How can you gain a coherent
wellbeing strategy?

How and where we work is in a state of flux. Within our workplace we are experiencing more change, more quickly than at any time in the last 25 years.

While we adjust to these rapid changes in technology, working practices and the places where people work, we are also collaborating within a more varied and transient working population, culturally, physically and generationally.

With a backdrop of economic growth all be it a little shaky at times, how do companies attract and retain the best talent? According to the commission for architecture and the built environment, the workplace is responsible for 24% of job satisfaction, effects individual performance by 5% and team’s performance by 11%.

Tips for employers (Taylour and Jordan 2014)

  • For focussed work, ensure that distractions are kept to a minimum and devise ‘acoustic etiquette’ principles.
  • Ensure all work areas in the office away from the fixed desk have an adequate number of power sockets and optimum ergonomic features to encourage wellbeing.
  • Don’t adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to flexible working. Tailor it to individuals including personality and generation types.
  • Provide adequate technical support for flexible workers including providing support for any of their own devices that they use for work.
  • Measure performance according to objective criteria, not by how much a person is ‘visible’. Incorporate personal fitness and wellbeing objectives that go beyond neutral to combat stress (Taylour 2014).
  • Provide remote workers with regular opportunities to socialise with their colleagues.

Tips for employees:

Personal wellbeing principles as developed by Jordan (2014) underline the importance of personal responsibility. The model has five principles that employees can apply to work:

  • Take responsibility: The quick and ongoing changes in work locations and devices means that employers’ policies are likely to be out of date and lack relevance to the current situation. We need to take personal responsibility for our wellbeing.
  • Set goals: Aim to achieve wellbeing in all areas of your professional and personal life. Understand what makes for a truly life-enhancing work experience and identify the areas where this experience can be improved.
  • Be positive: Work should make life better and increase our level of wellbeing. Focus not only on how to minimise the negative effects of work, but also on the positive benefits that it can bring in terms of health, wellbeing and personal and professional development.
  • Persevere intelligently: Find the information that is needed to help improve productivity and wellbeing and put it into practice. Stay up to date with the latest findings and best practices.
  • Connect with others: Identify and seek help from those who can help improve your wellbeing and give the best advice. This includes people within the organisation who can facilitate organisational changes.

With the backdrop of changing work cultures, new technologies, alternative work environments, greater user diversity (in terms of weight, ethnicity, ageing, accessibility etc) and generational differences, there has never been a more significant time for organisations to embrace new attitudes and guidelines to achieve high levels of wellness and productivity.

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Written by - Jim Taylour,
Head of Design and Wellbeing at Orangebox

Date - 30/08/2017