20.02.2023

How to encourage your team back into the workplace with Employee Wellbeing

Why encouraging your employees back into the office has the potential to benefit everyone

As the country appears to be stepping out of the Covid-19 pandemic and a sense of ‘normality’ appears to be resuming, is it time to consider returning to the office? Whilst working from home does have its advantages, it is worth considering the negatives too.

From an employee point of view, working from home might not prove so efficient or enticing. According to the Office of National Statistics, ‘challenges of collaboration were the greatest negative.’ In addition to this, creating a working environment in the home requires electricity and gas, which, in the current climate, is only looking to increase from a cost perspective, with comparison company, USWITCH stating, ‘Around 16.8 million people across the UK are thought to be staying home when they would usually be going to work – using an estimated 25% more electricity and 17% more gas per day than they usually would.’ These costs would come straight from the employee’s pocket if they were working from home.

From an employer point of view, encouraging employees back into the office will provide opportunities from a social perspective. Employee banter, communication skills, and work social events can all contribute to creating a joyful place of business. In addition, hybrid working could cause organisational issues in knowing who is in and when.

And finally, from a local business point of view, if there is an increase of employees returning to the workplace, then this could benefit the local shops, restaurants, and cafes that might have experienced a drop in footfall or income because of a work-from-home necessity or choice.

Working in an office environment versus working from home

Whilst working from home may seem like an attractive option in the short time, there should be considerations of the long-term effects. One large factor to consider is the working from home office conditions. Does the employee have the correct height desk, or an ergonomic chair that they would have in the office? Does the employee remember to take their designated breaks, or do they find it difficult to concentrate with distractions that come from being at home? Employers have a responsibility in law to protect their employees, through ‘The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations – which became law in 1993 – lay down minimum standards for workplaces and work in or near buildings.’ (Unison.org.uk) And whilst it might seem appealing to live in comfy clothes 24/7, there are perks to spending time on personal appearance and physical wellbeing.

Meetings online have become a common occurrence and can be a very useful tool in today’s working environment, but there is a lot to be said for talking in person, and the way face-to-face conversation has the potential to spark ideas and creativity. And from a speed perspective, waiting for a response, versus asking a colleague straight away could cause delays. In addition, talking to someone directly could also encourage spontaneous interactions, rather than a socially distanced work call.

Employee wellbeing and office massage as key factors to attract employees

Employee wellbeing is a key factor in encouraging employees back into the office. The office environment needs to be a place that employees consider safe, comfortable, and supportive of their physical and emotional wellbeing. In fact, remaining stationary for long periods of time can negatively affect employees, with ‘Common causes of sickness absence include musculoskeletal conditions such as lower back pain, and repetitive strain injury which can cause discomfort in the arms, wrists, fingers, neck and shoulders’ (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy).

The wellbeing service which companies are using the most in this phase is office onsite chair massage, for it is practical and convenient, needing little space and fitting seamlessly into the working schedule. In addition, let’s not forget that massage doesn’t require any effort, employees can totally relax during their treatment and that makes it the most popular perk for them. In terms of physical and mental wellbeing, the benefits of massage are multiple, including the possibility to ‘improve circulation, release endorphins, [and] boost the immune system’ and the deep relaxing effect on the nervous system, which helps reduce stress (Joyful-Living.co). In addition, massage can benefit not just the employee, but the employer, as it ‘is an extremely cost-effective way to alleviate physical and mental tension,’ (Joyful-Living.co) therefore highlighting how procedures are being brought in to protect the employee’s wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Overall

Returning to the office is a consideration for any company after the last few years spent working from home. Whether it be a hybrid situation, or a full-time return, knowing there are additional perks, such as the option of on-site massages, proves a key factor in attracting employees back; With benefits for employees, whose wellbeing is being looked after by their company, and for employers, who benefit from better team dynamics and increased productivity, returning to the office has the potential to be a viable and positive option for all.

References

https://joyful-living.co/our-services/onsite-massage/
https://joyful-living.co/our-services/onsite-massage/office-massage/
https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/businessandindividualattitudestowardsthefutureofhomeworkinguk/apriltomay2021
https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/health-and-safety/working-environment/#:~:text=You%20have%20the%20right%20to,toilet%2C%20washing%20and%20changing%20facilities.
https://www.csp.org.uk/public-patient/keeping-active-healthy/staying-healthy-work/are-you-fit-work
https://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/news/2020/03/24/working-from-home-energy-bills/

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