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Workplace Well-being: Why and How to Cultivate It?

Femme étant relaxée en travaillant à son bureau


Workplace well-being is a true driver of productivity and employee retention. But what exactly is happiness at work? How can one create a healthy environment within their company? Here’s a comprehensive definition of workplace well-being.

Lately, things have not been going well within your company. Your employees drag themselves in front of the coffee machine in the morning and are reluctant to start working. Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate. What is the level of employee satisfaction in your company? Wouldn’t it be time to improve their working conditions?

Vacation time, compliments, office layout… Improving working conditions directly impacts employees’ feelings and the quality of their work. Workplace well-being plays a crucial role in preventing absenteeism and promoting performance.

Today, salary is no longer the sole factor. Recent studies show that the level of compensation is no more significant than health or well-being.


What is Workplace Well-being?

But first, what is workplace well-being?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “workplace well-being is a state of mind characterized by satisfactory harmony between, on one hand, the worker’s skills, needs, and aspirations, and, on the other hand, the constraints and possibilities of the work environment.”

Workplace well-being is therefore a comprehensive and subjective state of mind.

Various factors can influence employees’ quality of life in the workplace:

  • Safety and hygiene of the premises
  • Protection of employees’ health
  • Psychosocial impact of tasks performed (stress, violence)
  • Ergonomics of workspaces (office layout, posture, seating)
  • Environmental measures

Today, workplace well-being matters. Belgium even established a law on workplace well-being in 1996. This law, known as the “well-being law,” creates a framework upon which implementing regulations have been based.


The Importance of Workplace Well-being

But why is employee happiness so crucial for a company?

In fact, employee happiness has a direct impact on their motivation. Workplace well-being boosts productivity. The better an employee feels, the more productive they will be.

Moreover, younger generations no longer want to overwork themselves. The balance between professional and personal life is non-negotiable. To attract young workers, salary alone is no longer sufficient.

Improving working conditions also helps managers and leaders reduce absenteeism rates and combat burnout and internal resignation.


Work-related stress and burnout can cost both the employee and the company dearly. Cases of work-related burnout continue to rise. Lack of autonomy, recognition, and social connection can lead straight to burnout.

Employers need to ease the pressure: not asking their employees to do a thousand things at once, to work as fast as possible, and to be responsive within minutes of a request.

Internal Resignation

And be aware. Just because people show up and remain faithful doesn’t mean everything is fine. Internal resignation exists. And it’s toxic. This new concept is also known as “brown-out.” It literally means “power outage.” Brown-out occurs when an employee feels their job has no meaning.


How to Ensure Employee Happiness?

So, how can workplace well-being be promoted?

Managers have a special responsibility in this area. They play a role in the professional development of their team members.

  • Consider improving working conditions
  • Ensure recognition of work done
  • Promote a modern corporate culture
  • Put humans at the center of the company’s mission

Additionally, certain key elements foster well-being at work.

An Enhanced and Comfortable Workspace

A pleasant workplace contributes to workplace well-being. Consider a modular space, a nap room, or a rooftop area. However, don’t think that creating a fun workspace with a foosball table and a couple of hammocks will automatically make employees feel relaxed. Workplace well-being is tied to something much more human. The design changes must have a real impact.

Good Relationships and Trust Among Colleagues

Teamwork can sometimes take a negative turn. Tensions between colleagues, dysfunctions: the collective balance and group stability are disrupted. Workplace harassment can also worsen matters. Good relationships among colleagues have a positive effect on workplace well-being and job satisfaction.

Attentive Listening from Management

Many bosses think of an employee as a machine: as long as it runs, there’s nothing to say. Be cautious: discouragement can loom. Positive feedback is essential. A “well done” or a “thank you” boost motivation.

For a bit of originality, business leaders can also offer creative solutions:

  • Yoga classes
  • Massages
  • Meditation sessions
  • Sleep management assistance
  • Nutrition advice

Employees need to feel that their leadership cares about their quality of life.


In Conclusion

You’ve understood: workplace well-being consists of subjective factors that allow employees to feel comfortable in their own skin and in their job. When working conditions are poor, workplace suffering can sometimes lead employees to burnout. An unhappy and tired employee is an unproductive one.

Improving working conditions is no longer an option today: it’s a necessity. Employees need recognition, days off. They want remote work and a meaningful job. A high salary cannot replace these different requirements.

It’s up to employers to offer optimal working conditions to reduce absenteeism, contribute to happiness, and improve employees’ quality of life. Prioritizing workplace well-being? The company stands to gain a lot from it.