As the UK continues its lockdown measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, many businesses have started to operate remotely, meaning employees have had to start working from home.
Whilst remote working can come with a whole host of different benefits, given the current crisis in addition to strict lockdown measures, many have found the recent months to be a particularly distressing period.
With employers unable to control as much of the workplace as before, how can businesses maintain employee wellbeing and staff moral throughout this turbulent period?
What Is Employee Wellbeing?
Previously, wellbeing in the workplace used to be concerned only with health and safety, and how to ensure workers were at the lowest risk possible of becoming injured or suffering from a health problem caused in the office.
Now however, employee wellbeing covers a broad spectrum of factors that influence people’s happiness, health and overall wellbeing in their work. This includes both their physical and mental health, which are influenced by the office environment, how employees are treated at work, in addition to how content they are within their job.
Employee wellbeing is now so much more than protecting health, it’s about optimising wellbeing and promoting happiness throughout the working world.
There are various different factors that can affect employee wellbeing. Of course, overall wellbeing can heavily rely on aspects outside of work, however, there are some influences within the workplace that the employer can help to manage. These include:
- Clarity in the job role
- Control over their work
- Support and training
- Variety in work
- Length of breaks and working hours
Many people will spend a significant amount of their time at work. Employers can therefore contribute a considerable amount to people’s everyday enjoyment and wellbeing, and now often make attempts to, as this can benefit both the employee and the business.
Why Is Employee Wellbeing Important for Business?
Employee wellbeing is important for numerous different reasons. Firstly, it helps the employee to maintain their overall health and mental wellbeing, which in turn can reduce negative distractions whilst at work, and promote productivity throughout the workforce.
Additionally, when employees feel taken care of and appreciated for their work, they’re more likely to stay. Promoting employee wellbeing through support and rewards can therefore improve staff retention, whilst also attracting new talent, helping a business to grow and maintain a strong, efficient workforce.
Creating a working environment where employees are supported and rewarded for their efforts can also help to make a business look good. It can help to promote a business’s brand, and thereby the attitudes around it; which not only helps in attracting new talent, but also new clients.
How Can Businesses Boost Employee Wellbeing During Lockdown?
Although there’s now limitations on how employers can help to maintain their staffs’ workplace wellbeing, many who have invested in employee wellbeing companies are now able to offer new and creative, lockdown-abiding benefits; including online home cooking workshops, play at home escape rooms, and more.
YuLife, a group life insurance provider promoting employee wellbeing, has recently partnered with Virgin Experience Days to offer employees a variety of “stay at home experiences”.
As well as offering group life insurance for businesses, YuLife also encourages employee wellbeing through its app – offering users rewards for doing healthy activities such as exercise, mindfulness or meditation.
YuLife members can now earn Virgin Experience Days as their rewards for practicing wellbeing. The partnership between the two businesses began on the 11th May, and is helping to promote employee wellbeing by offering rewards for members to enjoy during lockdown.
YuLife’s CEO and co-founder Sammy Rubin said: “We are always looking for ways to inspire our members with new experiences to enhance their lives and Virgin Experience Days is a great partner to achieve this”
“The breadth of online experiences on offer from interior design to gardening to cooking courses provides a way for our members to continue to develop and learn while we are all social distancing”
Richard Hurd-Wood, Virgin Experience Days CEO, has also commented on the recent partnership, stating that “The current pandemic has forced the entire leisure industry to rethink its priorities and diversify the services they offer”
“We’re proud to partner with an insurance provider so committed to using gifts and rewards as a means to stimulate wellbeing and enhance employee health. Quality offerings now, whilst times are tough, will be remembered in the long term, and we are excited to contribute to inspiring people’s lives as we come through the crisis together.”