5 key actions to improve your employees’ well-being at work

Last modified date

The world of work has undergone many major changes in recent decades. Today’s employees want to work in fulfilling, meaningful and motivating jobs. These expectations are shared by employers. Companies care about employee well-being and are implementing solutions to improve the quality of working life. Well-being at work has a big impact on a business, improving its overall productivity as well as its image. Do you want to create a professional environment that gives employees a better quality of life at work? Are you interested in learning how to improve mental well-being at work? In this article, you will find resources to help you provide a pleasant and safe working environment for your employees. These solutions address the design of your premises, preventing over connection, encouraging physical activity, and implementing an inclusion policy and appropriate management methods.

Optimising the environment to improve well-being at work

The layout of office premises has an impact on the quality of employees’ working life. As partial remote working has become the norm for many, workspaces are becoming more flexible. These make it possible for colleagues to get together and work in project teams depending on the people who are there that day.

Companies may also prefer an open-plan design, which is welcoming and flexible, as opposed to traditional, more closed offices. These workspaces should include quieter and more independent areas. Creating a functional and pleasant everyday working environment helps to attract and retain talent by increasing the attractiveness of the employer brand.

Here are some examples of design solutions that create positive working conditions:

  • An ergonomic workstation, which reduces fatigue and the risk of health problems such as musculoskeletal disorders;
  • The creation of an environment conducive to relaxation, i.e., uncluttered, with plants and natural light sources;
  • Lighting intensity suited to the location, e.g., a difference in lighting between the work area and the break room;
  • The provision of games, magazines and other pastimes that help people relax during their lunch break.

Promoting a good work-life balance

As remote working has taken off, the boundary between people’s private and working life is getting increasingly blurry. However, maintaining the right balance between these two worlds is an important lever for employees’ mental well-being. You can offer your remote working employees awareness training to help them see how vital this is. This means each employee will realise the importance of compartmentalising working hours and personal time.

For example, everyone has a right to disconnect, whether or not they are working from home. This right means that employees must not be disturbed outside their working hours. Practically speaking, they have the right not to respond to emails or other requests from colleagues or superiors outside of working hours and days. This also applies to holiday periods.

Encouraging every employee to take care of their health and wellbeing

Another idea for improving well-being at work is to encourage employees to stay in good physical health. For example, some companies encourage physical exercise. This can take the form of paying for a gym membership. Employees can then choose to come to the gym before starting their working day or during lunchtime.

The employer can also offer sports sessions (such as yoga classes) during working hours. A special relaxation room in the office can be used for this type of activity. Companies can also provide outdoor therapeutic facilities in the vicinity of the office.

Regular physical activity offers many benefits: It can reduce stress and anxiety and lower the risk of heart disease. Sport is also known to boost morale and improve mental health. A sports session is an opportunity for self-care. Employees will be more focused and creative after a workout session. Better health at work also prevents the likelihood of sick leave or accidents arising from physical exertion on the job. Finally, beyond mental well-being and health, a communal sports session helps develop team spirit.

Developing an inclusion policy to improve well-being and performance at work

Employee well-being depends on the establishment of an inclusive work environment. Workplace inclusion is not just about fighting discrimination. It also means seeing the diversity in your workforce as a strength and an opportunity for the company. The uniqueness, professional experience and personal background of each individual strengthen the collective. The HR policy should therefore be focused on creating a corporate culture of inclusion, which encourages the emergence of a strong sense of belonging among staff members.

Inclusion is also part of several international laws and agreements. This value is more particularly included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN in 2015. Goal 10 calls for reducing inequalities and promoting inclusion in all aspects of society.

An inclusion policy is also about creating a certain harmony and bond between employees. The quality of interpersonal relations is in fact one of the most important factors contributing to well-being at work. It is essential to cultivate an environment that fosters such relationships, especially with the increase in remote working, through appropriate management initiatives.

Leveraging Management to improve well-being at Work

Managers have a key role in well-being at work. Their management methods need to adapt to current expectations and to new ways of working. Driven by remote working, but also because it echoes employees’ own aspirations, presenteeism is giving way to more autonomy with work and flexible working hours. Managers are now evaluating the quality of the employees’ work on the basis of what is produced. The question of punctuality and hours worked takes a back seat. Employees also want more recognition for their work from their superiors. Remember that a happy employee will be more productive.

The manager is also the promoter of team cohesion, a strategy that improves well-being at work. On the job front, they unite the team over a common goal, making it meaningful. They also seek to maintain a good atmosphere in their department and to create bonds between

employees. For that, they need to arrange events outside the company’s formal workplace. Whether it’s a team lunch or a team-building session, there are plenty of opportunities for improving the mood of employees and generating a sense of belonging.

Company managers can be supported by a chief happiness officer1, specialising in improving the quality of life at work. The chief happiness officer creates an inventory of working conditions with the help of wellness at work indicators. They then suggest solutions so that management can take practical steps towards improving teams’ everyday well-being.

Manutan has made well-being at work one of its top priorities by focusing on social and managerial innovation. Learn more about this topic by downloading our white paper on “Well-working.

Lauren Warwick