Quality of life affects the quality of work
Human-centric workplace design can drive employee wellbeing and performance
People take their work into their personal lives — not just successes and positive vibes, but also the worries and stress they experience. The reverse is just as true. The way we live affects the way we work and has a measurable impact on our performance.
In a negative scenario, it will cost money. However, there are ways to enable employers and managers to mitigate the risk of low performance or even create a situation where performance will increase. The key is to manage employee wellbeing and performance using a human-centric design.
Quality of life: A holistic view
Quality of life is a subjective assessment of life situations. It is not only about the standard of living, but also about an individual’s wellbeing in areas such as feelings, environment, culture, and even public services. According to the World Health Organization report, Measuring Quality of Life, there are six main categories to consider:
- Physical capacity like health, rest, and sleep
- Psychological aspect like feelings and self-esteem
- Level of independence like work capacity and mobility
- Relationships like social support and sexual activity
- Environment like safety, health care, leisure activities, home environment, climate, and financial resources
- Spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs
“The relationship between employee and employer has changed. Progressive organizations are shifting from an employee-centered value proposition to a human-centered value proposition that treats employees as people, not workers.”
Quality of work: Changing expectations
We believe that proper working conditions bring value to every part of human life – including physical and mental health conditions, relationships, sense of independence and security, morality, purpose of life and social value.
In the past, salaries and other rewards were the primary drivers for employees to value their work. Personal recognition also made a significant contribution to overall employee satisfaction. Work and private life were kept separate, and any negative impact that a job caused on private life was not discussed or even ignored.
Over time, people started to realize the kind of negative impact that work can have on health, relations, and overall wellbeing. Now, the expectations of employees have radically changed. People not only want jobs which do not negatively impact their private life, but they also want jobs that have a positive contribution to the things in life they value the most.
This is reminiscent of the Japanese concept of Ikigai, which answers the question of how to find your calling and the path to fulfilment. It should be something you love doing, something the world needs, that you are paid well for, and you are good at. If even one of these factors is missing, the result will be a lack of full satisfaction.
Numerous studies have shown that employees desire a sense of belonging, to do something meaningful, to change someone's life for the better, and personal development and growth.
Employees need autonomy but also stability, trust, and recognition. It seems like life and work are no longer two separate worlds.
Looking at it the other way around
As we noted in the introduction, the quality of various areas of our personal life also affects the quality of our work. We not only bring knowledge and expertise, but also our emotions, problems, fears, happy moments, as well as our physical and mental health. We can all recall moments when we experienced either good or tough times at home, which translated into happy or challenging times at work as a result.
Financial stress, sleep disturbance, social isolation, loneliness, having a newborn child, getting married, health concerns — all these affect our concentration, decision making, creativity, productivity, and engagement.
There are many opportunities for a win-win for both employees and employers. Imagine a situation where employees were supported to deal with issues and challenges in their personal life — so they experience less negative impact on their mood and performance at work.
Even better, imagine that they feel happier and perform more effectively in both aspects of their life. An employer or manager can provide training, consultations, coaching and other support — but paying attention and showing empathy should come first.
Liberating people potential, unlocking the value of employees
To embark on this type of transformational journey, there are several key activities to be performed:
- Strategic hackathon and objective setting
- Design thinking, prototyping, value demonstration and user validation
- Integration with existing programs, systems, and initiatives, as well as implementation of digital solutions to support the employee journey
- Organizational change management
Creating empathy begins in the design phase of any employee digital workplace initiative. Modeling employee journeys from a human perspective requires not considering them simply as technical IT solutions or HR workflows.
When designing a digital workplace, it is important to focus on the employee experience. Choosing the right solutions starts with defining the emotional and functional needs of employees at various stages of their journey. Important “moments that matter” in employees’ work lives must be defined, as well as selecting the right services to support them.
It is important to orchestrate the full journey, including the right supporting solutions — such as sentiment capturing and analytics, digital adoption, and employee wellbeing services. It is important to structure solutions and services so they will appear at the right time, to the right people, and in the right way.
Think about the moments that matter at work, like onboarding, promotion and offboarding. But also consider those moments in private life, like getting married or having a newborn child. They all have a major impact on employee experience, performance, and overall wellbeing.
At Atos, we are committed to helping clients design and create truly human-centric workplaces. We look at your employees as humans, not just workers. Our solutions encompass all the elements discussed above, and we work with our partners to create customized digital workplace solutions that deliver an engaged employee experience.
If you’re interested to learn more about how we work with our clients to deliver better overall employee wellbeing and performance, visit us online.