Enabled by digital technologies, employees today can get work done wherever they are – from the local coffee shop, thousands of feet up in the air to their family weekend getaways.
Smartphones, tablets and wearable devices have unquestionably given employees more independency and freedom in performing their work. The constant connectivity however, is not without a consequence.
Many employees find it increasingly difficult to separate their professional and private lives, which in turn leads to higher probability for burnouts, decreased quality of life, higher stress levels and lower productivity.
Managing hard-working consultants, connected to work 24-7, Accenture, in Vested partnership with ISS, wanted to find a way to help their employees managing a healthier lifestyle and create a working environment that allows for optimal productivity.
Accenture solves their clients’ toughest challenges by providing unmatched services in strategy, digital, technology and operations. Accenture partners with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500, driving innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. With expertise across more than 40 industries and all business functions, Accenture delivers transformational outcomes for a demanding new digital world.
“Working in a high-demanding environment, our young consultants are under huge pressures. From experience and research, we know that being connected to work 24/7 has negative impacts on productivity, employee work-life balance and health. Together with our Vested Outsourcing partners at ISS, we asked ourselves; how can we prevent this from happening to any of our employees? How can we make sure our employees work smarter, but not header? And how can we create an organisational culture which helps employees manage their energy levels and health – not only during a workday but throughout their whole career? These questions established a baseline for what we today call “Accenture: Be at your best”.
Ricco Groeneveld, Workplace Lead BENELUX at Accenture
Followed by strong support from management, to enhance employee work-life balance, health and productivity – the design of the workplace was the first place to start.
Everybody is in different moods every day so you need facilities that can support different moods and ways of working.
This contains open-office spaces, where employees take phone calls and join online-conferences; meeting rooms suited to various scenarios, phone-booths for private conversations; and a dedicated work-free zone featuring plants, cosy sofas and soothing sounds.
Nevertheless, at Accenture sitting is the new smoking. That is why the office has been verticalized to make people move around the workspace and desk bikes now make an integral part of the interior.
However, having just the right facilities is just one step on the way. To enhance employee health, you need to create a service experience that both supports and enhances the company vision and mission.
“As we want to give our employees the flexibility to perform their work wherever and whenever, our workplace experience goes beyond the office walls. We are continuously working on improving and innovating technologies that make remote working running smoothly and efficiently – no matter which task you perform.”
– Vivian van Eijsden, ISS Facility Manager at Accenture
Ricco Groeneveld, Workplace Lead at Accenture, explains:
“Service is what can make your well-being programme fail or succeed. Taking our canteen as an example – you cannot be truly dedicated to employee health if the food you’re serving is not supporting it. It starts with serving fresh and nutritious foods in smaller sizes, holding more greenery and reduced fat. We made our salad bar free of charge, but increased prices for fat foods and snacks. Even though there are vending machines at all floors in the office, there’s only one at the bottom floor holding unhealthy foods and beverages. So the employees really need to do their walking before getting even near it.”
Besides catering, Accenture and ISS have created special programs for new parents to help them create a healthy work-life balance and their offering includes frequent health checks, health advice from dedicated consultants, workshops on nutrition, sleep and relaxation.