Well-being at work matters to us all and it’s important for both employers and employees to have conversations that move towards us enjoying our working lives. After all, the idea that our working lives should be a drudge is archaic. Please find below expert commentary from technology leaders on how we can inspire a better workplace for all.
Matt Burney, Senior Talent Strategy Advisor, Indeed
“We dedicate so much to our work and often how we feel about it spills into our personal lives, with 89% of people reporting happiness at work affects their mood at home.”
“In one of the tightest labour markets on record and with the rise of hybrid working blurring the lines between work and personal life, now more than ever, companies must create an environment that addresses and improves employee wellbeing.”
“While fostering workplace wellbeing should be a focus all year round, National Work Life Week is an opportunity for employers to hone in on policies and practices that enable a good work-life balance. A great place to start is by looking at employee happiness metrics.”
“Indeed’s Work Happiness Score, the world’s most extensive study of workplace wellbeing, measures how people feel at work and why. It offers transparency to help employers build a better world of work. Our research shows the three largest drivers of happiness at work are having a sense of belonging, purpose, and energy.”
“Cultivating these feelings among staff should be a priority for organisations. Especially as Indeed’s data shows only 57% of UK workers say they feel happy at work most of the time, a number which could be affected by the challenging economic circumstances. After all, happiness at work increases productivity and performance, while reducing the chance of burnout. If you’re not creating a workplace where employees can thrive, why would they stay?”
Violeta Martin, VP, Commercial Sales, DocuSign
“National Work Life Week is an opportunity for employers to focus on well-being at work and work-life balance. For many, flexible working options such as remote and hybrid work are conducive to both. Indeed, research shows remote work can increase workplace happiness by 20%. But to optimise the full potential of remote working, organisations need technology to improve collaboration among in-person, remote, and hybrid workers.”
“For example, creating a shared virtual workspace can help colleagues feel connected and can be especially useful in dynamic, deadline-driven environments where questions need real-time answers and timely brainstorming is key. Organisations can also launch internal social media feeds, which serve as a space to share workplace success stories, answer questions, and get to know more about colleagues.”
“When encouraging collaboration, it’s also important to consider the tools that are already at your employees’ disposal. DocuSign is helping by offering more than 350 integrations that allow users to complete tasks in applications they’re already using on a day-to-day basis, such as Slack, Teams and Salesforce. The pandemic has accelerated the tools and ideas to support remote and hybrid teams — let’s start integrating them.”
Anthony Tattersall, Vice President of EMEA at Coursera
“2022 National Work Life Week falls at a time when workers across the UK have more to worry about than hitting deadlines and meeting targets. As the country encounters an unprecedented period of uncertainty, companies must find ways to support employees that go beyond ‘work-perks’.”
“Employers need to offer their workers opportunities that will improve their lives, both inside of work and outside of it. Offering continuous role-based learning pathways is an effective, scalable means of doing so. At work, this could include learning a new skill to help with development or facilitate the opportunity to pivot into a new role within the company.”
“Outside of work, this could be taking a course in a passion area to expand knowledge. Facilitating learning opportunities is vital for companies to help retain and motivate workers and for workers to grow in their work and their lives during a time when people are looking for much more from their jobs than the 9 to 5.”
Bukki Adedapo, UK Country Manager, Fiverr
“The concept of flexible working has evolved as the world battles new challenges. Whether it’s the post-COVID fallout or the cost of living crisis - business agility has never been more important, not only to businesses but workers too. A recent study conducted by Fiverr revealed that 44% of UK managers feel that flexible working makes workers more productive.”
“In order for flexible working to be a success, business leaders need to ensure they have the right tools in place to support their workers. A company's tech stack should facilitate efficient collaboration without diluting team morale - workers should still feel the company culture even in a remote or hybrid working environment.”
“This agile way of working should also be extended to how businesses recruit. With many businesses carefully monitoring their overheads due to the cost of living crisis, it is likely that we’ll see the continued trend of hiring freelance specialists to cope with extra demand in lieu of the risk of hiring full-time employees. Working with freelance talent allows businesses to fill skills gaps they may have whilst also creating more diverse, high-performing teams and embed flexibility and agility into the very core of businesses.”
Mette Hindborg Gade, Chief People Officer at Pleo
“Everyone deserves to feel valued at work, and a good place to start is a strong working culture built on autonomy and trust. A lot of the old workplace wallpaper has been torn down to accommodate this, with location, hours, and so much more reinvented by Covid-19. But there’s one key thing in the workplace that is continuing to have a detrimental impact on work-life balance—and that’s expenses.”
“Where other areas of work-life have revolutionised, workplace expenses have only marginally evolved from the abacus, with outdated and slow processes. It’s showing too, with research revealing that 7 million British workers are using their own cash to make purchases for work and 74% are concerned they might not get their money back due to unclear expense policies. This is wholly avoidable and at odds with the concept of employee empowerment that is advancing elsewhere in the modern workplace.”
“Current economic uncertainty should light a fire under businesses to enable technology to play a greater role in workplace expenses. Not just to address the strain of out-of-pocket expenses for employees, but to lessen the pressure on finance teams and to free CFOs up to build a more aligned, more trusting and compassionate financial culture. Because only by modernising every aspect of the workplace can we truly deliver all-round wellbeing to employees.”
Tanya Channing, Chief People and Culture Officer (CPCO), Pipedrive
“With the acceleration of remote work it has become challenging to differentiate between work and personal lives. Managing time and expectations in today’s digital world, if handled incorrectly, can easily result in work fatigue and, eventually, burnout.”
In many cases, the work tasks that require the most amount of time aren’t necessarily the most creative or fulfilling. Often mundane admin such as sending out emails, filing documents and processing data. Providing employees with purpose-built technology that automates simple yet time-consuming tasks is vital to creating a happy and productive culture.
“Productivity tools such as sales automation, as one example, helps manage customer relations, leverage data and generally streamline the business process for sales and marketers. This allows employees to direct their time and resources into more meaningful projects, more beneficial to them and the company.”
“Businesses that deploy suitable tech are more likely to retain talent and create a workplace where employees can pursue their passions while maintaining healthy and stress-free personal lives.”
"According to our research consortium, Future Forum, 70% of employees who are dissatisfied with their level of flexibility are open to looking for a new job in the next year. What's more, our latest research has found that when workers go into the office (88% at least once a week), they are spending nearly two hours on Zoom each day which is soul destroying. As economic headwinds start to bite, there may be a temptation to justify the high cost of rental space and to force people back to the office, but this would be a mistake.
"Businesses need to carefully consider their approach to flexible working - and this includes how and when the office is used. Central to making hybrid work a success is trusting employees to work from anywhere, and empowering them to do it when it works best for them. Flexibility, facilitated by digital HQs which connect teams, tools, customers, and partners in a digital place that's fast, flexible and inclusive, can help employees and businesses build healthier, happy workplaces.
"Firms who take note during this National Work Life Week to create an environment where culture can thrive for all employees - regardless of where they work - will perform best in 2022 and beyond."