Wellbeing & Productivity

In the whirlwind of recent years, the business landscape has undergone various transformations that has left many seasoned business professionals grappling with a new reality. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed an unprecedented level of uncertainty and upheaval that has reshaped industries, consumer behaviours, and operational norms across the globe. The pandemic served as a catalyst for change, accelerating trends that were already in motion and introducing new ones that have since become central to our daily lives. 

In the face of such a dynamic and rapidly evolving business landscape, the importance of prioritising employee health and wellbeing has never been more important. Employers who recognise the value of their workforce’s physical and mental health are better positioned to navigate the unpredictability of the business world. Prioritising wellbeing not only fosters a supportive and resilient work environment but also enhances productivity, creativity, and loyalty among employees. It acts as a buffer against the stress and challenges that come with change, enabling workplaces to adapt more effectively and maintain high performance levels. Moreover, companies that are committed to the health of their employees are more likely to attract and retain top talent, setting a foundation for sustainable growth and innovation. In essence, prioritising employee wellbeing is not just important from an ethical perspective, but it also offers a strategic advantage that can differentiate a business in a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. 

This blog post explores the dynamic between productivity and well-being in our workplaces, delving into current trends, challenges, and strategies for fostering a work environment where both can thrive. 


The relationship between productivity and well-being is complex and intertwined. On the one hand, high levels of productivity can lead to economic growth, job satisfaction, and a sense of achievement among employees. On the other hand, relentless pressure to perform can lead to stress, burnout, and a host of mental health issues – ultimately detracting from both well-being and productivity. 

More and more workplaces are adopting a holistic view of productivity, one that includes the well-being of employees as a key component. This approach recognises that sustainable productivity — productivity that is consistent and can be maintained over the long term — is inextricably linked to the well-being of the workforce. 

Challenges to Well-being in the Workplace 

Despite the growing awareness, many workplaces still face significant challenges in integrating well-being into their operational models. These challenges include: 

  • High-Stress Environments: Certain sectors, such as healthcare, education, and finance, are inherently high-stress due to the nature of the work and the demands placed on employees. 
  • Work-Life Balance: The digital era has blurred the lines between work and personal life, with many employees finding it difficult to disconnect and recharge. 
  • Physical Health: Sedentary jobs and workplace ergonomics continue to pose risks to physical health, contributing to conditions like back pain, eye strain, and repetitive stress injuries. 


The internet and social media forums are full of ideas and tips on what you can be doing to find balance between productivity & wellbeing. At the end of the day though, as business owners and leaders you need to personalise your approach to meet the specific needs of your team and your individuals. One size will not fit all. 

Accordingly, we have identified the key areas we recommend you should be focusing on when crafting your approach: 


As people, we crave human connection and inclusivity. It’s what drives our behaviour and supports us through adversity. So, as a business owner and leader, what can you do to promote social connectivity, inclusion and engagement in your workplace? 

For some staff, this can be achieved by implementing and/or promoting opt-in EAP sessions, zoom catchups, team huddles, lunch & learns, team winddowns and social events. However, other staff may be experiencing social overload and/or burnout and prefer engaging in online office chat rooms or just having one on one coffee calls. You’ll probably need to use a mix of both. At the end of the day, you will need to personalise your approach for your team of individuals. Our office has implemented quarterly catchups to connect with staff outside of work, along with weekly Zoom huddles that allow us to ‘pulse check’ with one another on workload and capacity. You need to trial what will work for you. 

The best way to work out how your people are going and how you can support them during this time to be healthy and productive is to conduct regular “pulse”/temperature checks. These can be as simple or sophisticated as you’d like and are a rich source of data for you to draw upon to direct the actions you take. 

You will also need to keep an eye out for particularly vulnerable staff and plan for how you will support them. This could be staff who have previously disclosed health issues to you before, staff who live on their own, or staff who your managers have identified are at risk of family violence, mental health issues or work-related stress in which case you will need to plan for how you will support them. This may involve bringing in additional external support to your business and liaising with your staff’s medical professionals. 

Do note however that there’s a very fine line between being supportive and intrusive. Employers need to be equipped to talk to their staff sensitively and effectively about what is going on with and recognise signs of distress among their staff. Managers within a business need to be provided with training and guidance on how best to identify team members at risk, and broach sensitive and challenging matters. Having a two-way communication stream between management and employees is essential. A two-way communication stream provides employees with the information and perspective they need, while allowing them to express and process negative emotions and improve their feelings of control. 


There’s a direct link between an individual employee’s performance and the achievement of business goals, that can in turn boost an employee’s wellbeing and their confidence in the importance of their job even in the current challenging business environment. Research has shown over and over that employees derive a lot of satisfaction in being able to see that they are making a contribution to their business’ objectives and they are acknowledged for that. In addition to motivating a recipient, effective recognition also serves as a strong indicator to others of the type of behaviours they should emulate, which will ultimately drive positive behaviours within the business. 

Therefore, talking openly and regularly with your staff about how your business is going, what difference their contribution is making, and on possible changes, as well as setting clear objectives and goals for your teams can help ensure employees maintain focus, energy, and a sense of purpose. 


Setting clear boundaries for your employees during this period can be extremely helpful to help your productivity. To perform well, people need boundaries to understand what is expected of them, ‘where the line is’ and what they are required to do. 

Setting a clear direction and expectations for your business and staff will act as guardrails for your employees, and in turn enable them to do their best work for you. This does not mean you should micromanage your staff or be ruthless with them, but it means that you, as an employer, should set clear expectations and boundaries in a transparent, fair and in a consultative manner. 

Keeping an open line of communication between employees and management is essential in this case. This will allow you to discuss the possibility of flexible/alternate arrangements (such as changed working hours/duties or paid/unpaid leave) that will alleviate any pressure employees may be experiencing whilst still meeting your business requirements. 


And don’t forget, part of employee wellbeing is setting boundaries between work and personal time. Encourage your team to disconnect after work hours and respect their time off – this can be reinforced by not sending emails or messages outside of work hours unless it’s an emergency. The recent ‘Right to Disconnect’ bill, borne from concerns of ‘availability creep’ and pressure for employees to feel constantly available for work, is an acknowledgement of how the boundaries between work and personal life have been increasingly blurred in Australia, especially since the normalisation and prevalence of hybrid/remote working since COVID-19. It’s a reminder to employers that they need to address the balance between employee availability and protection of personal time, and also recognise the fact that excessive work demands can have an impact on wellbeing and productivity.  


Navigating performance management while prioritising employee well-being and productivity involves a holistic approach that recognises the multifaceted nature of performance at work. It starts with setting clear, realistic goals that align with both the organisation’s objectives and the employees’ professional growth. Employers should ensure that these objectives are achievable without causing undue stress, thus protecting well-being.  

Employers should also consider the following:   

  • Continuous feedback is essential, rather than relying solely on annual reviews. This allows for the timely recognition of achievements and the prompt addressing of concerns, which can reduce anxiety and boost morale. The feedback should be constructive, focusing on solutions and support rather than solely on problems. 
  • A focus on well-being can be incorporated into performance management by offering resources for mental and physical health, such as wellness programs or access to counselling services. This demonstrates a commitment to the employees’ overall quality of life. 
  • Professional development opportunities should also be part of performance discussions. Investing in employees’ growth can lead to better job performance and help employees feel valued and understood. 
  • It’s important to recognise and reward efforts. This can be in the form of public acknowledgment, bonuses, or career advancement opportunities. Such recognition can reinforce positive behaviours and motivate other employees to perform well. 

Performance management that supports well-being and productivity is compassionate, continuous, and constructive, focusing not only on what needs to be achieved but also on how it is achieved, with the well-being of employees being a key consideration in this process. 


Keeping well-being and productivity at the forefront of workforce planning is a strategic approach that requires a deep understanding of both the current workforce and future business needs. It begins with an assessment of the skills, experiences, and capacities within the organisation, juxtaposed with anticipated industry trends and organisational objectives. This data-driven analysis helps in identifying gaps and developing strategies for recruitment, training, and development. 

A key element in this planning process is the incorporation of flexibility to meet the changing needs of the workforce. For instance, offering a variety of working arrangements, such as remote work options, part-time roles, and flexible hours can support the diverse needs of employees, leading to improved well-being and increased productivity. 

In addition, workforce planning should be aligned with health and wellness initiatives. This means considering the physical and mental health resources available to the workforce, ensuring employees are not overburdened with work, and providing opportunities for rest and recuperation.  

Investing in continuous learning and development also plays a crucial role in this planning. By enabling employees to upskill and reskill, organizations can not only fill the skills gap but also foster a sense of growth and satisfaction among employees, which can boost both well-being and productivity. 

Finally, fostering a culture that values and prioritizes employee well-being is critical. This can be achieved through regular culture & engagement surveys, wellness programs, and open communication channels. By doing this, you can ensure that your workforce planning strategy is not just focused on the numbers but is also empathetic to the human element of the organization’s most valuable asset—its people. 

Businesses should consider these multifaceted aspects to create a sustainable and effective workforce plan that not only meets strategic and economic priorities but also nurtures a healthy and productive working environment. 


If you’re seeking to elevate your organisation’s well-being and productivity, the Workplace Wizards team offer a range of bespoke strategies, initiatives, and services that can be tailored to your unique needs. We understand the intricacies of navigating compliance obligations and believe that they should not be a barrier to innovation but a foundation for robust and sustainable practices. Our team is dedicated to working alongside you to foster a thriving workplace environment, where well-being is woven into the fabric of your operational strategies, and productivity is enhanced through mindful, employee-centred approaches.   Let us guide you in transforming challenges into opportunities for growth and success, ensuring your organisation not only meets the standards but sets new benchmarks in your industry. Contact us to explore how our expertise can be the catalyst for your organisation’s renewed vitality and efficiency.  For specialised assistance, get in touch with one of our experienced consultants today.  You can call us on 03 90876949 or email support@workplacewizards.com.au.  

Comments are closed.