Wellness in the workplace
An organised workforce for improved well-being. How does that work? Find out below.
This article is not suggesting contact centres should call up the masseurs and roll in the soapy tubs at work, but rather it invites them to shift their frame of knowledge a little to include the topic of well-being and personal wellness in their agenda.
Workforce Management Systems Can Help Improve Staff Well-being
We may not often see the terms “workforce management” and “well-being” in the same sentence. But if contact centre operators were to adopt the former to ensure the latter, it would be a sure-fire way of their staff being constantly on their A-game and feeling good about themselves.
Puzzel’s next generation Cloud Workforce Management can help contact centres plan a healthy year for both their employees and their business. Afterall, workforce management – a big part of Workforce Optimisation – is just another way of referring to the planning of staff (resources) at a more effective level. Since staff are the most important resource at a contact centre, operators would want to make sure they are motivated, happy and healthy.
Mental health issues in the workplace are on the rise and UK employees are working some of the longest hours in the world and yet our productivity lags behind many other countries.
1 in 6.8 people are experiencing mental health problems in the workplace (14.7%). 
This would suggest that more contact centres should be trying to strike a healthy work-life balance as this sector can be very unpredictable and erratic if not analysed with consistency and reliable data.
“That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing,” says Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster.
In terms of looking after staff, the benefits of managing a workforce well include:
- reduced stress
- gained sense of control
- improved happiness levels
instead of a stressed-out workforce, which often manifests itself in
- high absenteeism
- low productivity
- poor customer service
This is costing UK bosses billions of pounds each year in lost revenue due to compromised productivity. The effects can be catastrophic for both the health of the team and the health of the business.
Evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions.
Promoting Well-being at Work
Studies have proven that being organised can reduce stress. We are looking after our well-being in our personal time, so why should it be any different at work? In brief, if the workforce is optimised as a resource, the employees benefit as well:
- They know what they are doing
- They do not suffer from undesirable surprises (such as sudden changes in shifts or unplanned/increased/decreased workloads)
- They feel like they have everything covered – that goes for the boss too!
Combining the world of technology and telephony with the soothing idealisms of wellness and personal well-being may be one of the most powerful tactics in a company’s arsenal of successful business strategies.
How Can Workforce Management Help Your Staff’s Health?
The outputs of WFM would ensure that agents have schedules that give them a work-life balance, with no shifts they dread because they are going to be extremely busy or bored. Balancing the workload throughout the week is important to avoid an unpleasant number or sequence of shifts to work. If agents are bored or over worked, this will ultimately impact on sickness and absenteeism figures.
WFM makes for a more efficient organisation, use of resources and time management. When people are more at ease and know what is going on, know that everything is in hand and planned they are more relaxed and able to focus on their work, on the customer.
Staff are more motivated and productive. Essentially, when the endorphins go up so do your profits!
More and more companies are getting their company’s health checked and not just their books. Instead of investing in office chair yoga training or meditation rooms, why not start with something that everyone will feel comfortable with and that is beneficial holistically, i.e. to the business and the people in it? WFM will make staff feel valued instead of overloaded, anxious, frustrated and undervalued. This then impacts on the bottom line and the company’s reputation.
 A study by the TUC
 Mental Health Foundation
 ONS: Sickness Absence on the Labour Market