Who cares about workplace wellbeing?

13 August 2019

Workplace wellbeing. A growing trend that has no doubt been doing the rounds in your office. Whilst not an entirely new concept, this focus on the needs and general wellbeing of staff is dominating office culture and changing the way that people work in offices across the country.

What is workplace wellbeing? A definition

According to the International Labour Organisation, workplace wellbeing “relates to all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how workers feel about their work, their working environment, the climate at work and work organisation.”

A hot topic currently, ACAS have even written guidance on how to create workplaces “that promote and support good health and wellbeing”. Check out their guidance here and see how your own workplace stacks up.

Why is workplace wellbeing so important?

The origins of workplace wellbeing can be found in the perks that used to be offered by large scale corporate organisations in the form of corporate fitness programmes. These programmes have now evolved to encompass far more than just physical fitness.

These days workplace wellness programmes seek to assist employees to develop and maintain healthy practices and behaviours. The CIPD believe that encouraging a culture that supports the wellbeing of its staff not only prevents stress but delivers “mutual benefit to people, organisations, economies and communities”.

Even looking at the concept of workplace wellbeing from a purely dispassionate perspective it is clear that there are huge commercial benefits to establishing a successful workplace wellbeing programme. Making your employees’ mental and physical wellbeing a priority is a great way to keep staff happy and keep staff turnover low. Reading this, I am sure you are aware of the direct and indirect costs of recruitment, so avoiding the recruitment problem altogether is a sure-fire way to make sure business growth remains uninhibited by the coming and going of staff.

Holding on to staff and keeping turnover low is one challenge, but getting the most out of your people is another subject altogether. Keeping your staff healthy, both mentally and physically, has been shown to improve staff productivity. Fundamentally, how your staff are perceived by customers, potential customers and other stakeholders has a huge impact on business growth so it goes without saying that making sure they are happy and healthy has huge implications on the bottom line of a business.

Dr Amanda Allisey, senior lecturer and researcher at Deakin Business School’s Department of Management notes that workplace wellbeing can even catalyse innovation:

“When employees enjoy a happy, healthy work environment, you start seeing exciting innovations in business. It’s the difference between an organisation that’s simply functioning and an organisation that’s capable of making huge leaps”

Who cares? Apparently your landlord does

According to a recent report by the Urban Land Institute, the next 3 years will see increased investment in wellbeing across the UK commercial property sector.

Workplace Insight notes that the report addresses the business case of investment in wellbeing in the workplace and notes that this increase has been fuelled by a shift towards “towards flexibility and shared space, as well as companies looking for improved office environments as a way to meet the expectations of the younger generations in the competition for talent”. Ultimately though, this appears to be driven by tenant demand as flexible space and co-working are transforming the commercial property market across the country.

Improving working lives is our speciality at Kerr Office Group. We design places where people love to work, where people can be their best, their most productive and can behave in a way that maintains a high degree of physical and mental wellbeing. Our approach to workplace design allows us to get close to your staff and your business to understand better than anyone else how to design an environment that catalyses growth in your business and its people. Drop us a line if you want to talk more about how our services could benefit you.

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