How to Improve Staff Well-Being and Productivity

Employers are paying more attention to the psychological and emotional well-being of their employees. 'Well-being' means creating a positive work environment and putting systems in place to support employees so they feel their best and function in their roles optimally. It's about listening and responding appropriately to the challenges they face both in and outside the workplace. It doesn’t take more than common sense to tell us that people who are stressed or exhausted don’t perform as well at work.

Improving well-being in the workplace can reduce absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work whilst unwell and not performing to one’s full ability), two things that increasingly cost the New Zealand economy annually. Higher levels of well-being in the workplace are correlated with greater productivity and happiness among employees, with the obvious benefit of often improving the profitability and efficiency of the company.

Presenteeism occurs for several reasons:

  1. Unmanageable workloads may make taking time off difficult.
  2. Employees are low on sick leave or annual leave so can’t afford to take leave without pay.
  3. A lack of available staff to cover in the event of an absence.
  4. Workers may worry about being disciplined or penalised for phoning in sick.
  5. Workers may be too embarrassed to admit that they're struggling with their mental or physical health.
  6. Well-being can be addressed with open conversations with staff, anonymous questionnaires, putting well-being practices in place and improving your workspace.

If your business is struggling with low employee productivity, take comfort in the fact that you can change that. Getting a realistic view of your corporate culture is a great place to start. Go straight to the source and ask your staff. Find out how confident and supported they feel in their position. Ask if they are satisfied with their work and the work of others. How happy are they? Ask them to identify any areas of tension or conflict within their role.

The sooner problems are identified, the faster (and easier) they can be fixed. Surveys should be anonymous, but if employees want to record their experiences, encourage them. Wellness should not be a one-time event, it should be a conversation that you need to return to regularly. You can always outsource this data collection to a third party if you are not sure which information to collect and which to ignore.

The Road to Improved Well-Being:


Employees who benefit from personalised work rules will be more efficient. If your staff has the option of working from home and still being productive, this could alleviate a number of issues around pressure to be in the office. Parents who also have to navigate the current schooling challenges of Covid-19 and childcare could find flexible work schedules a huge help to keep personal and work pressure to a minimum.


Creating a pleasant work environment can do wonders for employee well-being. Bright and cosy places where people like to work are best suited. Employers can add recreational areas where people can interact and interact. Organising social gatherings or ordering takeaways for lunch and sharing meals helps build a more cohesive team. Outdoor seating can be great in the sun.


Work-related bonus programs are a welcome bonus for staff. Employers pay a commission to a third-party company, and their employees have access to a variety of special offers and discounts, which can include reduced gym memberships, food delivery services, and even discounts on bills.

Wellness is often about better communication between managers and employees. It's about having people on the team who understand the link between burnout and workload and can help create an honest and open work environment. Companies that take the time to make sure they have a happy and productive workforce often find that they have a better and more profitable business in the end. As a commercial office furniture specialist with over 40 years experience, we can help discuss how to fit-out your office with well-being in mind. Let’s discuss your office needs today and put a smile on your employees' faces.

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