How can businesses improve the wellbeing of desk-based workers_

How can businesses improve the wellbeing of desk-based workers?

Over the past few years the definition of an ‘office worker’ has changed from what we were used to. No longer does this mean you must work on-site surrounded by your colleagues five days a week, but instead, some people work completely remote or opt for a hybrid approach.

With the workforce divided it’s harder to have visibility on all of your employees and ensure their wellbeing isn’t being negatively impacted. With the importance of wellbeing at work being a growing topic since the pandemic, businesses must move forward to create a modern and adaptable strategy that allows their people to strive no matter where they work.

Improving your wellbeing strategy

Our Future of Work report revealed that 66% of employees want more wellbeing support from their employer, and 38% of people who work from home feel wellbeing initiatives improved their productivity.

Wellbeing isn’t one size fits all. Organisations need to offer an all-in-one, cost-effective wellbeing solution that’s relevant, accessible and appealing to the whole workforce. In the age of hybrid office workers, how do employers make sure their wellbeing strategy reaches every employee and provides the support they need?

Understand what your workers want

Wellbeing can cover a range of different issues and topics, so it’s important to understand what your employees want. Business leaders should begin by gathering feedback from their people to determine what support is needed most. This collection of data will help you to focus your health and wellbeing activities where your people actually want help, rather than just guessing which solution will work best.

Empowering your people to have a say in the wellbeing initiatives that will directly impact them means you can choose resources that are tailored to individuals’ needs, increasing the impact of the wellbeing strategy.

Offer practical solutions

When choosing your wellbeing solutions it’s important to consider what value your employees will get from them. While free fruit and gym discounts are popular perks, employees need to know that if they do find themselves with a wellbeing issue, the solutions you have in place will be helpful to them. For example, if an employee is struggling with their mental health, an Employee Assistance Programme can give them access to confidential counselling sessions, providing them with a practical solution to the wellbeing problem they’re facing.

Desk-based workers typically face issues that relate to their working circumstances, such as sitting down and being on a screen all day. Common issues you may want to address include:

  • Musculoskeletal/back problems
  • Ways to support mental health remotely
  • Financial support for eye tests
  • Support with work/life balance

Create a culture that values wellbeing

While large-scale culture change is a difficult and gradual process, it’s the most vital

component of a successful wellbeing programme. Bad culture can sabotage even the most well-designed wellbeing programmes, so it’s impossible to talk about workplace wellbeing without first looking at your company culture.

Wellbeing initiatives need to be represented from the top down. For your employees to truly understand that you value their wellbeing they need to know that this isn’t a tick box exercise and that these initiatives are there for them to use. Make sure your leaders appropriately communicate this across the organisation, and that as a company you continue to remind your employees of the wellbeing initiatives that are available to them.

Useful resources

These resources can help you get started with employee wellbeing or adapt your existing plan to better suit your workforce.

Workplace Strategy Workbook

Our free e-book helps you create a wellbeing strategy that empowers your people to make positive changes in the workplace.

Health Calendar

Ready-made annual wellbeing employee engagement programmes, covering a range of health and wellbeing topics.

Our Changing Attitudes to Mental Health

This report explores how employee attitudes to mental health have changed since the pandemic.

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