Apr 07, 2020 in Viewpoint

3 ways to support workplace well-being now and after Corona

A few weeks ago, we introduced the Mapiq pyramid of workplace well-being. The pyramid shows the needs of employees in the office on three levels. But now that it is no longer possible to go to the office, how can we still stimulate workplace well-being? And how can we ensure the well-being of employees as soon as they will be allowed to get back to the office? We’ve written down 3 ways to support workplace well-being, now and after Corona. No time to read? Download our handout.

Anne Wernand
by Anne Wernand
Remote working
Now that it is no longer possible to go to the office, how can we still stimulate workplace well-being?

The concrete needs

The first level in the pyramid is the concrete layer. You can see it like this: the concrete needs are to a company what physiological and safety needs are to a person. This was the level organizations could control the easiest – think of air, sound, movement, and nutrition. But at this time, it’s not. What can you do to ensure employees still feel healthy and safe outside the office walls?

The answer is simple: provide employees with a work from home budget to meet their concrete needs. Help them to create an ideal office at home. But it isn’t just about the workplace. Employees also need to have access to IT services to make sure that they can work without friction.

Increase the feeling of safety

Once we are allowed to get back into the office, we expect other questions to pop-up: “does my office allow employees to keep a safe distance?” Or “am I cleaning the desks frequently enough?” Technology has an important role to play in providing organizations and employees with this information. Also, this is the perfect time to encourage employees to develop new work habits on how to use space in a more flexible manner.

We advise you to already start working on a back to the office strategy, with a focus on increased safety. Make sure you provide employees with additional information on hygiene and the number of employees that can be on a floor.

The belonging needs

Next are the belonging needs. We need to feel that we fit in with the community around us in order to deliver. At this time, we are completely banned from important aspects of office life such as face-to-face interactions. We compensate these interactions through online communication tools. But because we spend all our time at home, it’s hard to keep a good work-life balance.

You can support these needs by enabling employees to check-in in the office by using a digital tool, so it still feels like entering office doors every day. For us, checking into the office means the green dot in Slack. Another important aspect of work-life online is giving and receiving feedback. It’s not easy, but HR can play a role by checking in with employees frequently.

Stimulate collaboration

The moment we walk into the actual office doors, we want to support employees to collaborate and work together. As a company, you have to make sure they can. In the first months, we expect the office not to allow everyone in at once, so already think about ways to make sure teams can be there at the same time. Technology can help support this process. Make sure that when the moment is there, teams can spend time together in smaller groups.

The actualization needs

The last layer in the pyramid is actualization. The autonomy of employees is right now forced on every employer. But we can’t say enough that trusting employees to do their best whilst working from home is important. As an employer, there are two things you can do to make sure employees still feel supported and experience a frictionless workday at home and in the office.  

First, you can make sure everybody finds their own schedule to work, but connect during the overlapping moments, with the help of technology. The second is identity, a strong vision and mission become indispensable. Everybody needs to have an end goal in mind while working from home. Communicate this clearly!

Help to keep a distance

After months of working from home, it’s important that employees feel they are in charge of their day again once they get back to the office. We can only hope the level of autonomy is now accepted by employers and employees get the chance to work from home more often. But once back at the office, organizations need to use technology to inform their workforce about the changing situation. Think about keeping a safe distance. User facing applications can be the catalyst for the empowerment of the workforce.

More about the Mapiq pyramid of workplace well-being?

Our head of research Anne Wernand is one of the speakers of the online Agile Workplace Design Summit on 13 and 14 May. Sign up for the event to get the full story or download the paper for free here.

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