Healthy Workplace: Employees Want the Basics First

When it comes to health and wellness in the workplace, recent surveys show that employees want the basics.

A recent Harvard Business Review article, Survey: What Employees Want Most from Their Workspaces, suggests “wellness programs offered by 80% if the larger U.S. companies yield unimpressive results.” Put aside onsite gyms, meditation rooms, and standing desks; the surprising results showed employees want better air quality, access to natural light, and the ability to personalize their workspace.

“Half of the employees we surveyed said poor air quality makes them sleepier during the day, and more than a third reported up to an hour in lost productivity as a result. In fact, air quality and light were the biggest influencers of employee performance, happiness, and wellbeing, while fitness facilities and technology-based health tools were the most trivial.”

Poor air quality has been linked to lower worker productivity and higher absenteeism rates. Research has shown that simple improvements to air quality can reduce abesenteeism up to four days per year. When you put that into dollars, that can cost a company an “estimated $3,600 annually per hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried workers $3,600 annually per hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried workers.”

Companies who put an emphasis on improving the employees satisfaction rates tend to have higher worker productivity and retention rates. The Harvard Business Review suggests 3 tips to get started on improving your work environment:

Stop spending money on pointless office perks.

Ask your employees what truly matters to them; then take their feedback and make those improvements and adjustments. Give them a voice.

Personalize when possible

Not all employees want the same thing; allowing them to adjust their workspace so that it better suits their wants and needs is a major bonus.

Create a holistic view of workplace wellness

Create a culture of wellness inside the office by providing as many healthy options and opportunities for your employees to take advantage of.