Read any blog about employee mental health, wellness in the workplace and the post-pandemic world we find ourselves in and you will probably also come across some pretty worrying statistics.
And even though it may feel like we have the pandemic in our rear view mirrors, recent research conducted by Westfield Health found that:
“As of 2022, almost half (46%) of workers are close to burnout.”
That’s a lot. Take a look around your office right this very moment – according to the stats, half of the people in your immediate vicinity could be suffering from stress and poor mental health caused by work.
So surely the obvious answer is to take some time out?
Not if you believe the findings of a Glassdoor survey which found that despite 72% of full-time workers in the UK believing that annual leave is an effective way of combating burnout, only 34% said that their employer encouraged them to use their total holiday allowance.
And then consider that last year only 60% of employees used all of their holiday entitlement and a shocking 18% took none of it at all.
It’s clear from the above that burnout is a real problem and taking time off doesn’t appear to be the solution. So what can you do as an employer to encourage workplace wellness?
Why wellness in the workplace is so important
It’s obvious that any forward thinking organisation would want to do anything within their power to stop their employees from crashing and burning.
After all, an unhappy employee is not a productive employee. And the result of having half of your people feeling stressed out and fed up will be festering discontent spreading throughout your workplace.
And that will have an inevitable, adverse effect on your staff retention rates – and your bottom line.
Because let’s not forget that caring about your employees’ mental health and wellbeing is not only the right thing to do, it will also have a huge impact on the perception of your employer brand.
Therefore, let’s look at some corporate wellbeing ideas that will help your business shake off the negative vibes and get your employees back on track so that they feel better and perform better.
Workplace wellness: The holistic approach
First of all it’s important to recognise that modern employers who want to encourage wellness at work are now taking a more integrated approach to the concept. For image-conscious companies who genuinely care about their employees, wellness in the workplace is so much more than subsidised gym memberships and a brief foray into walking meetings.
Physical fitness is important, of course. But so too is mental health. The two are closely entwined and more than ever before we are beginning to understand that one is never truly whole without the other.
Corporate wellbeing ideas for forward-thinking companies
So how can you, as an employer, respond to this urgency for greater employee mental health and workplace wellness?
An on-site gym is a fantastic way of giving your people access to an affordable and convenient way to achieve greater physical fitness, whether that’s through lifting some serious weights or undertaking a cardio workout that suits their abilities.
And of course, physical activity will have a positive effect on their mental wellbeing too.
But as we mentioned, looking at wellness in the workplace needs to be approached holistically. A corporate gym is absolutely a huge employee perk for many candidates and employees but you need to look at wellness at work ideas from a 360 degree point of view.
When trying to eliminate, or at least reduce, those unwanted feelings of stress and burnout in your employees, you need to look at other areas.
For example, a meditation space will enable frazzled employees to take a step back from their computer, take a few moments to centre themselves and return to their desk feeling more positive and productive.
Likewise, a corporate yoga studio will have a similar effect and, like a meditation space, can be used to offer lunchtime or post-work classes as well as allowing employees some solo downtime when they feel like they need to regroup and refocus.
Add-ons to your corporate wellness facilities, such as a jacuzzi or a sauna, will also help employees to zone out and maybe even finally put their finger on what exactly it is that will take that marketing campaign to the next level!
Wellness at work: Design matters
But sticking a few exercise bikes and a couple of yoga mats in a corner of your office isn’t going to cut it. Not if you’re really serious about fighting burnout and increasing wellness at work.
You need to consider factors such as how wellness design can affect mental health. Second hand equipment and a room that screams disused office is not going to entice many of your employees to use it and will inevitably prove to be a waste of time and money.
You need to respond to employee wellness with design. That means thinking about the space and understanding what would work best for its function.
Fitness trends come and go but bright neon lights and pumping music that energises users is often a popular design choice for corporate gyms. Meanwhile, soft, natural, tactile materials such as bamboo and stone will give meditation spaces and yoga studios the earthy zen vibe that allows your employees to focus while they recharge.
How zynk can help you help your employees
As an employer who wants both the best for your people and the best for your organisation – and let’s be honest, the two are inextricably entwined – you need to take steps to ensure your company is stepping up to the challenge and taking workplace wellness seriously.
We’d like to invite you to download our free eBook, Wellbeing at work: 2022 corporate wellness design trends for employers, which is a valuable resource for business leaders who are looking for some actionable wellness at work ideas.
Download the eBook here and let’s find a solution to improve your employees’ mental health together.