Wellbeing in the Workplace
Scott Rice recently hosted a CEU presentation on Wellbeing in the Workplace. The presenter, Dave Trousdale, provided the group with lots of great statistics and support documentation about the state of health in the United States and how the workplace can influence employee wellness.
For example, more than one third of our day is spent working, whether in an office or remotely thanks to mobile technology:
The time we spend working takes up a big portion of our waking hours, so there are lots of opportunities to involve wellness into our workday.
Challenges like presenteeism (being at work but not productive due to illness or other distractions) and absenteeism create a loss of productivity and slow down innovation. They also hamper the growth of a strong and positive work culture and can negatively affect a company’s brand and bottom line.
Six Dimensions of Well-being
Health is much more than just a blood pressure reading or keeping up with a daily dose of vitamins. The way we think about health now encompasses the physical, cognitive and social needs of a person.
To encourage awareness of what wellness and health consists of within the context of a workplace, Steelcase has identified six dimensions of well-being. These include:
- Optimism – fostering creativity and innovation
- Mindfulness – fully engaging in the moment
- Authenticity – allowing personal expressiveness
- Belonging – feeling connected to others
- Meaning – finding a sense of purpose
- Vitality – energy, motivation and movement
Incorporating these six dimensions when planning a workplace will ensure that the culture and the physical space will encourage and cultivate a culture of wellness among employees. Allowing employees to change postures throughout the day and giving them choices for where and how they work within a space can greatly increase productivity, decrease discomfort and add to a general sense of happiness.
The way we use a space can greatly affect wellbeing. By providing options and empowering people to engage with their surroundings, employers can begin to positively shape their employees experience at the office and away from it.
When planning a space, consider different work modes:
Product applications that span the entire spectrum of work modes will ensure that employees not only have the resources they need but also the work setting required to be successful, productive and healthy.
Selecting furniture that is both flexible and aesthetically appealing will encourage use, and making sure that technology is accessible and easy to use will guarantee productivity. Remember to incorporate access to power and data; video conferencing and screen sharing are commonplace, and can be set up for both group and individual settings.
Photos from Steelcase 360 Magazine
by Judith Shuey, Director of Design