QLW : an approach that combines work performance and well-being

Physical and mental fatigue, lack of concentration and/or motivation, poor relationships between management and employees or too much remote work; these are some of the negative things employees are experiencing since the start of the pandemic and they are only getting worse. However, more and more companies feel concerned by the notion of well-being at work and thus have started taking into account the mental and physical state of their employees. Through Quality of Life at Work Week, many initiatives can be implemented. This is an opportunity for companies, both employees and managers, to discover a little more about this topic. The week aims to raise awareness to all about well-being at work and to help everyone find solutions to improve the conditions of employees. But really, what is QLW?

What is Quality of Life at Work ?

In 2013, the ANI (National Interprofessional Agreement) explained : ” Quality of life at work refers to a variety of elements, partly related to each employee but also closely related to objective elements that structure the company. […] It can be seen as a sense of well-being at work perceived collectively and individually that encompasses the atmosphere, the company’s culture, the interest of work, working conditions, the sense of involvement, the degree of autonomy and empowerment, equality, a right to make mistakes, recognition and appreciation.”

It is important to remember that in the absence of good working conditions, an employee cannot be happy or efficient. Employees play a major role in the competitiveness of the company and vice versa! An employee spends most of their day at work (including remote work), so it is essential to be concerned about their physical and moral comfort in order for them to feel comfortable in their work environment.

In short, quality of life at work is an approach that aims to combine the performance and well-being of employees.

The first step is to ego to bed as soon as the first signs of fatigue appear : yawning, heavy eyelids, stretching, etc. If you fall asleep in less than 15 minutes… bingo! You have found your bedtime.

Focus on the well-being of your employees

It is a misconception that employees are not engaged in their work. According to the Malakoff Humanis Health and Quality of Life at Work Barometer80% of employees say they are satisfied with their work and find it meaningful despite the pandemic. This data can be surprising because we often equate work with negativity…This is especially true as peoples opinions on work have been fortified due to unforeseen factors such as the pandemic  that has indeed had a negative impact on the mental and physical health of many employees.

Caring about your employee’s condition is caring about your company. Let’s take the example of a large group like L’Oréal which has set up modern areas to allow its employees to work in more pleasant and participative conditions. As for the start-up Deliveroo, the company offers several sporting activities to strengthen the relationships between employees. These companies are not the only ones that are caring about the well-being of their employees, in fact, more and more companies are starting to take action for their employees. Through interactive activities, equipment in rest areas or tasty meals, each company treats its employees differently but with the same goal: to bring them a quality of life at work that is adequate to their needs. But there is also an important point to be made: being concerned about the well-being of employees means being interested in subjects that may still be taboo in certain firms, such as mental and physical health, fatigue, stress, lack of motivation…

The effects and consequences of a poor quality of life at work

Is it a cliché to think that business managers don’t care enough about the well-being of their employees? Data proves that employers do in fact care about their employees and are looking to improve the working conditions for their workers. According to a survey conducted by ADP at the beginning of the pandemic, 39% of employers with more than 1,000 employees cite the health of their employees as their main concern.

A study was carried out by IFOP for International SOS in March 2021, where we learned that many employees are more concerned about their health since the beginning of the pandemic, whether it is their physical health for 37% or their mental health for 45%.

Another study conducted in 2019 by the independent market research agency Opinion Matters for the ADP entitled The WorkForce View in Europe 2019, reveals that more than a quarter of employees believe that their employer has no interest in their mental well-being while one in three employees feel uncomfortable speaking up. These figures show that there is limited communication between managers and employees but perhaps also a lack of interest in improving working conditions by management.

This can create negative consequences for the company: a drop in performance, loss of profitability, loss of trust within workers, etc. How can we keep employees engaged ?

What are the benefits of a good quality of life at work ?

A company can set up wellness initiatives for a day, a week, or long term solutions.

Several activities can be proposed to improve business life: relaxation areas, webinars, sports, healthy and varied cafeterias, new office equipment, etc.

Improving the working environment means :

  • creating/strengthening links between employees
  • providing a source of motivation for employees
  • improving physical and mental comfort
  • establishing a relationship of trust between employees and their managers
  • reduce stress and pressure for employees

It is proven by a study conducted by MIT and Harvard, that a happy employee is 31% more productive and 55% more creative. It is important to remember that the well-being of a manager is just as important as that of employees, because together they make for a successful company.

If we were to summarize :

The QLW is :

  • An approach that is different and specific to each company
  • A concern for the working conditions and well-being of all members
  • Communication between the everyone in the company
  • An opportunity to bond

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