Quality of life at work: what is its importance anyway?
There has never been so much talk about quality of life at work – and probably the subject will be discussed more and more in the future. The truth is that companies often need to organize their work environments to ensure well-being for employees.
It may not seem like it, but investing in quality in the corporate space involves minimal costs compared to the lack of this resource. Dissatisfied teams become unproductive, are more prone to mistakes, act on the edge of stress and are often involved in conflicts.
Investing in the well-being of employees, on the other hand, has several positive effects, such as greater commitment from professionals . According to Sodexo, companies that are concerned with this issue are, on average, 86% more productive .
Do you want to understand more about the subject, its importance and how to optimize the quality of life at work? Read on!
The meaning of quality of life at work
First of all, it is necessary to know what it means to have quality of life. Many companies have already created leisure spaces for their employees – with pool tables and video games – however, it is important to understand that this is not the most important thing.
The quality of life at work can be improved, mainly, by changing habits within the company. Respecting professionals in the physical and mental aspects, for example, is a good start to ensure good working conditions.
Other changes, such as improving the lighting in the workplace and optimizing interpersonal communication , also make all the difference. This requires some financial investment and, mainly, commitment from the leadership.
The importance of quality of life for the company
The main question is: how does this benefit the company? Before knowing the answer, it is necessary to understand the current market context. The companies have never been inserted in such a competitive market, with customers and avid competitors. According to IBGE, about six out of ten companies close before completing five years of activity . This is just one of several data on the subject.
To gain prominence in the market, organizations need to innovate. As ideas are abundant, technologies and strategies can be easily copied, the real difference is in people, that is, in employees.
It is possible to state that a company that invests in quality of life at work and that benefits its entire team is much more competitive. Seeking this, she can count on motivated, committed and able to deliver great results. Next, learn more about the main benefits of investing in quality of life.
Increased productivity at work
The quality of life at work contributes so that the talents are more willing and motivated, as well as emotionally able to deliver great results. In other words, each employee will be able to produce more and better.
Currently, it is known that a good part of working time tends to be unproductive – it is estimated that only 39% of the work hours are actually used. However, this result can be changed when the team is integrated into an environment that offers quality of life and clear priorities. Happier and more motivated, everyone can go in the same direction and deliver results outside the curve.
Improving the organizational climate
The organizational climate represents the psychological atmosphere of the company, that is, how professionals perceive the work environment and are impacted by it. There are many harms in the heavy climate of the company, such as the lack of interpersonal communication and little commitment at work.
The quality of life in the organization allows professionals to smile more and even have fun with what is being done. The idea of work as the “necessary evil” is immediately eliminated, after all, everyone is working in a great environment.
A good working climate guarantees employees a lighter and more conducive environment for teamwork, as well as resulting in better treatment for customers. The team spirit can be awakened with more vigor in the talents, making them unique.
A recent survey showed that companies that offer quality of life have, on average, 91% better working climate. In other words: quality of life guarantees professionals who are more committed, aligned and willing to contribute, so the work climate is immediately improved, making it better for interested parties.
Increase in talent attraction
Acquiring talent is a difficult task. Despite the large volume of labor available on the market, few professionals have specific technical and behavioral skills to take up a position.
A study by Manpowergroup showed that, worldwide, 38% of employers have difficulties in hiring talent . In Brazil, this problem is even greater: the country is among the five worst in the world to fill job positions.
Either way, improving quality means that new talent is attracted. When there is well-being at work, the attraction of talent grows by up to 76% . Thus, the company becomes a great magnet for professionals above average.
The reasons for this are diverse, after all, qualified people seek to work in a suitable place that provides quality of life. In addition, current employees begin to act as promoters, speaking well of the company where they work for friends and family. Finally, the company is better regarded by the labor market.
Business profit growth
Talking about profit is not as simple as deducting expenses from revenue for a given period. It is necessary to think about a series of secondary factors that inevitably influence profit and economic performance.
There are many factors that affect this profit, such as daily operational efficiency and communication so that errors are reduced. The quality of life at work is another factor, after all, when there is quality, talents are more willing to deliver good results, close important sales and benefit the company economically.
According to research published in Exame , organizations that offer quality of life are, on average, 70% more profitable than the competition. This means that they are more profitable and effective in generating adequate financial returns for their owners or investors.
These are just some of the benefits that prove the importance of investing in quality of life at work, but there are many others. In general, a good workplace makes the business more competitive, healthy and attractive, generating benefits for a wide range of stakeholders, including owners, employees and customers.
Everything that was said above reflects directly on the Employer Brand. If you want to know more about this topic, download the free E-book: Manual to develop the Employer Brand .
What can be done to improve the lives of teams
Some actions are essential to provide good experiences in the workplace. Check out the main ones below and learn how to put them into practice in your company.
Maintaining the balance between personal and professional life
It is not difficult to see professionals who spend their hours for several days in a row to deliver a project or report to their immediate leader. This shows commitment, however, unbalances the employee’s personal and professional life, harming him.
A simple measure is to have clearer working hours policies, indicating that overtime should only be done when it is really necessary. In cases where the professional accumulates a considerable number of hours, induce him to exchange for a day off.
Encouraging healthy practices in the company
Cycling to work, eating with more quality in the cafeteria, performing gymnastic exercises at work and practicing some kind of sport are good examples of practices that can (and should) be encouraged in the organization.
In addition to improving quality of life, these practices ensure that talents are more willing to deliver good results on the job, which makes them more productive. What’s more, these initiatives have almost no major costs for the business.
Improvement of the working environment
This point will vary a lot according to the company’s budget. If there are resources to invest in a break room or games, great! The financial return will be seen in the increased commitment and productivity of the team.
However, it is possible to invest less and have great results. Improve issues such as brightness, acoustics and temperature of the workspace, in addition to the ergonomics of office furniture. This is an excellent start!
Optimization of dialogue with professionals
Without a doubt, communication has a strong influence on the way professionals relate internally. The lack of dialogue leaves employees without guidance, which favors errors in tasks and internal conflicts.
First of all, improving communication must consider leadership commitment. Superiors must learn to democratize information to their subordinates, keeping them always informed of what is needed.
Leadership encouragement by example
When leaders faithfully convey the company’s values, they are much more likely to create a pleasant and motivating work environment. In that sense, they must be true examples in everyday life.
An exemplary leader is one who listens to his superiors and subordinates, who embraces the company’s culture and delivers results personally. They are not perfect, nobody is, but they strive to comply faithfully with what they say to their subordinates.
The main consequences of the lack of quality of life
In the same way that the search for quality of life generates benefits for the company, making it more competitive and profitable in its market, the lack of it also causes a series of impacts. Admittedly, many businesses can collapse due to the lack of an adequate environment, which generates enthusiasm and motivation for talents. Learn more about these impacts below.
Increase in early talent turnover
In every business, it is necessary to count on talents to achieve great results, after all, no manager does everything alone. The problem is that, when there is a negative quality of life, which causes discomfort at work, professionals abandon the “ship”.
As a result, one of the main consequences is early turnover . Even newly hired professionals, who could spend more time in the company, prefer to look for new opportunities or migrate to competing companies.
Increased dismissal costs
Each employee who leaves the company generates an extra cost . It is known, for example, that the dismissal of a professional can cost more than a year of his work, that is, it costs quite expensive for the company. Therefore, with the increase in terminations, there is an increase in costs.
It seems contradictory, but companies that stop investing in internal welfare due to financial problems end up spending much more. Termination costs are just one example, but there are many others, such as high costs with new hires.
Deterioration of the company’s employing brand
You may have noticed that large companies are increasingly struggling to be rated as the best to work for. Every year, Great Place To Work launches a list of the best and the competitiveness to be part of it is increasingly broad.
In addition to being very beautiful in the eyes of end customers, having a strong employer brand ensures that the best talents are part of the company. In companies where the quality of life is low, this brand is deteriorated by conflicts and parallel conversations.
Signs that demonstrate poor quality of life
There are some signs present in everyday life that can demonstrate the lack of quality of life at work, even without raising performance indicators, only through observation. So you need to be aware of them and correct them quickly. Go ahead, learn more about these clues.
How is the physical environment of your company? Take a few minutes of your day to take a walk around the establishment and assess how the most diverse areas are, from financial to product shipping. That way, you will have a systemic view of the business.
Assess whether the infrastructure is adequate or whether it needs adjustments urgently. Look for infiltration points, mold, rooms with excess heat and lack of lighting. Do not doubt that details like these can hinder the work and even harm the health of employees.
Micro-management of managers
The manager is very important to maintain the quality of life at work. He controls the pace of his team’s work and says what will (or will not) be done on the job. The problem is not in managing the team, but in micromanaging.
If you are new to the topic, micromanagement is the type of management in which the boss practices an exaggerated control over his employees, processes and day-to-day tasks. In short, it leaves little room for others to act on their own.
Micro-managing professionals is a way of saying that they have few technical and behavioral skills, as well as being unreliable at work. So it is a great sign that the quality of life at work is low.
Existence of bullying during working hours
The diversity of the team is a really important factor, as it opens space for creativity and innovation at work. On the other hand, it is also a loophole for the practice of teasing and offensive jokes, which can even lead to legal proceedings for the organization.
To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to be aware of what happens in the work teams, especially with the eyes and ears of the leaders. There should be zero tolerance for bullying, jokes and offensive jokes.
If there are frictions in the company due to this type of situation, there is a big alarm that needs to be considered. Invest in lectures on respect for diversity, turn off professionals who practice bullying and show that this stance does not match the firm’s values.
Absence or flaws in internal communication
How is communication in your company? This should be a common question, but it is not. Many HR managers and professionals do not give due attention to dialogue at work and, therefore, there are many flaws in internal communication.
The last sign highlighted in this post is the absence of communication, which can cause a series of losses to the business and the quality of life of professionals. Without a healthy dialogue about what needs to be done, no process can be done well.
Look for all of these signs, even if just by watching. Thus, you can deduce whether the work environment is healthy or not. Imagine them as a big blinking red light, indicating that something is very wrong and needs to be corrected. You can also count on the collaboration of other business leaders.
Metrics to measure quality of life at work
There are several HR indicators that can be used to have a systemic view of what is happening within the company, in addition to supporting strategic decisions.
To measure the quality of life at work, an important indicator is turnover. It measures the percentage of professionals who left the corporate staff. To do so, it is enough to list the number of active professionals in a given period and the number of terminated employees at the same time. In another post, we made it clear how to calculate the turnover .
Another factor that must be considered is the level of attendance. The lack of quality makes employees find excuses to constantly miss or delay, increasing the level of absenteeism . So, you need to accompany him regularly.
Finally, it is important to consider the number of interpersonal conflicts. If professionals are always getting into discussions, it is a sign that the organization ‘s climate is heavy and needs significant improvements. What’s more, there are noises that interfere with internal communication and that must be urgently eliminated.
As you can see, an adequate work environment is of paramount importance to the well-being of professionals. Without this, it is likely that the company will never be able to retain its talents, serve customers well or stand out from the competition. By generating quality of life, the company becomes much more productive, profitable and attractive.