In this white paper, Merx examines the ways in which workplace wellness is manifesting itself in the corporate workplaces of today’s leading brands. It also serves as a measure to help employees and organisations understand how their workplaces measure up to current standards and benchmarks.
Merx was founded in 2001 with a very clear intention to ‘facilitate space’, or in other words, ensure clients achieve project management results that uphold the values of the brand. It is this experience and insight that drives our interest in Workplace Wellness and Agility as a growing and important topic
Introduction - Wellness and Agility Report
Workplace wellness is fast becoming one of the most important issues shaping the future of corporate culture and the spaces in which we work. With our market places becoming evermore global, organisations are adapting to changing demands whilst industry leaders are, very intentionally, redefining standards and benchmarks in an effort to stand differentiated.
Advances in medical science and technology provide the framework for developments in workplace wellness. The real driving pressure however, comes from the need to shape a positive perception of how companies look after their people. To build a successful brand today, companies need to show a real commitment to the wellbeing of their talent. It is no surprise therefore, that the leaders in workplace wellness and agility are also the most respected and admired brands of our time.
Happiness At Work: Why, What, How?
It is hard to imagine any successful business or organisation today that is not concerned about the wellness of its people. It would even be fair to say, that success is in fact somewhat dependant on the effectiveness of workplace wellness and agility programs. So companies of different sizes are often faced with the challenge of defining an ideal mix that is right for the size of their teams, the types of skill sets they employ, the hours they operate and of course, the available budget.
Determine the needs of your employees
What do your employees need, and what impact could this have on business performance? Sometimes the answers are as simple as flexible hours or healthier food options, although, a structured assessment or survey could provide more useful insight into the mindset of employees and the challenges they face.
Development of a structured action plan.
Analysing data and survey results will help in the development of a structured plan that works within the current culture. Ideally this should cover the general wellbeing and flexibility as well as more unique initiatives specific to the nature of the organisation.
Measure the effectiveness of the program.
Implementing measurement tools are essential to understand the effectiveness of any wellness or agility program. These should cover the basics in terms of performance and engagement as well as providing an understanding on physical, psychological and sociological well being of employees.
Wellness and Agility at Work
Workplace wellness and agility programs can come in different shapes and sizes depending on the size of the organisation and the specific needs of its employees. Here are a few of the more common examples identified in our recent survey:
I. Nutrition & General Health
Simple – healthy alternatives for office snacks. Fruit, nuts, energy bars and even organic chocolates. Comprehensive – a full canteen or catering service can provide a complete range of nutritional meals and snacks.
II. Agile Workplace
From simple breakout areas that enable interaction and collaboration to a fully designed working environment with ergonomic workstations, informal meeting areas, brainstorming areas and social spaces.
Simple – provide access to local gym or weekly in-house pilates/yoga classes. Comprehensive – full in-house gym with tailored fitness progress for each employee.
IV. Flexible Working
From flexibility in working hours to complete remote working setup that enables employees to perform their roles from home or even whilst travelling.
V. Ergonomic Desk Set-up
A healthy and comfortable work desk is an important requirement for the modern workplace. The positive impact is obvious – if workers are comfortable, they will be more productive at work for longer. We have seen access to sit/ stand desks increase exponentially.
VI. Mental Health
Today’s work environments can be very stressful places. Providing a variety of areas to decompress can have a marked impact on both individual and company performance.
Merx in conjunction with Indesign recently conducted our “Organisational Wellness Survey”, examining the current initiatives and programs in organisations across Asia.
Specifically, we set out to explore how wellness at work impacts psychological wellbeing as well as potential psychological and sociological benefits.
- There is a real opportunity for organisations to focus on enhancing ergonomics. The direct impact on productivity and overall wellness is established and significant.
- 36% of respondents did not report employee value as a ‘core principle in the company. This represents a real opportunity for improvement.
- Work-life balance is acknowledged yet only 32% say their companies provide a formal flexible working policy
Key Learning #1
Work-life balance is acknowledged but there is a significant opportunity to do more in this area based on respondents views.
Key Learning #2
Only 23% of organisations encourage exercise or have a structured programme (with a further 24% responding somewhat). Again, this represents a tremendous opportunity for organisations to do better.
Flexible working is clearly the way of the future. Both in terms of access to a variety of settings combined with a more informed view towards working hours and location.
Exists to Help Employees
Workplace wellness is a product of our modern day workplaces. Its benefits stem far beyond functional work stations that improve productivity – wellness is a commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of an organisation’s most important asset. For large companies this should mean a considered and well planned program aimed at delivering broader and holistic benefits to its people. And where smaller companies might be constrained by budget, their flexibility and creative thinking should contribute to healthy and dynamic workplaces delivering similar outcomes for its employees.
Merx interacts with corporate boards around the region to facilitate accurate briefing. This leads to innovative space aligned with the culture aspirations and needs of the business.
Great design firms are turning this outline into space that truly facilitates wellness. This is a trend that is only increasing and is consistant for all clients now.
Through control of the timeframe, accurate briefing, and a targeted budget provided by Merx, companies are experiencing a step change in the way we function and the way staff feel supported.
In short, merx makes it happen
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