In the past few years, especially following Covid-19, a significant surge of companies focusing on employee health and well-being has occurred. For many, the pandemic negatively impacted people, placing their well-being in the workforce in jeopardy. With this in mind, employers are trying to find ways to support their employees as best as possible. The impact of ignoring employee well-being goes beyond just productivity, and “to build a more resilient workforce and rebuild the economy [...], employers should prioritize well-being, which is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”.
Discard the Blame the Worker Approach
Before this shift, most companies approached issues with employees through the blame-the-worker approach or trying to identify quick fixes for big problems. It is much easier for companies to place the entire responsibility of finding a solution on the employee. But, this mindset is outdated. There are no quick fixes to mental health that result in lasting change and personal growth for employers. The progression of an individual's mental health is not linear, and treating the process as such will not nurture employee well-being. Research suggests that employers should approach lessening emotional and mental health issues amongst employees in the same manner a business typically addresses physical safety hazards. To properly support one's colleagues, getting to the root or cause of the problem is crucial when looking for long-term solutions.
Now more than ever, employee well-being impacts the entire organisation, and change begins at the top. Managers and team leaders can play a significant role in their employees' rest and stress habits by addressing and reinventing a company's culture to focus on well-being. Supportive behaviours should begin with the top leadership as they can eliminate workplace conditions that negatively contribute to workplace well-being. If these poor practices can get replaced with safer ones, companies can begin to redesign the work environment to prioritise health, safety, and well-being.
Ways to Promote Employee Well-Being
So what factors play a significant role in employee well-being?
Work demands can look different within each company or department. But, as a general caution, creating reasonable time, mental, and emotional requests for employees is crucial. Rather than getting more work done, long work hours and intensive time pressures result in employees becoming burnt-out or less productive as the day progresses.
With the new option of working at home, implementing a hybrid workweek represents another strategy to increase productivity and well-being. Many companies aim to get everyone back in the office, but this presents more of a challenge than expected. Developing a flexible work schedule that benefits the employee and the company can significantly change overall productivity and well-being in the workplace. Allowing employees more leniency to generate their work schedule allows employees to feel more freedom and less time pressure when completing tasks.
Lastly, social support is crucial. Solely implementing and promoting employee well-being is not enough. Acting on well-being initiatives is necessary. Creating a healthier work environment only goes so far if no one practices it. For example, supporting better sleep for employees and sending late-night emails do not add up. By talking positively about sleep and mentioning napping, managers can also work to make hours more flexible and introduce places to rest into the workplace to really promote the new healthy living initiative.
How Does This Shift Help?
By implementing these objectives, company culture can change dramatically. The addition of development and training programs into a business can improve people’s ability to communicate, problem solve, present, and resolve conflict. By discussing well-being openly and positively, along with taking action to do so, the culture that places work above personal needs disappears. This mentality empowers people in the workplace to take care of themselves, allowing them to be at their best for others. If employees feel appreciated and cared for and experience less absenteeism, productivity can skyrocket, and overall performance increases.
Why Rest Space?
So how does Rest Space fit into all of this? Our goal is to destigmatise napping in the workplace by altering the language used to reflect more positively. Rest Space wants to demonstrate that napping and getting good sleep can benefit everyone through education and awareness, which starts in the office.
A Rest Space sleep pods can contribute to this shift in company culture by granting employees easy access to a location to rest and recharge. Go to our website restspaceldn.com to read more about the benefits of napping and how our nap pods can fit into your workspace.