Here’s how to put healthcare front and center to foster prosperity
The Coronavirus pandemic has sparked a global conversation on the accessibility to healthcare in the different aspects of work-life.
For the past century, technological advances in healthcare have been astonishing. However, there’s a significant disconnection between the quality of life that workers, from factories to offices, receive with the mental and physical health problems they’re prone to face in their day-to-day life concerning their jobs.
Current traditional models are being subjected to change as large enterprises realize that having their non-essential workers at home is a cost-effective solution. For example, companies like Twitter have stated that their employees can work remotely indefinitely, even after the virus is controlled.
The situation heightens the need for an overhaul of the office model, rethinking work culture, and putting healthcare front and center to foster prosperity. How can organizations navigate the physical and mental health challenges their workers face while attempting to remodel the traditional office system to better fit life after Covid-19?
Rethinking Offices and Work Culture
The virus is changing how we operate, and this could be an opportunity for companies to refine the aspects of work-life that foster employee’s well-being, starting with their culture and office model. Even before the pandemic, some studies suggested that working from home would be beneficial for most of the workforce. However, companies like Microsoft and EventBrite have reported problems akin to toxic work-culture, like increased levels of stress, lack of communication, and unsustainable work-life balance. In the long run, these issues manifest in negative situations such as increased voluntary turnover and doctor visits.
Ironically, companies that neglect to invest in their employees’ well-being tend to have more healthcare-related expenditures.
Half of the people working from home right now would prefer to remain so. However, dissatisfaction is growing among workers who did not have the same privilege. Essential employees have taken to the streets to voice their concerns concerning the lack of importance employers are giving to their well-being. Healthcare is directly tied to several parts of a job, such as an employee’s engagement, productivity, and overall happiness.
Work is the leading cause of stress in people’s life. Applying the right solutions goes beyond installing a ping-pong table. There are four pillars to people’s general well-being and health: emotional, social, physical, and financial prosperity. Some of the benefits from workplaces that center their culture around these four pillars are increased efficiency, creativity, and engagement.
For businesses thinking about opening up their workspace once again, there are solutions such as hybrid remote, fully remote, or even results-only work environment (ROWE) models, where employees are paid for results instead of recorded hours.
Make Quick Improvements to Employee’s Health
While it’s not easy for any company to completely change its culture and focus from one day to the other, small steps can be taken over time to ensure employees are well taken care of.
Implement the right technology – Companies that want their offices to reopen should use contact tracing solutions to efficiently limit the risk of spread of Covid-19 when returning to office spaces, or in operations where essential workers are needed.
Promote healthy habits – When it comes to physical health, one of the biggest obstacles of working in an office is inactivity. Sitting for a prolonged amount of time poses a similar death risk to that of smoking or obesity. To tackle this issue, employers can provide fitness trackers and active sitting solutions to encourage employees to stay active while working, which is crucial for people with busy lives. Promoting exercise group activities and sports among colleagues is another way to encourage social interaction, which tackles loneliness while keeping employees physically active.
Encourage time-out – Understanding when workers need a break and a rest from work life, prioritizing the things that make them happy and relaxed. Encourage short breaks throughout the day, full lunch hours, and a healthy work-life balance.
Promote social interaction – Lack of human connection is associated with depression and anxiety, so it’s crucial to ensure that the lines of communication are open and that leadership interacts with different teams throughout the day. This can be achieved by having team leaders have frequent one-on-ones with their employees and promoting social activities among colleagues like group lunches and after-work hangouts.
With many companies getting ready to open their facilities, this is an opportunity to make the necessary changes to implement models that prioritize well-being. The benefits offered by prosperity- centric approaches far outweigh the negatives. Without appropriate healthcare-driven models in work culture, there וs no prosperity.