The Link Between Staff Wellbeing and Performance

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 15/10/2018
employee wellbeing

There is an evident link between staff wellbeing and absenteeism. In this article, we are addressing business owners and MDs in hopes to convey how important employee mental health is for any organisation. We will be also sharing tips on how can you improve it within your company. 

In the past couple of years, great strides have been taken in addressing mental health issues. While they have always existed, they have also been long ignored within our society. It is very promising to see an increasing number of companies addressing mental wellbeing within their organisations. As well as taking proactive steps to raise awareness and offer support to those who may be struggling. However, the road ahead is still long, especially since there are still many businesses that don’t see the significance of building a healthy company environment.

Before we begin, it’s worth noting that it’s a proven fact that happy employees are up to 13% more productive. In other words, by ensuring the happiness of your employees you don’t just cater to them - you are also bettering how your business runs. The opposite is also true. Organisations in which staff wellbeing isn’t prioritised are chronic sufferers of underperformance, lack of motivation and, most of all, patchy work attendance. The latter is particularly expensive to companies of all sizes, thus we are going to focus on it today. We will also share actionable solutions on how to better the work environment for your staff.  

What Are the Causes of Staff Absenteeism?

There are several common reasons for patterns of work absence. Here are the common ones:

  • Hostile work environment;

  • In-team disagreements;

  • Difficulties commuting;

  • Problems at home;

  • Burnout;

  • Health issues.

Let us dig into the final two. A not too long time ago, a sick day would only stand for when a worker would be physically unwell. In today's world, however, mental health is also taken into consideration. A study conducted by Employee Benefits in partnership with Health Shields sheds light on just how prevalent mental health issues are within organisations. Almost half (47%) of the companies quizzed for the study said that mental health is a top cause of employee sickness absence. This figure has risen from 39% last year and means that mental health issues – including anxiety and depression – now account for the second highest cause of sick leave.

We are not a medical blog and will therefore not dig into the causes of the above-mentioned struggles. However, according to the statistic, in 2020/21 work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health. This is the clearest indication that while we’ve developed mental health awareness at the workplace, there isn’t anywhere near enough being done in order to solve it. As a result, businesses keep on losing money to sick leave - half of which is caused by the working environment.

Address the Issue by Prioritising Work-Life Balance

Over six in ten (62%) employees said they would achieve a better work-life balance if their company proactively supported their mental wellbeing. It’s safe to assume that the backward is also true. The mental well-being of employees is known to be significantly better when they are able to achieve a work-life balance. In other words, we have a loop in which mental health and work-life balance are co-dependent on one another. So, if you seek to nourish mental wellness, you might as well begin with the assurance your staff aren’t smothered by work.

Consider Flexible Hours

One of the best ways to help your employees strike the balance between their at and away-from-work lives is by introducing flexible working hours. People have different routines and different outside work responsibilities. Such would be the likes of childcare. Therefore strict and rigid work hours may be adding additional stress to their lives. Mind, sometimes these issues are highly personal. This means an employee might be hesitant to inform you of them, alas gradually growing resentful for not having them taken into account.

The flexible working hours model is a solution that allows your staff to schedule their day in accordance with their needs and preferences. Flexible, however, doesn’t mean free. You should set clear boundaries that would give a specific time frame and the number of hours required to be worked within it. This way you won’t damage in-team communication by having employees working haphazardly throughout the day. You will also avoid having staff who don’t pull their weight. But most of all, you’ll be sending a message that you care about your employees enough to let them have their work day based on their individual preferences. 

Keep the Hybrid Office Approach

Another effective way to let the employees work at a pace and environment that’s friendly to their mental health is moving to a hybrid work model. There are many ways this contributes to a healthier work-life balance. Additionally, it addresses the diversity of personalities you most likely have in your company. Some people flourish working from the office, while others are most productive working remotely. A hybrid working model can significantly improve overall team performance.

It can also help with collaboration and communication within the team. If your rules are that each employee needs to come into the office once a week, they will be more direct and clear in communicating what they need from their colleague. Mostly because they’re not going to meet face-to-face for another week. Spending less time together in person can also improve the overall office culture. The staff won’t be taking each other for granted when they don’t see one another every day for 8 hours on end. Unlike flexible working hours, there’s less strategy required in terms of setting the attendance rules. However, you will instead need to think through the software you adopt. It will unite your team that works both on-site and remotely through a centralised platform they can communicate and collaborate on.

Improve Employee Satisfaction 

Burnout is the result of continuous dissatisfaction with work. It manifests in a form of irritability, cynicism, isolation and even depression. With that said, it’s clear that it has negative effects on employees’ mental health. It also often leads to more frequent absences, an issue that is very costly to businesses of any size. Keeping that in mind, we can conclude that staff well-being is also tightly knit to employee satisfaction. Therefore one of the ways to address absenteeism can be to improve the employee experience. 

Eliminate Mundane Tasks with Automation

Humans, by their nature, enjoy variety. Additionally, the feeling of contribution and achievement triggers our brain into generating endorphins, also known as the hormone of happiness. However, if stuck doing repetitive tasks with no end, the response is quite the opposite. Completion of a task is normally perceived as a reward. So what happens when there’s no end to grinding? It becomes depressing as it starts feeling pointless.

This is why employees subjected to repetitive manual labour are often deflated, disinterested and dispassionate about their jobs. Their job is not to contribute to the growth of the company, but rather to the continued sustainability of its basic functionality. It can be disheartening. Of course, the tasks they work on are still vital for the business and cannot be simply abolished. On the other hand, to pull your staff out of their captivity, you can provide them with the tools to either fully or partially automate the process. Modern technology is capable of taking over notoriously tedious tasks such as shift scheduling, payroll, invoicing, time tracking, document upload and many more. With these basic yet mind-numbing processes taken off their hands, your employees will be subjected to facing more challenging tasks that require their judgement and unique thinking process. Naturally, this will show their views are valued, raising their overall satisfaction. 

Smoothen Internal Communication

A lot of work dissatisfaction arises among colleagues who are not aligned with one another. Lack of visibility of the other’s progress can lead to delays, lower standards, the same tasks repeated and many more. Overall it affects performance and relationships and can become the reason for disagreements. Even a hostile work environment. Needless to say, you’re likely to struggle with employee satisfaction in that scenario. Not to mention being roped into wasting your own time and energy on trying to make peace among your teams. The good news is that such miscommunications can be easily avoided, regardless of whether you run on a hybrid model, fully remote or if your teams are back together in the office.

Modern SaaS systems are suited to be used as collaboration platforms that connect different departments and grant a centralised view of one another’s work. They enable communication in many different formats, ranging from the creation of automated workflows where tasks are handed from one team member to another once the pre-set criteria are met, to tracked file editing. What’s more, they don’t have the limitations older software has. For example, unlike Excel spreadsheets, SaaS-based documents can be accessed and worked on by multiple team members simultaneously in real time. This takes away the need for long email threads, file re-writes and a lot of frustration stemming from them. 

Put Your Employees First

It’s important to remember that it’s your team that brings your company success. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to serve your clients. Depending on the type of business, chances are, without them you wouldn’t even have clients in the first place. This is why your employees should always be your priority. High pay, work perks and other things are great to show appreciation. But nothing will beat personal care. Therefore staff's mental wellbeing should be above all.

Support Mental Health Initiatives with Timesheet Portal

Timesheet Portal is a unique, multi-functional platform that’s equipped with the tools you need to nourish the care for your staff’s mental wellbeing. For example, using our software will allow you to accurately record and track absences among staff, identifying patterns if such arise and being able to address the issues right away. This approach will enable you to spot whether your staff may potentially need any sort of support, allowing you to grant it in a timely manner.

Our software also comes with a flexitime module, making it easier than ever to adjust your business to the flexible working hours model. A plethora of streamlined processes and document sharing also make Timesheet Portal an invaluable tool for hybrid offices. Last but not the least, our top-notch holiday management system gives you a clear view of your team’s holiday entitlement and whether it’s been claimed. It also makes holiday requests and approvals as easy as a few clicks, no longer causing the issue of long threads and lost emails.


Your company would never achieve what it has if it wasn’t for your employees. Unfortunately, even as mental health concerns raise at the workplace, many companies still take their staff for granted. They, in turn, retaliate by offering lesser effort and ultimately damaging the business. In other words, if you simply pay more mind to your staff and their wellbeing, you are almost guaranteed to see positive results.

There are two key moments to focus on: work-life balance and employee satisfaction. They work wonders in preventing negatives such as burnout or work fatigue. Therefore directly addressing deep-rooted and often expensive malpractice such as absenteeism. There are also two ways to go about bettering their overall experience, in turn raising productivity and individual performance - giving them more freedom via adopting flexible hours or hybrid office approaches.

Are you ready to make your staff’s lives better? Learn from us.

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.