Are you sitting comfortably? Managing well-being in the workplace

Published on 7th October 2016
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Taking steps to ensure the health and safety of your workforce is not only a legal requirement: effectively managing employees’ well-being can also have a positive impact on morale and productivity, boosting concentration and motivation levels, and help to attract and retain skilled members of staff.

Here we consider some strategies to help proactively encourage employee well-being in your workplace.

A healthy workplace

Audit your workplace, taking into account all aspects from cleanliness and comfort through to potential hazards. Considerations should include office layout, noise and heat from equipment, hazardous cables, and employee seating arrangements. A risk assessment will help to highlight any areas of the business where things could be improved.

Mental health in the workplace

Beyond the immediate physical environment, effective stress management has become an important part of maintaining a healthy and efficient workforce. Work-related stress accounts for millions of lost working days every year, but these can be minimised by:
• Effectively managing time – Creating a balanced work schedule that accounts for all tasks and responsibilities.
• Taking regular breaks – Regular breaks from a computer or workstation can help to refocus the mind as well as reduce stress.
• Prioritising the workload – Completing essential tasks first can reduce pressure.
• Being open to compromise – Adopt flexible working practices where possible.

Dealing with staff sickness

Having procedures and contingency plans in place for both short and long-term sickness can reduce the detrimental effects for all parties. Supportive back-to-work policies, unforeseen absence planning, as well as preventative flu vaccines can all help to alleviate issues.

Communication

The cornerstone of any health and well-being policy is an open channel of communication. Ensure that staff feel able to approach managers, proactively ask about employee wellbeing, and consider a fun day of activities strengthening relationships.

Sickness is an inevitable and often uncontrollable part of life. However, by ensuring that you monitor your workplace well-being strategy, and by working with your employees, you can help to minimise the long-term effects on both your staff and your business.