Jump-starting company culture in a hybrid office model with Total Worker Health®

Northampton, MA –News Direct– Antea Group

As employers continue to grapple with the challenges of returning to the office (or not), a major focus has grown on how to retain and rekindle your company culture. Total Worker Health® is a growing strategy in the United States to address these concerns. Total Worker Health® is defined as policies, programs and practices that integrate protection against work-related safety and health risks with the promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to improve worker well-being . Simply put, it is a holistic, organization-wide approach to worker well-being that is proven to be an important aspect of attracting and retaining employees.

In a webinar hosted by Antea Group, our experts delved into how companies navigate health and safety compliance in hybrid work models and shared practical tips for adapting your health and safety programs. health and safety, and how the concept of Total Worker Health® can contribute to the construction of the corporate culture. Our Antea Group experts included Jenna Hetherington, CSP, AOEE, Jared Levine, CSP, CESCO, AOEAS, CEAS, Colleen Brents, PhD, AEP and Alizabeth Aramowicz Smith, Head of Health and Safety Practices.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the entire on-demand event below.

Watch on demand

Return to work challenges

We have all faced countless work-related challenges that were triggered by the onset of the pandemic. It seems that every time we overcome one challenge, we encounter another. The challenge that many of us now face is how to manage the reopening of offices and the management of remote and flexible employees in the new hybrid office model. Many employers are struggling to find the right balance between encouraging employees to return to the office while welcoming home workers and trying to maintain company culture and engagement. This reopening of hybrid offices is forcing employers to rework their health and safety programs to meet the needs of their split workforce as well as changing employee expectations. As you consider revising your health and safety programs, here are some helpful ways to get started:

  • Risk Assessment: As your workplace evolves and transforms during reopening, perform regular risk assessments at home and in the office.

  • Workplace inspections: Along with risk assessments, implement workplace self-inspections to assess the risks of employees’ home offices.

  • Emergency Response Teams: Rethink how you will establish your emergency response teams with the constant change of employees inside and outside the office.

  • Rescuers: Also, who will be a reliable rescuer? This could be on-site facility staff or even an owner.

  • Injury Management and Ergonomics: redefining what constitutes a workplace injury according to regulatory definitions, especially for home workers.

Reviving and redefining culture

As mentioned above, employee expectations have changed. After years of working from home, many realized they could still meet deliverables while working from home, setting their own flexible hours, avoiding commuting, and having more free time outside of work. While some employees are excited to return to physical offices, others need to see tangible benefit in returning to the office and ditching the work-from-home lifestyle they enjoy.

The dilemma that many employers face is that management wants office workers to collaborate and create a sense of community. However, in today’s job market, management is afraid of risking alienation and potentially losing some of its employees by forcing them back into the office. So, employers are left with the question of how they can rework and redefine the modern office to bring back the corporate culture that has been lost during the pandemic.

One way to do this is to look at the physical work environment and its impact on return to work. By prioritizing health and safety, management can help instill a sense of security and confidence in their staff. Earning a WELL Building certification is a way to show that your company takes health and safety seriously and creates an environment that employees want to come back to.

Another key factor in kick-starting company culture and improving retention and attraction is to focus and prioritize employee growth and mental well-being. You can support employees by providing:

  • Mental Health Webinars

  • Physical wellness program

  • Access to free or discounted therapy and counseling

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs

  • Environmental, social and corporate governance programs

  • Improving traditional security programs

  • Psychosocial assessments and hazard correction

It is in this focus on the well-being, health and safety of employees that Total Worker Health® comes into play.

Total Worker Health®

Although Total Worker Health® has its roots in the United States, it can also incorporate international standards. It is a holistic approach to worker well-being that improves worker health and safety. It encompasses a set of policies, programs and practices that integrate protection against occupational health and safety hazards and promote injury/illness prevention efforts to improve worker well-being. Implementing Total Worker Health® concepts can improve the well-being of a workforce by protecting safety and improving overall health and productivity.

There are five key elements to Total Worker Health®:

  1. Demonstrate leadership commitment to worker health and safety at all levels of the organization

  2. Design works to eliminate or reduce safety and health risks and promote worker well-being

  3. Promote and support worker engagement throughout design and implementation

  4. Ensure worker confidentiality and privacy

  5. Integrate relevant systems to improve worker well-being

These five key elements address nine issues that impact the overall health and well-being of workers. The nine areas include:

  1. Prevention/control of risks and exposures

  2. Working methods

  3. Support for the built environment

  4. Healthy leadership

  5. Benefits and compensation

  6. Community support

  7. Workforce demographics

  8. Policy problem

  9. Technology

Total Worker Health® has become increasingly relevant as the pandemic has put worker safety in the spotlight. Before the pandemic, health and safety policies focused on workers when they were in the office. However, in recent years, health and safety has shifted to a more people-centric approach with the need to cover employees when they are out of the office and working remotely. Employees are no longer satisfied with traditional benefits (i.e. sick leave, PTO) and expect employers to take a more active approach to supporting their growth and well-being. Implementing a Total Worker Health® strategy can help meet these employee demands and encompass a wide range of benefits.

Although we can still expect to face many challenges as we navigate between reopening and hybrid working, we are starting to see companies succeed in nurturing their company culture and prioritizing the well-being of employees. Going forward, you need to develop a clear vision and a thoughtful approach to putting employee needs first. As you revise your health and safety programs to adapt to hybrid work models, consider incorporating Total Worker Health® concepts to strengthen company culture and maintain employee engagement.

Total Worker Health® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Use of this mark by Antea Group does not imply endorsement by HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of any product, service, or of a particular company. The views expressed in written conference materials and by speakers do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services and the mention of trade names, business practices or organizations does not imply endorsement. of the US government.

About Antea GroupAntea®Group is an environmental, health, safety and sustainability consulting company. By combining strategic thinking and multidisciplinary perspectives with technical expertise, we do more than effectively solve client challenges; we deliver lasting results for a better future. We partner with and advise many of the world’s most sustainable companies to address ESG business challenges in a way that fits their unique pace and goals. Our consultants equip organizations to better understand threats, seize opportunities and find their position of strength. Finally, we maintain a global perspective on ESG issues through, not only our work with multinational clients, but also through our sister organizations in Europe, Asia and Latin America and as a founding member of the Inogen Alliance. .

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