Personal well-being is a priority for many people. Choosing healthier food and drink options and exercising are priorities for many people in everyday life, but what about in the workplace?

Many of use spend eight or more hours a day at work. With that in mind, employees are increasingly expecting their employers to provide ways for themto foster their mental health and overall well-being while at the office. Companies that do so will gain an edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. 

According to Capital One’s 2019 Work Environment Survey, 87 percent of professionals agree it’s important for employers to create spaces and programs to support their mental health and well-being. Providing those types of amenities helps employees feel supported from a holistic perspective, better equipping them to do their jobs and, in turn, create the best work for a company’s customers.

Where can companies begin with offering spaces and amenities to support mental health and well-being at the office? It’s helpful to start with a strategy tailored specifically to a company’s employees. Understanding the elements that are most important to a workforce can help a company decide where to focus resources in creating a well-being program to meet talent’s expectations, but the Work Environment Survey uncovered large scale trends in design and benefits that employees expect to support their mental health and well-being.

 

  • Flexible scheduling: 67 percent agree that flexible schedules are a mental health and well-being resource that would improve their satisfaction at work. Giving employees the flexibility to work outside of the office and adopt non-traditional business hours helps to foster better work/life integration, which can be a key element of job satisfaction for many people. In fact, 81 percent of professionals list a flexible schedule in their top two reasons to stay with a company.
  • Natural elements: Connections to nature in the workplace can boost both well-being and productivity. More than half (53 percent) of employees say natural light is a mental health resource that would boost their satisfaction at work. In addition, 45 percent say that having physical connections to nature in the workplace like outdoor spaces for work would improve their well-being and productivity.
  • Spaces for rest: The desire for spaces in the workplace for people to foster mindfulness and take breaks is on the rise as employees increasingly view it as a way to improve holistic well-being. In fact, 50 percent of employees indicated it as a design element they’d like to see in the 2019 Work Environment Survey, compared to 25 percent in the 2018 survey. These spaces for respite also impact employees’ perceived abilities to do their jobs; nearly all (89 percent) agree they perform their jobs better when spaces for rest or mindfulness breaks are available in the office.
  • Healthier choices: From healthier food choices to options for active breaks, employees are looking for options to maintain personal well-being. When asked which benefits employees most want to see in their workplaces, the top two responses were on-site healthy food and beverage options (35 percent) and active break opportunities (34 percent). While active break opportunities may sound difficult to achieve based on office design or location, a change in behavior, like encouraging employees to have walking meetings, can help provide this benefit regardless of location.

 

Ensuring that employees have the ability to prioritize their well-being and mental health while at the office just as they do in their personal lives not only helps employees feel more supported and valued, it can also help to drive productivity and satisfaction.

Published on: Oct 1, 2019