But more importantly, your employees are the driving force of your company. Their health, safety and wellbeing should be top of mind—not only to get better results, but also to provide your people with the tools, services and amenities necessary for a working life that understands and supports their needs.
These three things can boost employee contentment and give your people greater flexibility and more opportunities to do meaningful work that both challenges and inspires.
The Necessity of Work-Life Balance
One of the best ways to support employee wellbeing comes from finding a balance between work and life outside of it. While work-life balance has been a major conversation among business leaders for years, the pandemic was a watershed moment (and an unanticipated social experiment) that highlighted the need for flexibility at work. Although most office-based workers were at home throughout the year, labor productivity rose 3.8 percent from the second quarter of 2020, indicating to most employers that hybrid work allows people to be productive wherever they are.
Among the many benefits of hybrid work is that the workplace is getting a more consumer-oriented facelift, leading employers to not only acknowledge the needs of their people, but also design workspaces and workplace policies in alignment with those needs. Individual workers overwhelmingly support being able to work where they like, and large employers are embracing flexibility as a crucial component for employee contentment going forward. Life delivers shocks and surprises, and a lack of flexibility at work only compounds the stress of these moments. Employers who remain sensitive to this and offer their people flexibility, support and understanding are the ones who will win the war for talent.
Be Sure You're Building Trust
Trust is necessary for companies to operate effectively. Teams can’t function without it, and goodwill and collaboration are necessary to achieve strategic goals. High-trust work environments support and promote connections between colleagues (leaders included), with leadership demonstrating and encouraging trustworthy characteristics. In these environments, employees are engaged and motivated. As you might imagine, low-trust work environments have opposite outcomes.
As low-trust environments crush employee wellbeing and drive people away from organizations, leaders should encourage people to bring their authentic self to work as a key component of building trust. As I wrote in a prior post, when people feel like they can’t be themselves at work, trust in their employer drops and the associated pressure can impact both their productivity and mental health.
Prioritize Employee Health
More than ever, the pandemic highlighted the importance of protecting employee health. In addition to concerns around minimizing the spread of Covid or ensuring people feel safe in the space, workers also faced an uptick in mental health struggles, which impacted their work performance and overall wellbeing.
According to the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety cost the global economy $1 trillion annually. Beyond being a boon to productivity and retention, policies in support of mental wellness give employees easier access to mental health resources and reduce any stigma around seeking assistance. Building a culture of inclusivity also goes a long way in ensuring your people feel safe, heard and understood. Leaders should emphasize the health and wellbeing of their people, and work to develop a culture invested in health and wellness from the top down.
Ensuring your employees connect with others safely and with purpose is crucial for ongoing success, impacting both business outcomes and individual wellbeing. When people feel content, safe and cared for, they perform better and have better health outcomes. It's more important than ever to give your people the support they deserve and cultivate an environment that prioritizes wellness.
Entering the Tween Years of Smart Workspace
Digital Solutions & Strategy Lead
January of every year seems to bring out the crystal ball gazers of every tech industry. A new year – and some would argue (incorrectly, but maybe that’s just me and Seinfeld) a new decade – gives rise to reflection as the last year closes and the annual cycle begins anew.
Education From Afar: Perspectives on Virtual Learning
Host’s goals of providing increased digital and virtual learning options have been on the agenda for some time. However, with a global pandemic shuttering offices throughout the world, our learning and development professionals have had to expedite these options to ensure that new hires receive the same level of expert training, even if the training isn’t performed in person.
Leading Virtual Teams
Leading virtual teams can become untenable if you expect the virtual world to correlate perfectly with a traditional office environment. According to a recent study by the Harvard Business Review, 82 percent of virtual teams fell short of their goals. With that said, everything that makes for a strong leader in an office is twice as important in the virtual landscape.
Bringing a New Member onto Your Remote Team
Director, Global Hospitality Operations
New employees join organizations every day, including during this unprecedented time where many are working remotely during the COVID outbreak. While it's a best practice to spend face-to-face time when onboarding, right now that's just not an option most of the time. Employee onboarding lays the foundation for the success of new hires at your company and provides a baseline to make connections going forward.
The Leader's Role in Fostering New Social Norms as Workplaces Reopen
By now, almost all organizations around the world are somewhere on their re-opening journey, whether starting to plan, bringing employees back to the workplace, or assessing “what’s next” for the future of their work environments. Companies and organizations are appropriately focused on a range of activities such as resetting the physical work environment to achieve social distancing, installing signage, adjusting building systems, securing sustainable quantities of supplies, and adapting service levels in areas such as cleaning and food service.
The Double Shift Juggling Parenting and Working During the Coronavirus
Director, Deployment and Operations
Working parents are facing a particularly challenging time, as the boundaries between work and home have completely broken down, resulting in the need for parents to juggle between parent mode to work mode and back again each day. The “double shift” is now the “double double shift.” Between putting three meals on the table, homeschooling, hosting Zoom meetings and conference calls, doing laundry, cleaning the house and trying to be present as both an employee and a parent, working parents are struggling and facing burnout.
Patrick Goes to Work
Global Hospitality Lead
When I’m focused on exciting new projects and things are going well, it’s always a surprise when they go awry unexpectedly. However, surprise doesn’t adequately cover our collective reaction to the rise of a global pandemic.
Customer Service Keeps Us Connected, Safe and Well – Let’s Celebrate It!
Global Hospitality Lead
I think it’s worth our time to reflect on what customer service has meant to us in the past, what it means right now as our social lives are stunted by pandemic concerns, and what it will look like once we finally navigate our way through this challenging era of our lives.
The Employee Experience Formula That Inspires Innovation
Host Labs Lead
It will likely come as no surprise that our evolving workspaces, enabled by technology, outfitted with the most coveted amenities and served by hospitality experts, are designed to make employees feel valued, signaling to them that the work they do is important and impactful. But what about when the workspace provided by an employer is removed (even temporarily) and placemaking becomes a virtual endeavor?
Delight in the Workplace: An Opportunity for Limitless Value
Host Labs Lead
As surprising as it may seem coming from a commercial real estate company, the Host team obsesses over enriching lives and creating delight for people who work in the buildings we manage. We consider the daily journey of our customers and map both their current and best experiences in the workplace.
Why Workplace Experience Platforms Need the Human Element
Thoughtful Reads: The Importance of In-Between Moments
The Value of Authenticity
Thoughtful Reads: Guide to the Hybrid Workplace
What We've Learned: Host Conversations #1
What Is the Workplace Experience Anyway?