How to boost your employee wellbeing in 2022
Workplace safety, health & wellbeing

How to boost your employee wellbeing in 2022

The world is changing, and with it, so is the workforce. Staff wellbeing has been placed front and centre as businesses adjust to the rapidly transforming work landscape. A culture of support and wellbeing in the workplace are now the top priority for many teams around the world, as they seek to build positive cultures people actively want to be a part of, and that empower staff to reconnect with their peers and jobs.

January 24, 2022

Many businesses have long-standing initiatives regarding physical health, but the shift to remote and hybrid work, and the other effects of the pandemic, have led to an uptick in mental and emotional wellbeing considerations being made. Many people spend eight or more hours a day at work. With this in mind, businesses are increasingly expected to provide ways to foster positive mental health and overall wellbeing whilst working. Companies that do so will gain an edge when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent.

During lockdowns and restrictions, many people struggled with the transition to living and working in the same space, and with maintaining their normal healthy habits as their routines were thrown out of rhythm. Isolation took a heavy mental toll, and the world as a whole felt a huge increase in levels of stress, fear, and uncertainty, including around their work. Our employees' health has both never been more important, or more difficult to assess.

To best understand why employee wellbeing is so important, we need to understand what the full scope of wellbeing includes, why it matters, and how to best help our staff be the best they can be through workplace wellness.

What is employee wellbeing and why is it important? 

First of all, what is employee wellbeing? Employee wellbeing simply refers to how workers feel about themselves, their work, and their workplace. It is the combination and monitoring of a variety of factors that, when considered together, give a full overview of staff happiness and health. It can be a tricky thing to define workplace wellbeing, as what that means for your staff depends on your business and your employees. Different groups will need different types of support, but some aspects are consistent across all workplaces, such as productivity, ergonomics, and culture.

An employee wellbeing strategy should focus on ensuring workers are safe and healthy at work, and satisfied and engaged with their projects and workplace. This can be achieved by outlining preventative actions to reduce the incidence of stress, injury, or burnout, along with recovery plans and any workplace initiatives, such as wellbeing leave, to support staff. Gaining an insight to your employees mindset and patterns will be incredibly valuable in helping spot and solve any issues or areas for growth.

According to a 2019 Work Environment Survey completed by Capital One’s, 87 percent of working professionals agree it is important for employers to create spaces and programs that support their mental health and wellbeing. Those types of amenities help staff feel holistically supported, better equipping them to do their jobs and to create the best possible work.

The link between employee wellbeing and employee engagement

Strong levels of employee engagement can have a huge, positive impact on the workplace. There is a distinct link between happy employees and an engaged workforce. Studies show that employees who enjoy the work they are doing, the people they work with, and the space they work in, are more likely to produce high quality work, at a greater volume. There is a rise in productivity, projects go from an idea to reality faster, and communication is open and free flowing. Employee engagement has a significant impact on employee retention, customer satisfaction and profitability, with an estimated $A70 billion lost in productivity each year from disengaged employees.

However, whether from dissatisfaction with work or disruptive events in their personal lives, employees do occasionally become disengaged. Whether this is because of personal issues or a professional problem, this can lead to a negative impact on their work, and could potentially affect the engagement and happiness of other team members. Introducing employee wellbeing and understanding the importance of employee engagement will help your team kick goals and feel good doing it. 

One of the major benefits of employee wellbeing measures is that looking after their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing in the workplace ensures staff can remain engaged and continue to thrive, in and out of the office. There is a clear cycle of success that comes from a healthy work/life balance, streamlined work processes and clever structures, and the freedom to grow within a role. Employees who feel supported and valued are the employees who engage in company culture and growth, and who are passionate about the success of themselves and of the business.

How has it changed recently?

Modern workspaces are dynamic and flexible, offering health and wellbeing benefits. The pandemic has had an obvious effect, with many teams moving to a forced work from home model, and now working to transition back to the office, or to a hybrid work structure. These shifting models of work means wellbeing now includes not only staff safety and health at work, but at home. The pandemic also created a dramatic shift in what wellbeing means, with heightened focus on office hygiene safety, and mental health.

The office environment has required an upgrade. Jobs are now expected to offer a work experience and environment you cannot get working from home, in order to ensure people are still happy to go to the office, whilst still successfully supporting those working remotely, and also helping to streamline that day-to-day transition of people who are working in a hybrid work model.

Ensure a seamless working experience between home and office can be difficult. How do you know which team members will be in on which day? How can you locate or predict where someone will be? How can you successfully coordinate team events if you don’t know when people will be in the office? These can all be managed by the right resources, good communication, and an employee wellbeing strategy that helps build both.

Workplace management technology, like Nura Space, can help ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible between the office and home. The tech shows who is in the office, and uses data to analyze staff behavior to help build processes that work for you and your team.

Mental and emotional health and it's impact on employee wellbeing

Physical wellbeing used to be the main focus of workplace wellness. We’re all familiar with the classic ergonomic workstation suggestions; standing desks, exercise balls instead of seats, stretches you can do sitting down. Physical health offerings at workplaces are evolving. Whilst we still love a standing desk, the introduction of things like yoga classes, subsidies towards gym memberships, and stipends to provide appropriate furniture for a home office have been big steps towards a more holistic approach to physical wellbeing. These benefits also lead directly into mental and emotional health, as empowering staff to care for their health at work helps them feel more valued and important.

As the workforce gets younger, discussion of mental and emotional wellbeing at work has risen drastically. Toxic and chaotic workplace cultures are quickly abandoned, and jobs that offer positive culture, social opportunities, and people-centric policies are heavily sought after. Long service leave will become a thing of the past, as the younger workforce happily jump between multiple roles in their lifetimes, finding the best fit for them at their current stage of life, or in order to support their mental health. Younger workers want a work/life balance, and roles that feel like an extension of their life and interests. There has been a major shift around ‘hustle’ culture versus self care, with new workers feeling empowered to prioritise their mental and emotional health. Providing resources and healthy frameworks to discuss and support this change will help show your business’s commitment to support the full spectrum of employee wellbeing.  

Foster a culture focused on employee wellbeing

Employees are your most valuable asset as a business. Building a culture focused around their mental, physical, and social health is the most important thing you can do to take care of their wellbeing.

Building a culture around healthy minds and bodies means building a culture that helps staff grow and succeed in every part of their day. This is why employee wellbeing is so important. Showing you care about your staff helps foster a positive relationship between staff, and between individuals and their roles. Staff who feel valued, in turn, create value.

Here are a few simple staff wellbeing ideas you can do to foster a positive culture around employee wellbeing:

Provide healthier choices

Employees are looking for options to assist in maintaining their personal wellbeing. When asked for the top benefits and perks employees wanted to see in their workplaces, the top two responses were healthy food and drink options onsite (35%) and active break opportunities (34%). Providing fruit, milk alternatives, and energy packed snacks are easy ways to keep brains ticking and avoid that 3pm slump, while active break opportunities may be providing space for an activity, or encouraging employees to have walking meetings, so the benefit can be embedded into their work day.

Bring the outside in

58% of employees say natural light will help their mental health and productivity whilst at work. That classic image of an office worker in a dull cubicle with grey walls and a flickering fluorescent light is a thing of the past. Windows, plants, and sunshine help improve the mood, boost productivity, and make the office a happy place to go. If staff have the opportunity to work outside in a designated space, encourage the fresh air and the fresh ideas it may bring.

Flexible schedules

67% of respondents agreed that having a flexible work schedule was something they believed would benefit their health and wellbeing around work. The obvious win is that employees are able to enjoy a work/life balance. Other perks are feeling more control over their day, feeling trusted by the business and their team, and increased feelings of responsibility over their projects. 81% of professionals have indicated that a flexible work schedule is one of their top reasons for staying with a company, along with health amenities, and up-to-date technology. 

Spaces for rest and connection

The hustle and bustle of a busy office isn’t for everyone. Creating quiet, private spaces to take a step back from the day's chaos is key to helping people take a mental break, and will encourage a sense of mindfulness and self care in the workplace. These spaces also give employees room to speak to each other about things apart from work, fostering friendships and connections outside of meetings and email threads. For staff working from home, encouraging them to take breaks, or to reach out to teammates for a coffee chat can help ensure people are finding the time to rest and revive throughout the day.

Warning signs and how to approach them

It is easier to hide true emotions and experiences behind a screen, and with many people still opting to work from home, people managers may find it more difficult to spot a decline in their employees' wellbeing, or to conduct a wellness check on employees.  

Here are a few key signs to look for, whether you’re working remotely or in person:

A change in behaviour

This could include things like your former Office Comedian not joining in on office banter, a previously talkative colleague no longer actively participating in meetings, or an employee skipping their lunch break consistently every day. Deviating from the routines, habits, and forms of socialisation and self care is usually a sign that something has shifted. When someone exhibits change, consider beginning a dialogue to seek out the reasons.

Decline in performance

If your rising star has suddenly started delivering work below their usual standard, or turning up late, check in and see how they’re feeling. Whether it’s a misunderstanding, a disconnect from their work as a whole, or a personal matter that’s affecting them, a human conversation never hurts. This will help you put in place resources or structures to support them, and to prevent others from experiencing the same issue.

Change in appearance

Sometimes there are clear physical signs that an employee may need the assistance of workplace wellbeing initiatives. Bags under the eyes, dirty clothes, a drawn complexion, slumped posture, a drastic hairstyle change - there are many physical things that may indicate a decline in wellbeing. Taking notice of slight changes may help spot issues before they grow.  


Disengaged and unhappy employees may withdraw from any conversations or activities that aren’t absolutely necessary. They may also only do the minimum amount of work to get by, which impacts the rest of the team and your customers. Employee wellbeing initiatives can help reengage staff and get them feeling like part of the team again.

How to develop and launch a successful wellbeing initiative

Putting people first is key to a successful organisational culture, so the best place to start when developing a wellbeing initiative is by talking to your staff, and pairing that with what you know about them. A strategy tailored specifically to a company’s employees is the best way to support their wellbeing.

Nura Space has done extensive research and has identified that physical, mental and social wellbeing at work is fundamental to the success of organisational culture. To help embrace the way people work, Nura Space has designed a range of simple-to-use wellbeing tools to help keep your staff active, comfortable and on top of their game - whether they’re in the office or working remotely. With data-led insights, you can seek patterns in team behaviours, and better understand what they may need from their workplace.

Measure wellbeing in your organisation

There are many ways to see how staff are currently feeling in the workplace, and to gain deeper insight into what they want and need. Whether it’s a survey, a hallway conversation, or a wellness workshop, staff will be eager to contribute suggestions to improve the wellbeing culture in your workplace. Pairing these offered opinions with other insights and analytics, and continuously checking in with staff regarding their effectiveness, will ensure your business attracts and retains happy staff and customers.

You can learn more about how Nura Space can help provide insights and people-first technology to support your team and workplace wellness services here.


Enjoyed this read?

Stay up to date with the latest video business news, strategies, and insights sent straight to your inbox!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.