How corporate wellness can boost productivity

According to the ISS New Ways of Working survey, helping employees managing their work-life balance will be the most vital workplace amenity for employees towards 2020. But how can employers play a role in reducing work-related stress, while boosting productivity?

The impact of new technologies as well as the ability to work from anywhere is introducing new challenges for workplaces. Challenges which facility managers must have in mind when developing workplace strategies and ensuring employee well-being.

Enabled by mobile technologies, among others, most workers and knowledge workers in particular are always within the reach of the office. In turn, this creates difficulties in balancing work and personal life, leading to increased stress, more instances of illness and decreased life satisfaction.

Corporate wellness can minimise stress and decrease absenteeism

More and more employees believe that the employers must take an active part in reducing the amount of stress in their lives and that the workplace is capable of reducing the stress levels employees are facing. For many, wellness initiatives are also of higher value than their wages.
It is not only on the employee side of business that corporate wellness can make a profound impact. A study by Harvard University researchers who reviewed 36 studies of corporate wellness programs found that for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the company's absenteeism-related costs fell about $2.73. One meta-analysis of 42 corporate wellness studies also found a 25% reduction in sick leave and absenteeism, a 25% reduction in health costs, and a 32% reduction in worker's disability costs and compensation.

Corporate wellness initiatives need to move beyond HR

For employers looking to attract and retain top talent, while decreasing the level of employee disengagement, offering the right mix for corporate wellness initiatives is critical. Fortunately, there are multiple ways facility management providers can help reduce stress levels and the daily challenges employees are facing.

Possible ways facility management providers can affect workers’ work-life balance include:

  • weight-loss programs that address physical health
  • meditation programs that sharpen mental focus
  • flexible work arrangements
  • being more accommodating as to where employees may carry out their work assignments
  • focusing on the quality of the work environment (reducing noise levels, designing and implementing more private areas)
  • the introduction of other amenities such as fitness rooms, day care centers etc.

To reduce the level of disengagement among employees, the emphasis on corporate wellness and employee well-being needs to move beyond human resources and instead become a corporate initiative. The C-suite needs to understand how corporate wellness can positively influence their bottom line through increased employee engagement and  productivity. For facility managers, this will require new efforts to balance (i) demands for controlling/cutting costs coming from management with (ii) ensuring productivity and well-being of the workers.

For all parties, a successful implementation will require behavior modification. It will require both the office workers, facility managers and C-level executives to think differently about wellness, what it means to them, how it can be implemented and in the end bring forth motivation, engagement, productivity and well-being.

Get more insights on how work-life balance can be managed. See: INFOGRAPHIC: How FM providers can manage work-life balance i the workplace. To learn more about how our ways of working will change towards 2020, download our Vision 2020 White Book: New Ways of Working - the workplace of the future.
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How does your workplace manage corporate wellness initiatives? Please contribute with your inputs in the comment field below.