Years of continuous and ongoing research have concluded the direct correlation between employee wellness and productivity.
The results have shown that this can impact motivation, productivity, time-off, and staff turnover. As a result, a defined link emerges between elevated employee well-being with higher morale, leading to increased productivity, which is good for employees and employers alike.
However, when creating a workplace culture that supports and nurtures employee wellness, many companies and organizations fall short and leave employees unsupported.
With the abundance of opportunities to support employees, it’s essential to create different support options and benefits to meet all employee’s varying needs and interests. Responsibility also falls on employees as its up to them to educate themselves on these offered benefits and efficiently utilize them in a way that benefits their own health and wellness.
Provide Support for Mental Health
Various factors are at play when incorporating employee wellness options, from mental health and stress to physical characteristics such as sleep, fitness, illness, and general career satisfaction.
Provide an in-depth and better understanding of how mental health can impact your employees. This can be in the form of mandatory mental health training for your organization’s leaders. Taking this route helps the well-being of your employees and provides management with skills to effectively communicate when faced with emotional anguish in the workplace. Managers and leaders need to be well versed in recognizing these signs of distress so that they can react in a supportive and productive manner, rather than approaching the situation in a condescending and punitive way. Many employees respond positively when their managers take this type of initiative. Some examples of phrases leaders might use when facing emotional turmoil in the workplace are: “Hey, I see you might be feeling stressed or overwhelmed, maybe now would be a good time for me to show you some more breathing exercises” or “the sun is shining, why don’t you go take a walk”.
Understanding your personal limits is an effective way to be proactive when preserving your mental health in the workplace. Nobody knows you better than yourself. You cannot expect your manager to see that you need help if you do not vocalize the issue. What you perceive as too much of a workload might seem reasonable to a manager unless you make yourself heard. Additionally, make these lines of communication clear to your manager, and offer them insights on what may trigger you to feel stressed or overwhelmed. Consider taking the time to fill out a survey such as Work Limitations Questionnaire or a Job Stress Questionnaire to measure your limits, and share the results with your supervisor or manager. Taking these measures can help you remain collected and reduce your risk of experiencing burnout.
Incorporate Proper Office Lighting
When performing day-to-day work tasks, the eyes and the brain simultaneously work together to read and process information.
Whether you are working from home or at a cubical in the office, your overall surrounding light situation has a crucial impact on your vision, your ability to focus, concentrate, and stay alert. Adequate lighting is why you can get more done when working in bright open spaces than in dark areas.
Poor lighting has the potential to wreak havoc on employee health; improper sourcing of artificial lighting shows the most promise for causing adverse effects on well-being when uncontrolled and overused. Too much artificial light can cause eye damage in the long run. Poor lighting can cause excessive stress and frustration, especially when employees frequently strain their eyes for too long. Thus, your office should be appropriately bright, enabling your employees to achieve maximum productivity while protecting your employee’s health. Suppose your employees are often reporting the feeling of eye strain or frequent headaches. In that case, it might be time to re-assess your office lighting or look into alternatives. Making the switch can help ensure maximum efficiency in the office while maintaining eye comfort.
Do you find yourself feeling irritable, stressed, or overwhelmed? Like-so, do your eyes feel overworked, strained, tired, or even accompanied by a pulsing headache? Experiencing these symptoms is commonly linked to the quality and intensity of your office lighting, which can significantly affect your ability to focus and concentrate. This also holds for your computer light; sitting in front of a bright monitor for too long can cause headaches, fatigue, and stress. Your computer screen is equipped with LED technology, which causes it to emit high amounts of blue light. Exposure to blue light for long durations of time can be a major contributor to any eye discomfort you may feel. Reclaiming your wellness, and preventing any future impacts could be as simple as adjusting your monitor screen brightness. It may also be worthwhile to purchase a pair of blue-light blocking glasses to limit the effects of blue light exposure. Your eye is equipped with protection from various sources of light, but those structures don’t keep out blue light. Having that extra protection can come in handy on those spreadsheet-heavy days that have you staring at your computer screen for hours on end.
Continue to Support and Maintain Well-being in the Workplace
Employees are looking to their employer to provide support in all areas of well-being and looking beyond the health programs that advocate for understanding the importance of physical health and associated health risks. Employees seek well-designed programs that assist them in meeting their mental, emotional, social, and community health goals.
Offer programs that help workers better monitor and reduce their stress levels. Provide in-office advanced solutions such as a workshop on emotional resilience, a quiet room in the office, or institute downtime for 15-minutes of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Offering subscriptions for apps that support sleep and relaxation can provide your workers the opportunity to nurture their wellness outside of the workplace. Most importantly, offer your company or organization as a support system to your employees.
If you are able to be employed by a company or organization that thoroughly emphasizes the importance of workplace wellness programs, do not take these for granted. As this is still a developing conversation, make sure you are utilizing the programs and incentives being offered to better demonstrate the benefits of incorporating wellness into the workplace. Thus, growing the conversation to be a more influential and persuasive one.
There are countless ways that employers can incorporate employee well-being into their workplace. Considering these suggestions for workplace wellness programs will not only enrich company culture and improve the productivity output of team members, but it makes your employees feel good in all areas of their life – including work.