Well-being at work is a focus that companies have adopted over the last decade or so. The productivity of employees is increased through the support of their welfare and their mental health at work. Additions to the working environment like table tennis tables, indoor gyms and even water tanks infused with lemon can all help provide a healthier working atmosphere. Practices of the mind are as much of a factor as the physical work space when it comes to employees well being.
Mindfulness at Work
Mindfulness is a practice that has been proven to increase focus and cognition. It’s been used by business moguls like Arianna Huffington and Jeff Weiner and is part of business cultures in companies like Nike and Apple. It’s drift into the mainstream has inspired design plans for meditation rooms in office spaces and has lead to the hiring of mindfulness experts to teach employees the art in the work place. The teachings can range from a twenty minute guided meditation, to teaching someone to be more present in the simple act of making a cup of coffee. It’s a practice that can clear the mind and help free it the distraction of unwanted thoughts. It has been exercised within the professional healthcare industry by medical professors like Jon Kabat Zinn, who has even taught employees the benefits of the practice in companies like Google.
A Healthy Office Space
The office is a stressful place. It’s a place of expectation, pressured negotiation and required attentiveness. Ensuring it’s a healthy space can help ease the impact on our health that the stress of the office can cause us to endure. This can be achieved through the design layout of the work space. Allowing natural light to pour into the space has been proven to decrease eye strain, headaches and blurred vision symptoms which can be caused by prolonged starring at devices by up to 84%. Creating more informal spaces can give workers somewhere to re-calibrate their thoughts and bond with co-workers, creating a community that fulfils the basic human need of social interaction. Even having plants dotted about the space to increase the amount of oxygen in the room can assist in bolstering the well-being of employees.
A Flexible Working Environment
UK workers having some of the worst work life balance in the world. This gives UK companies an opportunity to increase their workers well-being and productivity through helping their employees navigate the tension between their personal and working lives. Communication technologies have enabled more employees to work outside of traditional business hours. Opportunities for negotiating flexi-time working hours and days to work from home can ease the burden that modern families face due to problems workers face with commuting and urbanisation.
Well being has been proven over and over to be a factor in employees productivity. The slow shift of companies taking this reality into account when looking at improving their work force will no doubt gain more momentum as a factor in the success of a business.
As Richard Branson once said “if you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”