Richard Jeffery, Group Chief Executive Officer at ActiveOps, discusses the use of tech to improve employee wellbeing.
In recent years, employee wellbeing has risen high on the agenda of employees and employers alike, and the global pandemic has firmly cemented the importance of this trend. This has become a key focus for those who hold senior leadership positions within organisations.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), poor health reduces national GDP by 15%, almost twice the 8% hit to GDP that the pandemic itself has had. It’s no secret that investing in your employees’ health and wellbeing can reduce sickness rates and increase productivity in the future.
That begs the question; how can business leaders balance the need to drive productivity and look after their staff simultaneously when basic organisational needs are still required to be met?
The answer lies in balanced productivity and achieving this is key to the wellbeing of employees, but only if it’s managed correctly.
Staying connected in the age of remote & hybrid working
Hybrid working is the most transformative change to the working landscape; however, this matter has multiple nuances to consider. Distance between colleagues, mentors, and mentees can impact morale and motivation. As a result, this can lead to a knock-on effect on performance.
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While hybrid working looks set to become the norm across many industries, it has certainly been embraced more than initially expected. Research from Morgan Stanley has found that only 50% of the workforce in Europe’s most important five economies will be working in the office every day of the week. According to data from the Valuation Office Agency, part of HM Revenue & Customs, the amount of office space across England has reduced by 18 million square feet in the 12 months leading to March 2021.
In terms of productivity and management, remote working brings with it welcome changes in the way that productivity is measured. Scheduling and monitoring wellbeing in a distributed business has unique challenges that technology such as hybrid workforce optimisation solutions can overcome.
New age tools
Amongst the broad sweeping changes to the world of work, employees can often feel that their concerns and insights aren’t listened to or that implementation programs are rushed.
During the lockdown, many workers in the knowledge economy reported that productivity increased. Hopefully, now, as leaders are armed with the knowledge that hybrid working can form a part of the future, previously reluctant management will seek tools to ensure they can continue coordinating their teams effectively. Doing so will deliver a new caring form of leadership. Wellbeing is here to stay as a management demand, which can only be a good thing.
Businesses shouldn’t stop at technology investment when tackling wellbeing – they also need to implement cultural change in managing and engaging with employees to reap the benefits. Offering true flexibility and forming relationships based on trust will benefit all.
Organisations that create a better environment for their team members’ wellbeing will see additional business benefits beyond productivity, such as a high retention rate, which lowers recruitment costs.
Written by Richard Jeffery, Group Chief Executive Officer at ActiveOps