Research from the University Of East Anglia revealed that feeling supported at work can help prevent emotional exhaustion and create happiness, building resilience, which in turn produces higher productivity rates. So ultimately, everybody wins!
What do we mean by wellbeing?
Wellbeing is defined as an individual’s state of mental, physical and general health. There are many factors that may negatively affect employee wellbeing, and employers need to be aware of these.
How can employers help?
Professor Argyro Avgoustaki from ESCP Business School recently said: “Individuals who work extensively or intensively, experience negative wellbeing outcomes such as stress, fatigue, burnout, exhaustion, illness, and reduced satisfaction.”
This echoes our recent blog that working overtime actually reduces the amount of time an employee has available to take rest and recover, while work intensity reduces opportunities for recovery during the working day.
“Lack of recovery accumulates over time and ultimately decreases an employee’s ability to perform at adequate levels and deliver quality work. Tired employees are less alert and more prone to making mistakes” added Avgoustaki.
But a lot of people are aware of the detrimental effects overworking can have on them but they keep doing it. This is usually down to thinking that working excessively provides better chances at career advancement, can help gain social recognition and praise, and will ultimately mean avoiding losing their job.
To prevent this, managers and business leaders need to lead by example. People in these positions should encourage environments in which excessive work is not a norm but only used by exception in very busy periods. But if this starts to become a regular occurrence, it could be time to start looking at hiring additional staff to ensure the workload can be effectively managed by all.
“Managers need to provide some discretion over how and when work should be done as well as creating meaningful work experiences will help employee well-being. This way, at times when employees have to work harder, their well-being, and in turn productivity, will be better preserved” says Avgoustaki.
Some key things which employers can consider doing to support staff wellbeing and reduce overworking and feelings of burnout are:
- Provide clear, realistic expectations and make sure those expectations are understood
- Ensure employees have the resources they need
- Offer ongoing training
- Show employees their value and contributions to the organization’s goals
- Enforce reasonable work hours, including encouraging breaks
- Help assess workloads for those who may feel pressured to work beyond normal business hours
- Encourage social support and respect among team members through video chats
What do we do here at Wild PR?
Here at Wild PR, wellbeing is a huge part of our agency identity. We’re proud to have previously won the Yorkshire and Humber region Chamber award for our approach to Workplace Wellbeing.
We care about each employee and want to ensure that each individual feels supported, both mentally and physically. The wild team benefit from a Vitality Health plan that allows for a range of physical health as well as mental health support, leading to reduced stress levels and increased productivity. By incorporating mental health and covering excess costs for face-to-face support, we aim to destigmatize seeking help, fostering a supportive workplace culture that values emotional wellbeing.
Flexible work hours enable employees to manage personal commitments, which helps reduce burnout and enhances work-life balance in the Wild PR office. Moreover, our hybrid working model grants autonomy and flexibility, allowing employees to choose their work environment, which significantly contributes to reduced commuting stress and increased job satisfaction.
Managing workload and meetings is key to avoiding burnout. At Wild PR, we’ve adapted our weekly team meetings to better clarify upcoming workloads and allow team members to plan their time effectively. And while we’re working remotely, we’re we encourage gaps between meetings to allow a chance to play over what has been discussed and note down actions like we would if we were travelling to and from meeting destinations.
We’ve also introduced time planning training and support for staff to enhance productivity, efficiency and minimise any feelings of overwhelm regarding workload.
The team has also benefited from time off for mental health and wellbeing focused awareness days as well as team workshops to help promote a healthy work-life balance. All employees benefit from health insurance which provides access to mental health apps for mindfulness and meditation along with the opportunity to benefit from talking therapies where professional support might be needed.
On the softer side, we also share motivational quotes every Monday to start the week in the right frame of mind and wellbeing-focused resources are issued to the team every Wednesday so it’s always on our radar.
This comprehensive approach not only supports individual wellness but also cultivates a more engaged, motivated, and resilient workforce, ultimately benefiting both the employees and the agency as a whole.