Not long ago, Bright Horizons released the Modern Families Index in partnership with Working Families: a series of data showing great insight into today’s modern families and the challenges for employees. One of the most interesting facts from the report came in the form of employee wellbeing and the impact of work pressure – with more than a third of employees confessing to relying on ready meals, eating unhealthy food and failing to take enough exercise. [Graphic] I think it’s safe to say we’re all partial to a piece of chocolate, and placing a pizza in the oven (every now and then!) after a long day in the office is not the end of the world. But with increasing work pressures, relying on fast-food and little exercise is not a sustainable solution and it can have a great impact on both our employees and our organisation.
So what’s the answer? First, we need to understand a little more…
What is wellbeing?
Wellbeing is all those elements of life, from family and the community to work and financial, as well as our physical and mental health. For some employees, the pressure points affecting wellbeing might be caring for a dependant, paying bills or changing career direction, but often it’s the simple things too, including a little ‘me time’ to indulge in a hobby or exercise.
The business case for employee wellbeing
The pressures presented in our workplace and at home often impede our employees’ performance, while building their wellbeing supports them. Supporting our employees is therefore a hot topic; it can have an enormous impact our employees’ psychological wellbeing and also their physical wellbeing, which in turn has a knock-on effect on our employees’ ability to do their work – impacting both the employee and the employer.
What can you do?
Whatever our organisation’s size, type or location, your employees are a valuable asset and there are a few simple things you can do for your employees’ health and wellbeing:
Listening. Although simple, just listening to your employee can change their overall feelings of wellbeing. Ask ‘How are you?’, listen for times when they need help and try to be flexible and considerate where possible.
Communicate Communication is key. Help your employees to talk to you about issues affecting their home and work life, and encourage them to come to you when they need help or when they might be feeling under pressure.
Healthy Workplace A healthy workplace means healthy employees, who are safe and secure. Look at the different ways you can improve your workplace – from gyms and additional facilities to safe workspaces.
Healthy Living Encourage and promote healthy living and healthy lifestyles both at home and at work. Health awareness events and news are great, in additional to health seminars and information.
Like riding a bike
Relieving the pressure and supporting our employees in their personal lives produces great results and it’s very simple. If we’re able to support our employees across all aspect of their lives, we’re able to create an environment in which our employees can thrive and bring their whole selves to work.
With a few simple changes to our workplace, and support when under pressure, improving our employees’ wellbeing and encouraging a healthier lifestyle is really easy – much like riding a bike!