Employee well-being is a topic that is critical to business performance right now. That’s because time and time again, research shows that it is a key driver of engagement for professionals, making an employer’s ability to focus on employee wellbeing a conscious business decision.

For business support staff in particular, occasional long hours and extremely varying workload sometimes just come with the job. With this in mind, we recently surveyed support professionals and asked them about their well-being at work.

Most of our surveyed professionals indicated being able to cope with such stress factors as long as they would be given the freedom and flexibility to manage their own (over)time. Özlem Simsek, Director of Walters People Belgium, gives employers two tips to help staff deal with stress factors.

Allow your staff to manage their (over)time

The ability to well combine their private life with work is important for 89% of professionals surveyed. But, with 85% of respondents working overtime, it is no surprise that 62% feel there is too little time left in the evening for their personal life and 40% revealed having difficulties combining their personal life with work.

Dedicating themselves to the job and working overtime is however not an issue for 51% as long as they know when overtime work will be necessary and/or have the ability to schedule their own overtime hours. With 52% of our surveyed candidates never receiving any kind of compensation for working overtime, it is a simple way for employers to improve employee wellbeing and satisfaction. The opportunity to take a short break at work and plan their holidays whenever they feel like it are also significant for over 80% of our participants.

“A certain degree of freedom to plan their time and transparency in expectation levels goes a long way in keeping your staff happy. Most professionals don’t have a problem with some overtime now and again as long as they can anticipate that and keep their work/life balance in check. It also pays to give your staff the opportunity to take some extra time for a break or a walk if that is what relaxes them after working some long hours.”

Recognize stress in time

Because the workload of a support professional can correlate heavily with that of a business or its CEO, stressful periods are often hard to avoid, Over 78% of respondents revealed feeling stressed in the workplace regularly, while 22% say they experience stress on a daily basis.

61% feel stress has affected their personal life while 47% feel that stress has affected their job performance.

Simsek: “With almost half of the respondents indicating that stress sometimes impacts their performance, there are clear gains for employers to make sure workload is not structurally too high. It goes without saying that structural stress or dissatisfaction will have a bad effect on staff retention. Regular catch-ups with your staff are essential to notice stress or dissatisfaction in time and deal with it.”

About this survey

78 people participated to this survey, all employed in business support roles such as secretary, personal assistant, receptionist or office manager.

More information

Read up on our tips to promote employee health and well-being and ensure your staff achieves and exceeds performance objectives . Need assistance in finding business support professionals? Don't hesitate to contact us or upload your vacancy.

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