Employee wellbeing is a phrase that is used abundantly within companies and the media, and not without good reason. Optimum physical and mental health is key to productivity. A study published in the US journal Health Affairs found that for every $1 spent on wellbeing programmes, medical costs fall by $3.27 and absenteeism costs fall by $2.73, which is an exceptional return on investment by almost anyone’s standards.
Following our Workthere Wellbeing Awards, in which we highlight the top three wellbeing flexible offices in countries around the world, we offer some practical tips below for improving your wellbeing score. With wellbeing becoming increasingly prevalent in many aspects of our lives, it’s now more important than ever to focus on wellbeing facilities.
1. Put on more community events
Feeling supported and part of a community is a key pillar of wellbeing. 86% of flexible offices host at least one community event a week and 26% host three or more a week. The nature of these events can vary: community breakfasts, running clubs, networking drinks, panel discussions, monthly game nights or inviting venture capitalist guest speakers are some different ways of encouraging integration between members.
2. Measure your air quality more frequently
62% of flexible offices measure the air quality of their workspace at least monthly, although 16% do not measure it at all. 25% actually measure their air quality continuously. We gave a relatively high weighting to the frequency of air quality measurements, given it’s the first step to ensuring workers are breathing fresh air, which is core to optimum wellbeing.
3. Partner with a gym to offer discounted membership
Just over a third of flexible offices have an on-site gym (any gym within the building was included in this category even if it was not owned by the flexible office provider). Obviously creating an entire gym is costly, but an easier win is to partner with a nearby health club and offer discounted memberships to coworkers. We found that the average gym discount offered was 15%.
4. Offer free fruit
Only half of flexible office providers offer free fruit. For those that do, £2.37 is the average budget per person per week. If you want a hassle-free way of ensuring there’s always fruit on offer, you can get weekly deliveries of fruit boxes. Many of them source seasonal fruit from local farmers, so it’s also a way of supporting your local community.
5. Host exercise or meditation classes
We gave a high weighting to this metric, seeing as exercise and meditation classes are powerful ways of boosting mental wellbeing of employees. As important as they are, it’s sometimes tricky to fit an exercise class or meditation session into our daily lives, but offering these within a workplace can make it significantly easier. You don’t have to have a dedicated gym or wellness space; moving furniture to the side of the room and hosting an early evening class is a feasible option.
Find out what flexible offices are doing around wellbeingRead more