Is hybrid working beneficial for employee wellbeing?
October 9 2023Read more
The Great Resignation was a term first used back in May 2021 as a prediction of employee behaviour in a post-COVID world. Since then, we’ve seen engagement hit a devastating low, with only 14% of employees in the UK and Europe engaged at work.
Still, in 2022, research shows almost a third of UK workers are planning to quit their jobs this year. What workers value in an organisation, and life, is changing, and this shows up in numerous ways—including retention.
We know that there’s a clear link between employee wellbeing and engagement at work, with 3 in 4 employees declaring that their mental health impacts their career. And we also know that there’s a clear link between engagement and profitability. As statistics show, businesses with engaged workers have 23% higher profits compared to those with miserable workers.
Retention is no simple equation. It's a medley of wellbeing, engagement, culture and societal influences. However, with some thought and consideration, leaders can build better cultures in workspaces that allow employees to live fulfilling and happy lives. We’ll dive deeper into this below.
The stats signal we’re a nation of stressed-out workers. One study found that 79% of employees commonly experience workplace stress, with another from CIPD reporting that 90% of organisations suffer from stress-related absences.
So what is it that makes work so stressful? Health and Safety Executive outlines six causes, including coping with job demands, lack of autonomy over working methods, trouble with relationships at work, misunderstanding roles and responsibilities and changes in the workplace environment. Stress-protection methods like the ones below are vital to healthy workplaces:
- Investment in line manager support
- An Employee Assistance Programme
- Stress management training
- Regular employee surveys
The pandemic saw multiple movements in the working sphere, the main one being the shift to hybrid and home working. In a post-pandemic world, we are now seeing research showing that 97.6% of workers would like to work remotely at least some of the time. Many employees are prioritising work-life balance more than ever before, with wellbeing considerations not far behind.
And as more organisations develop benefits programmes and incentives, it looks like this is a positive move, with over 64% of workers highlighting a significant increase in income or benefits as very important.
Work affects employees’ personal lives and wellbeing. Simultaneously, employees’ personal wellbeing influences how they engage with their working life. As an employer, it’s vital to tap into how these inseparable factors interact with each other in an office environment.
With good wellbeing comes improved engagement in all aspects of life—work included. If more organisations value employees’ lives and overall wellbeing, engagement will improve, as will profitability and growth—wellbeing at work isn't just a nice to have—it's a necessity.
Great managers make a great culture. They drive organisation values, expectations, and outcomes. Managers have the power to create spaces where employees can thrive. They are the propellors of the recognition, morale and support that allows teams to excel and individuals to grow in their roles.
Upskilling your managers and hiring positive organisational influencers is integral to creating a healthy, happy workplace.
Contrary to traditional expectations, many companies are allowing employees the freedom to work on their terms. Allowing employees free reign to choose working methods that suit their style boosts responsibility and increases accountability, adding more value to your organisation in the long run. Empowering your employees with the choice to work on their terms creates room for creativity, positivity, and a sense of fulfilment in their role that inspires loyalty to the organisation.
External events and shifting attitudes will always impact the qualities employees seek in an organisation. And let’s not forget that this can be subjective—everyone’s different. But now more than ever we’re seeing a competitive job marketplace that’s struggling to keep employees engaged, and we know how important retaining your best workers can be. So for companies that want to innovate and adapt, creating workspaces that employees want to remain in is essential.
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