How can we improve quality of life in the workplace?

4 March 2020

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Quality of life in the workplace: Definition

 Learning to relax

Being concerned about the Quality of Life in the Workplace is at the forefront of people’s minds, according to Anact, the national agency for improving workplace conditions, with action being defined which reconciles an improvement in working conditions for employees with the company’s worldwide performance. Since 2013, with the setting-up of the National Interprofessional Agreement, companies are encouraged to have policies in place that promote better working conditions for employees. However, Quality of Life in the Workplace goes further. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it encompasses a wide conceptual field, including in a complex way a person’s physical health, their psychological state, their level of independence, social contacts, personal beliefs and their relationship with the specific details of their surroundings. Beyond the aspect of health in the workplace, the direction to promote quality of life in the workplace aims to improve the social climate and personal interactions within companies.

 

Why seek to improve quality of life in the workplace?

The world of work continues to evolve and new situations appear constantly. Conscious of the need to take care of their employees, businesses no longer systematically place themselves into a vertical hierarchy with partners. Human Resource departments undertake to improve working conditions, and in parallel, to stimulate global performance. These issues have been included in legislation since 2016. The Rebsamen law obliges companies to arrange quality of life in the workplace and professional equality. This involves wide-ranging questions such as social and additional protection for employees, gender equality, disabilities, integration into the world of work and keeping people employed, occupational health risks, freedom of speech and social dialogue, maintaining work life balance and finally, quality of life in the workplace. In summary, quality of life in the workplace takes into account the work environment and its relationship to family life. 87 % of employees state that a good quality of life in the workplace benefits both employees and the business, according to a survey carried out by TNS Sofres.

To contribute to an improvement in employees’ situation, steps taken by management place personal growth in the heart of the system. Social contacts, work environment, task organisation and work/life balance are looked at in a caring way. Far from being incidental, these business policies help to motivate staff. By reviving employees’ commitment, the company gains in performance. Stress at work, a feeling of uselessness, procrastination, burn out... the various psychological pressures felt by employees are not necessarily visible. By offering employees a satisfying quality of life, a business can inspire new team spirit, provide a healthy working environment and ultimately real motivation for employees. Also, a company which understands making these steps permanent will show that they are a caring company which knows how to attract new talent.

 

A few examples of action to improve the quality of life in the workplace

Whatever the size of the company, it is possible to put into place practical and simple initiatives. From an organisational point of view, managerial directions would encourage companies to be more open to remote working in such a way as to reconcile professional and private calendars with more flexibility, to establish a real right to disconnect so as to let employees switch off during holidays etc. HR departments can also call upon professionals to staff well-being workshops or to have experts come to teach how to have good posture at one’s desk.

Practical daily habits should not be underestimated. For example, filling an open space with plants makes the environment seem calmer while literally bringing life to a space. It is also recommended to set up a break room so that employees can meet up, think of other things and relax.

Person taking a nap in a Relax chair in a break room

As a reminder, the Employment Code requires a minimum break time of 20 minutes for any daily work of at least 6 hours duration. Increasingly, companies are sensitive to the idea of well-being at work, especially as taking a moment of relaxation can boost productivity. In a cosy, zen atmosphere, anyone can relax even in the heart of a professional environment. To set up this break room, appropriate furniture will bring a real plus for establishing a moment of relaxation at work. Beyond calming decor, you should also choose comfortable seating. One such is a fauteuil relax which can in particular soothe the lumbar region, calm breathing and help with blood circulation. Most time off work are actually linked to muscular-skeletal problems. So, appropriate relaxation furniture can be enough to improve well-being and maintain employees’ health. These simple steps are decisive when establishing pleasant working conditions. Beyond safety and security, quality of life for your employees is essential for creating a lasting team spirit within a company.