- 1 in 10 employees didn’t even have the proper internet connection after one year of working from home according to Microsoft.
- Navigating new methods of working means more than setting up a workspace at home. For many, it has required hours of learning new programs and other software to make their lives easier.
- Casual Fridays and discounts to local gyms are both great methods of encouraging workers to nurture their physical and mental health, but it is the workplace tools themselves that can make all the difference.
The human touch can never be adequately replaced, especially at work.
As a result, companies tend to lean on personal touches when incorporating wellness into the workplace.
Amenities like yoga studios, nap rooms, outdoor space, flexible work arrangements, and more have emerged as some of the most popular methods of creating a healthy work-life balance.
Although there is nothing inherently wrong about utilizing these types of perks, technology that makes the workday run smoothly is the glue that keeps employee wellness together.
According to a 2021 report from Microsoft, after one year of working from home, 42% of professionals said they still did not have adequate home office supplies, while 1 in 10 didn’t even have the proper internet connection.
This may seem like a simple oversight, but analysis from Qualtrics shows that workers who are able to gain access to the proper work technology are 85% more likely to stay with their employer beyond three years.
Even more, workers were found to be 230% more engaged.
Thinking Outside the Wellness Box
While, yes, Casual Fridays and discounts to local gyms are both great methods of encouraging workers to nurture their physical and mental health, it is the workplace tools themselves that can make all the difference.
Even prior to the pandemic, wellness at work was known to have a direct impact on the experience of workers. A 2017 study from the American Journal of Health Promotion showed that more than 46% of employers provided some form of wellness programs.
More recent research from Tradeshift of 500 financial and accounting professionals revealed that 71% of respondents believe automation would improve their job satisfaction.
Navigating new methods of working means more than setting up a workspace at home — for many, it has required hours of learning new programs and other software to make their lives easier.
The impact that workplace technology can have on wellness should not be underestimated.
Allwork.Space recently sat down with Elena Beloshapkova, CEO of office booking platform inspace, to discuss the importance of Software-as-a-Service in the workplace and the role it plays in creating an office culture that prioritizes wellness.
Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.
Allwork.Space: Why do some remote and hybrid work arrangements fail?
Elena Beloshapkova: There are a number of reasons why remote and hybrid work arrangements fail which can be grouped into common themes, communications, adjustability and having little data-driven insights into the role spaces play in a company’s [overall] results.
Very few companies are fortunate enough to have accurate data to inform their space decisions. This is unfortunate because it is the data that will ultimately help office managers determine what the team’s needs actually are.
From something as simple as understanding which conference rooms are being used, to the more complex question of, “What type of space do we need?” Technology can certainly provide answers, but only if your team adopts it. Are you getting accurate desk usage – for example – if you do not require a check-in? That depends, how often are spaces reserved and actually used? Alternatively, if they are used but not ever reserved?
Allwork.Space: Do you think that workplace wellness has become a priority in the aftermath of COVID?
Elena Beloshapkova: Absolutely, but perhaps not for all of the obvious reasons. Certainly, there is much more of a focus on the spread of disease and keeping things as clean as possible when sharing spaces. But really, the changes are much deeper than disinfecting surfaces.
The past couple of years have been filled with uncertainty, never-ending challenges, and a lot of stress. Add that to the breakdown of clear boundaries between work, family and rest time and you end up with most of the workforce being burnt out. People are making changes in how they want to live and work.
It is no longer enough to set up a wellness room or add wellness-related perks to the benefits plan. Employers today need to do whatever they can to reduce workplace stress, recognize burnout and mental health needs in their teams and provide supportive care where they can.
Allwork.Space: What are some rarely-thought-of-measures leaders can take to prevent employee burnout?
Elena Beloshapkova: Burnout is related to chronic stress that isn’t managed effectively. Given that nearly all of us have been living through likely the most stressful time in recent history, it won’t take much for people to burn out. First and foremost, leaders must check in with their teams often and look for signs of things becoming too much and make practical and healthy changes where they can.
Of course, this all has to start with leaders who help instill a healthy culture where the needs of employees are considered and cared for. One area we think is not considered enough is the stress of all the little things that get in the way of the workday.
For example, how hard is it to log into your systems? How difficult is it to find things when they are needed? Are resources available and easily accessible? Leaders underestimate how much a seamless experience with the physical and virtual offices can positively impact the experience employees have overall.