Wellbeing at work means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There’s a renewed focus on supporting your people’s health at work after nearly two years of pandemic mayhem.
Your initiatives can range from the large to the small, and an employee wellbeing strategy should have many strands. Half of businesses have a standalone wellbeing strategy according to a CIPD survey, while over 80% have updated it to support employees’ mental health and their personal needs during the pandemic. It’s positive to see that many businesses’ strategies are evolving with employee needs.
There are some fun and interesting ways you can keep your wellbeing strategy fluid. Here are some innovative ways you can embed wellbeing deeper into your workplace.
The last two years have been challenging for your people in varying ways. Some have had to juggle childcare while working from home. Others may have caught the virus and been very ill. Many people have lost loved ones. A lot of us have struggled with loneliness.
You can show not only your appreciation for your employees but also how much you care about them by gifting them personalised care packages. If winding down after a stressful day is difficult for some of the team, consider providing a care package with relaxing bath salts and soothing teas. Equally, if sleep has been a problem, include a lavender-scented spray and an eye mask.
If physical health is also part of your wellbeing strategy, you could include a range of healthy snacks and drinks to keep your people satisfied and motivated at their work. Because, let’s face it, it’s all too easy to reach for the chocolate and crisps snack box when you hit the 3pm slump.
Your wellbeing strategy should include initiatives to reduce employee stress, whether that’s through workload management or remote working days. But sometimes, your employees can still experience stress in the workplace. Having dedicated areas for them to take a moment away from their desk and the bustling office can help.
We’ve all seen images of the likes of Google’s offices, which have ample spaces for beanbag chairs, crazy golf, classic arcade games, and designated personal pods for privacy. But what if your office doesn’t have that kind of space?
Turning one of your meeting rooms into a dedicated wellbeing zone could be an option for businesses in smaller offices. Even if all you have in there are some comfy seats, it’s a much more relaxing environment than the busy office floor. Adding things like arcade games, pool tables, or TVs will add an extra layer of fun for your people, but ultimately a safe, quiet space is the biggest priority. Pepper in some oxygen-releasing plants for extra stress-busting properties.
A lot of people want to improve their wellbeing but may feel like they don’t have time to dedicate to it between busy work and home lives. So why not offer them the opportunity to do this during the workday?
Firstly, identify what type of activities your employees would like to see. If they’ve struggled with their mental health during the pandemic, virtual mental health seminars could help. Equally, you could provide confidential telephone counselling services so they can seek one-to-one help.
You could also offer classes before, during, or after work on a range of activities. Yoga is a great one for office-based employees who may be tense after a long day of sitting at a desk. Dance classes can encourage physical activity in a fun, no-pressure environment. Only a quarter of businesses offer onsite exercise or relaxation classes according to a CIPD survey, so this is an area where many organisations can improve.
Your business’ approach to employee wellbeing should be multi-faceted. Alongside a high-level business strategy that takes into account workloads and employee stress, there are fun and innovative ways you can embed wellbeing into your organisation. Although businesses prioritised wellbeing in 2021, 66% of employees still want more wellbeing support. Whether you set up some dance classes to let your people blow off steam in a healthy way or you provide regular care packages, there are so many ways to show your people that you care.