Work is an essential element of everyone’s life. Most people spend more time at work than at home, with their families or enjoying hobbies. This is why achieving a balance between personal and work life is becoming increasingly important. It is essential then to understand what quality of life at work is, as well as how to improve the level of satisfaction.
According to experts, the term “quality of life at work” initially appeared in the United States in 1970, when American corporations aspired to beat their competitors (mostly Japanese firms) by enhancing employee engagement. It has always been in human nature to prioritize well-being while going about everyday chores.
Thus, quality of life at work can be defined as the level of satisfaction related to the activities performed in the corporate environment. A good working environment fosters employees’ sense of security and personal/professional growth.
The 6 actions described in this paper help Human Resources promote quality of life at work.
- Explain the concepts and benefits of quality of life at work
There are countless benefits for companies that adopt the concept and the culture of quality of life at work. Productivity, attention, and motivation increase, the work environment improves, and health-related expenses and absenteeism rates decrease. Talent attraction and retention also increase thanks to these actions.
Professionals also have many benefits: recognition for their work, improved health and a more inspiring work environment, quality time off, a balanced diet, a greater focus on physical activity, more creativity, access to wellness-enhancing benefits, and so on.
The process can start with as many professionals as possible being encouraged to change small things, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cycling instead of driving, drinking more water, and eating healthier.
- Adopt flexible hours
Implementing flexible work hours allows employees, whenever possible, to escape traffic, not be preoccupied with personal problems during work hours, and pick up their children from school, i.e., work when they are most productive and efficient.
Flexibility also promotes increased commitment and accountability. It also reduces absenteeism and overtime because time is better managed.
Working from home is another option. Several companies allow their employees to work from home or another location once or twice a week. This allows the professional to work in a more focused way, without colleagues’ interruptions and the office’s noise. Less commuting time means more time with the family, more time for exercise or hobbies, more time with friends, and more sleep, making a happier employee.
- Invest in wellness programs
The company can offer employees associations with specialized benefits or office services such as massages, yoga, relaxation classes, ergonomic exercises, and access to gyms. It is also common to form corporate groups to go walking, jogging, or cycling.
Promoting information campaigns on healthy eating, tobacco control, cancer, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress is interesting.
There is not just one model for a wellness program that fits all companies. The program has to fit the employee profiles, the company culture, and the environment. The actions included in the program may vary in each organization, but the important thing is to encourage people to adopt healthy habits that improve their quality of life.
- Offer complete benefits
Today, in addition to partnerships with gyms and clinics, it is possible to offer more inclusive benefits that meet the needs of employees who work (the possibility of accessing gyms in different countries, for example) or who want to exercise close to home and work. In addition, not only weight training is available. Many gyms offer various sports activities, allowing users to choose what they want and when they prefer.
Results show that companies that offer comprehensive benefits can reduce rates of physical inactivity, cardiovascular risk, disease, and obesity, consequently reducing company expenses related to health insurance and absenteeism.
- Recognize employees
Investing in courses and training reflects the company’s commitment to the development of its employees. When they are more knowledgeable, they end up performing tasks more efficiently. Employees’ contributions might also be recognized through awards and incentives.
Employees perform better when they are more prepared. Furthermore, a rise in motivation and happiness is mirrored in increased customer satisfaction.
Investing in employees’ professional and personal growth will pay off in terms of absenteeism, turnover, attraction, and talent retention. It also increases the positive perception of the company and adds value to the benefits offered by the company.
- Carry out strategic actions
Before implementing quality-of-life actions, develop a plan that shows that Human Resources is not only a support area but a strategic actor for the business. Demonstrate that this project aligns with the company’s objectives and contributes to achieving positive results.
Defining the metrics that will be collected and analyzed before the quality-of-life program is implemented defines ground zero. For example, conduct a survey and initial tests to collect data such as frequency of staff exercise, the cardiovascular risk level of the population in the company, average cholesterol rate, blood pressure, and weight, among others – from all employees. After a certain program implementation time, repeat the survey and medical tests to compare the results with the initial figures. This way, you can demonstrate the results and benefits achieved. Also, collect other data before and after the program, such as absenteeism, turnover, and sick leave rates.