Employee well-being is the overall state of an employee’s physical and mental health and how it impacts their work. This includes, but is not limited to job satisfaction, happiness, physiological health, and ability to manage stress. In a broader sense, employee well-being is whether one feels happy about themselves and what they are doing for the company.
Why is Employee Well-being Important?
Employee well-being is important because it helps employees adopt healthy behaviors that improve productivity and morale. For example, having a stressed employee can affect the quality of work produced for clients. An employer who advocates optimizing the health of the workplace helps increase the level of happiness and satisfaction of employees. This can have downstream impacts on retention, employer brand, and overall revenues.
Ideas for Well-being Activities at Work
Establishing a wellness program to improve employee well-being can help employees recover from work-related tension. Being able to spend time at home is important, but some need additional breaks during the workday to keep themselves healthy and happy.
When considering ideas for an office wellness program, it is important to plan a healthy work life balance that includes physical health related activities to improve energy and stimulate mental health. Although it can be costly, an office perk that promotes physical and mental health simultaneously is covering or subsidizing gym memberships. Employers that help cover the cost of gym memberships give employees an incentive to exercise regularly which improves mood and overall physical health.
While you may not be able to provide that type of benefit here are a few budget friendly activities to consider:
Schedule Meditation Sessions
Whether it is a company event or an individual practice, encouraging employees to meditate helps improve mindfulness and focus. According to Rise People, “taking a ten-minute break for meditation or implementing “no-talk times” during the day can help employees destress and refocus their energies for improved productivity.” The most important goal from meditating is removing frustration and dissatisfaction to reduce overall stress levels.
Our team occasionally schedules therapeutic coloring book sessions during busy reporting periods to relax our restless minds. We also use this as a team building activity to interact more with other departments and get to know one another outside of work discussions.
Plan In-Office Happy Hours
In-office happy hours can serve to reduce stress, tension, and keep employees engaged with one-another. According to Andrew Marder, from Capterra, “happy employees are the best employees, which means that social activities such as workplace happy hours can foster colleague camaraderie and function as an effective investment.” It is a time that employers should encourage employees to temporarily set aside work responsibilities to socialize and build stronger relations between coworkers and improve employee engagement.
At Barometer, we occasionally host Friday happy hours to decompress from stressful work weeks. Whether it is at a bar down the street or drink in the office, this helps our employees disconnect from work and socialize outside of work-related discussions. We encourage our teams to take a break from work to enjoy the atmosphere responsibly over drinks with fellow coworkers.
Dedicate a Spaces for Breaks
Sometimes, desk areas can form an atmosphere of tension as it is where employees work most of the day. To combat tension, employers should advocate break time to avoid burnouts and encourage brief time off. Therefore, dedicating spaces where employees can take short breaks, such as a break room with TVs, creates a more pleasant work environment and can increase productivity. Some companies even offer areas where employees can take a quick nap. According to BBC News, Ben & Jerry’s has a designated nap room for employees to take 20 minutes rest when needed.
Barometer encourages everyone to take frequent breaks when needed and we’ve set up a break room with a TV and an air hockey table to encourage people to step away from their desks. Our team members also take on various tasks outside of their core role to enhance their skills and break up their day.
Consider Hosting Meetings Off-site
Offices can get chaotic because employees are constantly interacting and working hard towards multiple deadlines for clients. Therefore, meetings in the office can be counterproductive as employees will be multitasking and unable to divert their full. This can cause miscommunication between teams and disrupt job performance. According to Cascada Flavors, hosting meetings outside the office is a great change of environment that can positively impact employee behavior. Meetings that are in a different space that is outside of the office, such as local coffee shops can boost morale and allow employees to recharge in a setting that doesn’t cause tension.
Our team leads host quarterly career planning meetings and onboarding meetings with new hires at a nearby restaurant to allow more open conversations between team members and management. The purpose of a change in space during quarterly meetings is to encourage employees to share honest feedback that employers can address for meaningful change and to get them thinking beyond their day-to-day work. Welcoming new hires by taking them out for a quick bite or a chat over coffee helps keep the setting more casual, which allows both to connect on a personal level.
A Healthy Employee is a Happy Employee
The skill level of your employees is not the only factor that impacts their performance, well-being also plays a vital role in their success. An employer that plans office activities to helps their employees recover from stress will increase retention and build on the company’s reputation. How do you know if your employee wellness efforts are effective? Barometer can help uncover employee reviews that discuss what people like and don’t like about your employee wellness program. Learn more about how Barometer can help!