Why businesses are improving working conditions for employees
The working environment has changed a lot over the decades. The world has moved from a predominantly micromanaged office-based environment to one that are hybrid, remote, and macromanaged. These days, companies see the importance of supportive working conditions.
The post pandemic workplace
The pandemic changed the workplace forevermore. The pre-pandemic world was characterized by commuting and an office-based workforce that resembled the working conditions of previous decades. Fast-forward a few years, and there are more flexibility, variety, and working options.
In the post-pandemic workforce, there is a merging of cultures that has emerged over the past two decades. The compassionate workforce that values tolerance and empathy and emerged in the early 2010s has linked up with a more recent wellness workplace creating happier workers.
But a happy workforce is not only office-based, not anymore. A remote working environment that was once the preserve of specialized roles in the business has become commonplace and even expected, especially with hybrid working conditions. These office conditions are now vital.
The compassionate workplace
In the early 2010s, the concept of the compassionate workplace began to emerge. Businesses saw the need to support the personal as well as professional challenges of everyday life, creating a strong bond between the company and the workforce; supporting employee retention.
In order to facilitate more compassion in the workplace, businesses introduced new values into their training protocol and began training managers to connect with employees on a personal level. Managers now look for signs of mental health issues relating to their work or personal life.
A compassionate workplace benefits the business in a number of ways. First, it helps create a healthier and more productive working environment, whether it is in the office or in a remote situation. Secondly, it creates more employee loyalty and talent retention within the business.
The wellness workplace
Some might consider the compassionate workplace and the wellness workplace to be the same thing. There’s no doubt that there are some similarities between the two concepts, but there are also some notable differences to distinguish one from the other. And they can work side-by-side.
If the compassionate workplace is about understanding and empathizing with the personal challenges of workers, the wellness workplace is about putting the pieces in place to support the development of well-being in the workforce, leading to happier workers with better contributions.
Remote and hybrid working conditions are part of the wellness workplace, but the wellness workplace doesn’t stop at that. Modern businesses will offer their staff rewards and perks to support their health and wellness, things such as discounts on brand gyms and digital gifts.
Increased productivity levels
Over the decades, businesses have changed and adapted their office culture to reflect the changing dynamics of the industry and the worker’s expectations. For instance, the micro-management of the 90s and 00s was slowly replaced by more supportive practices.
Micro-managing employees was an attempt to improve productivity levels by making them efficient and predictable, but it also created a disgruntled workforce and lower work quality due to stress. By supporting their well-being, it was possible to improve productivity and happiness.
Of course, productivity is still important to businesses across the board. There is a need to develop strategies that support productivity and work quality in remote and office-based environments. A good alternative is macro-management which is a more hands-off approach.
Better employee retention
With so many companies going out of business during the pandemic and workers becoming furloughed, most people would expect the employment rates to have dropped significantly. In reality, employment rates remained the same or increased thanks slightly to a number of factors.
Companies might have closed their doors to customers during the pandemic, but they embraced alternatives such as remote working and flexible working, which mitigated the crises. Some years on and the priority for businesses is not hiring workers but retaining effective ones.
For employees, there has never been as much choice in the labor market, another troubling sign for companies looking to retain their talent. Here is another motivating factor for companies to improve working conditions and employee engagement strategies to safeguard a business.
Loyalty and relationships
Over the years, businesses have realized that employees engaged in the business on a personal level are more likely to remain with the company and produce the best standard of work. As well as working conditions, companies need to find ways of connecting with workers.
The onboarding process is important in this regard. Depending on the roles they are hiring for, businesses might need to screen their future employees to uncover their underlying motivations for their applications. When they are trained, the company can start to build the relationship.
When it comes to business and employee relationships, it is a two-way dynamic. When an employee sees the working conditions and perks they are offered, it creates a strong connection and motivates them to produce better work for the business and to stay there for longer.
Teamwork and collaboration
Businesses are interested in improving their working conditions to make the workforce happier and more effective, but to do this, they need to think outside the box. Creating an effective working environment is not only about relationships between bosses and employees anymore.
Employees need to be invested in the company and the projects and need to work according to their own aspirations and ambitions. It is the role of the company and its managers to create the kind of supportive conditions that facilitate teamwork and collaboration during the working day.
Hopefully, employees are invested in the projects they are working on, but companies can also create this interest by choosing projects based on the strengths of the employees. Employees work better when they are good at the work and foster stronger connections with teammates.
Working conditions for employees have changed significantly over the decades and are still changing. These days, businesses are interested in creating compassionate workplaces that support employee well-being and retain top talent. But tomorrow, the focus will be elsewhere.