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BRITA VIVREAU tips to promote workplace health and wellbeing

BRITA VIVREAU has conducted research to find out what office workers actually want from their employees and partnered with workplace wellbeing expert Gethin Nadin to offer his top tips on supporting employees to feel their best at work.

A recent study into workplace trends found that 28% of UK workers are asking for greater workplace mental health and wellbeing support from employers. This is at a time when nine out of ten businesses are reporting struggles to retain staff. 

In a world of hybrid working – are Friday after-work drinks still relevant, or are employees looking for something more?

Use the office space to reduce stress and burnout

Poor mental health is now the main cause of long-term sickness in the workforce. Physical proximity to colleagues alone has a positive impact on employees’ motivation and stress, with 31% finding that working alongside a colleague in the office helps them deal with stress. 

The opportunity to talk to colleagues also brings stress levels down – 44% of office workers said that talking to a colleague helps them deal with stress at work and the productivity of half of office workers improves after taking a tea or coffee break. 

Creating an office space that encourages conversations builds connections between colleagues. Gethin explains: “Having social spaces and facilities where people can congregate and share ideas promotes casual encounters which are integral to wellbeing.” These connections at work have been proven to make people feel happier, less stressed, and more likely to stay in their jobs – with three quarters of office workers being more likely to stay in a job if they’ve built connections with colleagues. 

Offer incentives that employees might not get at home

While UK workers are calling for greater workplace mental health support, seven in ten companies have mandated a return to the office for all employees. While there are clear benefits to being in the office, some employees may miss the flexibility of home working. Employers are facing the challenge of how to encourage staff to return to the office while supporting their team’s wellbeing. Gethin suggests considering what the office can offer that homeworking can’t, “Social connection through water cooler moments and casual chats are the number one reason people want to go into the office”.

Installing amenities such as a water dispenser not only keeps employees hydrated, which boosts creativity and productivity, but can also help staff spark conversations and build the relationships that maintain good mental health in the workplace. More than a third of office workers said they would feel valued by their company if they had a water dispenser with cold, sparkling and still filtered water in the office. A much higher number than the quarter (25%) of office workers who would feel valued by their company if they were given free after-work drinks on a Friday.

Creating a workplace that’s colourful and comfy

BRITA VIVREAU’s Home to Office campaign found that 73% of office workers would be more likely to leave their job if their office wasn’t designed with positive mental health in mind.

Giving the office a makeover with new, vibrant colours and comfy furniture can create spaces for employees to get away from their desks and decompress. But creating a workplace that supports wellbeing doesn’t have to mean large-scale office renovations. “Introducing more plants in the workplace can lead to a decrease in tension and anxiety, depression and fatigue among workers”, explains Gethin. “Improving wellbeing in the workplace is far more about the micro things you can do as an employer than the big-ticket things that might take years and years to implement. It's tweaks to your policies, running surveys more frequently and looking at office design.”

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