015 – making mental health the leading cause of sickness absence. Often, employers underestimate the importance given to mental wellbeing of their employees which more often than not leads to decreased productivity, decreased motivation and increased long term absence. By not addressing employee wellbeing concerns, management risks greater chance of a breakdown of communication, unclear tasks and job allocations, unsuitable tasks for a human’s competencies. For certain jobs that naturally incur high stress levels, workplace wellbeing, if overlooked, can even result in the abuse of substances to dull the chaos that is happening at work. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and benefit from associated economic gains.
With the adoption of hybrid working programs as a result of the ongoing pandemic, employees are reporting higher levels of isolation and anxiety. Working from home with no real in-person connection has caused a dip in motivation and productivity which has left companies scrambling to get their profit curve back up again.
How can workplaces make this change?
Redesigning workplace systems to better suit the needs of employees can result in higher employee retention and reduce absenteeism. If the organisation does focus on employee wellbeing, they are indeed making a great investment in their people as the business world takes on a human-centric approach. It is time to place employee wellbeing at the forefront of redesigning productivity strategies rather than perceiving it as a beneficial add-on.
Improving employee wellbeing is a joint task by managers and workers to uphold employee mental health. This joint effort can be undertaken by reduced work place related risks,
Benefits of Redesigning Structures
The benefits of making a wellbeing investment in employees come in all shapes and sizes. The modern consumer is now informed and stands up for social causes. Brands that were previously extremely popular have been boycotted in the modern age by consumers for underpaying labourers, using unethically sourced materials and selling inauthentic products. Therefore, to sustain profit curves, we see how employee retention is as important as consumer loyalty.
According to Forbes, The Future Workplace 2022 HR Sentiment survey found that 68% of senior HR leaders rated employee wellbeing and mental health as a top priority. Also, as a result of the pandemic, employees are being taught and sensitised to workplace resilience programs and Human Resource departments are directing all their attention into employee well-being. The focus has shifted from organisational problems to finding individual based solutions. As stakes in corporate mental health are on the rise, there are multiple options for corporate wellbeing solution providers.
Workplace wellbeing is quickly becoming a determining factor for evaluation of companies and their ability to keep their employees satisfied, which in turn boosts employee retention and eventually, profitability. Partnering with a global rise in attention to mental health and wellbeing, companies will have to take steps to ensure that they keep up and make the workplace an environment that promotes employee wellbeing.