What Is Quality of Life at Work and How Can It Be Attained?
Work is a very important part of everyone’s lives. Many people spend more time at work than at home, with their families, or enjoying a hobby. That is why finding a balance between one’s personal and professional lives has been increasingly important. In other words, it is essential to know what quality of life at work is, as well as how to improve one’s level of satisfaction.
Specialists state that the term quality of life at work was first used in the United States, in the 1970’s, when U.S. companies sought to surpass their competitors (mainly Japanese companies) by increasing their employees’ motivation. However, it has always been human nature to value one’s well-being while carrying out daily tasks.
Thus, quality of life at work can be defined as the level of satisfaction regarding activities performed and the corporate environment. A quality organizational environment promotes a sense of security and personal and professional development among employees.
The list below contains six tips for human resources managers to promote quality of life at work:
Explain the concepts and benefits of quality of life at work
The advantages for companies that adopt the concept, as well as the culture of quality of life at work, are countless. Productivity, attention and motivation increase, the organizational environment improves, there is a decrease in expenses relating to health treatments, turnover rates go down, talent retention and profits increase, among other things.
And professionals also have many benefits: recognition for their work, healthy and inspiring work environment, spare time is spent with quality, improved diet, greater focus on physical activities, more creativity, access to benefits that improve well-being, so on and so forth.
It may start with the largest possible number of professionals being encouraged to change small things, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or riding the bike instead of taking the car, drinking more water, and eating balanced meals every 3 hours.
Adopt flexible hours
Implementing flexible working hours allow employees to, whenever possible, get away from heavy traffic, take care of personal problems during business hours, take or pick up the kids at school, work when it is more productive, take a class, that is, things that improve performance.
Flexibility also promotes an increase in commitment and responsibility. In addition, it reduces the number of absences and the amount of overtime, as time is managed in a better way.
Home office is another option. Several companies already allow their employees to work from home, or a place of their choice, once or a couple of days a week. This allows the professional to work more concentrated, without interruptions from colleagues and the noise of the office.
Less time spent in the commute means more hours spent with the family, more time for hobbies and exercises, more moments with friends, more hours of sleep, and this makes a happier employee.
Invest in well-being programmes
The company can offer employees partnerships with specialised places or make available at the company activities such as massages, yoga and relaxation classes, ergonomic exercises, manicure and a gym. It is also common to form corporate groups for running and/or cycling.
It is interesting to promote awareness campaigns about healthy eating, tobacco control, cancer (Blue November, Pink October), sedentary lifestyle, stress, among others.
There is no single model for a well-being programme that would work for all companies. The programme to be implemented needs to fit the profile of the company’s employees, its culture and location. Whichever actions are included in the programme, the important thing is to encourage people to adopt healthy habits that bring pleasure and happiness to their lives.
Offer full benefits
Nowadays, in addition to partnerships with gyms and clinics, it is possible to provide more inclusive benefits that meet the needs of employees who travel (access to gyms in different cities, in Brazil and abroad) or who want to exercise both close to home and the office. Also, not only weight training is available. Many gyms provide various sporting activities, allowing users to do whatever they want, wherever they want.
Results have proven that companies that provide full benefits reduce the rates physical inactivity, cholesterol, BMI, cardiovascular risk and obesity, which consequently decreases company’s spending with health insurance and absenteeism.
Recognize your employees
Investing in courses and training shows the company’s concern with the development of its employees. When they are more knowledgeable, they complete tasks more efficiently. Awards and bonuses are also excellent ways to recognize employees’ efforts.
When employees are more prepared they provide superior results ahead of the competition. In addition, increased employee motivation and satisfaction reflects in client satisfaction increase.
Actions that show the investment in employees decrease turnover, attract and retain talent, in addition to increasing the employee’s perception of the high added value of the benefits provided by the company.
Show how strategic you are
Before implementing quality of life at work actions, develop a plan to prove that the Human Resources area is more than just a supporting area, it is extremely strategic for the business. Show how this project meets company’s objectives and contributes to the achievement of extraordinary results.
Define metrics to be collected and analysed, and before the quality of life programme is deployed, define a ground zero. For example, have the results of a survey and initial tests containing data such as lack of physical activity, cardiovascular risk, BMI, cholesterol rate, results of blood pressure measurements, weight, among others, of all employees who will participate in the actions. After a certain time of the implementation of the programme, repeat the survey and the medical tests to compare the results with the initial figures.
Also, gather data from before and after well-being actions are implemented, such as absenteeism, turnover, leaves due to health issues. All results need to be show to senior management, not only to position the area as strategic, but to maintain quality of life at work programmes in the long run.
Now that you know what quality of life at work is, tell us: Have you implemented or do you plan to implement a quality of life at work programme? Share experience and tips in the comments!
The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.