The pandemic has changed the physical workplace. First and foremost, few people want to return to work full-time, which means the workplace is becoming less of a place to work and more of a place to network, share knowledge and stay connected with colleagues.
The growing interest in workplace wellness suggests a possible paradigm shift. How is society changing and how is it treating workers? This interest is sparked in part by studies showing that well-being can lead to more engaged and productive workers.
By most definitions, well-being goes beyond just coping to include optimism, a meaningful life, prosperity, and success.
Employers' motivations for adopting well-being or prevention practices are complex and influenced by many factors: the leader's upbringing and personality, the leader's ability to articulate the value proposition to employees, local business and health needs, industry norms, and the historical and economic context.
Motivations for well-being in the workplace can be divided into three approaches that often overlap:
1) The humanitarian approach
It describes the link between an engaged, resilient workforce and a profitable business.
2) The return-on-investment approach
The recent rise in the cost of health insurance benefits is a primary reason many companies have adopted the ROI approach. Simply put, the approach answers the question of how much profit a company makes on a given amount of capital.
3) The value-on-investment approach
Many of the benefit design efforts mentioned above, either did not produce the ROI that was hoped for or the sustained healthy lifestyle that drove up claim costs. More recently, employers are increasingly recognizing that many complex factors impact the workplace and employee health, leading them to consider a broader approach that considers return on investment as one of several motivators for implementing programs. These factors include the need to work with an aging workforce, recognition of mental health issues, the impact of the 24/7 workweek and related technologies stressing workers, remote work, and environmental factors. To address these factors holistically, employers are beginning to recognize the value of investment (VOI) of their well-being programs.
On what basis can a healthy workplace be established now?
Employee involvement: Employee involvement can trigger better employee attitudes, higher job satisfaction and well-being and satisfaction in general on the employee side.
Growth and development: If a company emphasizes employee training and development, employees can be more motivated, more satisfied, and less stressed.
Work-life balance: Companies that value a work-life balance can expect improved psychological well-being in the workforce.
Employee recognition: A feeling of appreciation and interesting work are increasingly more important to employees than salary.
Health and safety: Workplace safety efforts should focus not only on injury prevention, but also on health in terms of well-being. Companies must find ways to use employee well-being to promote business success.
When we talk about well-being at work, we are talking about more than the absence of diagnosable psychiatric disorders. We are talking about ecological, physical, psychological, and social dimensions. To implement this, managers are required to formulate employee well-being as an explicit goal, within the framework of strategic and long-term objectives for the company's success.