- A new report suggests that employees are struggling to maintain their wellbeing, but few wish to report it.
- Those that are experiencing negative changes in their work-life balance are also suffering with stress, burnout, and decreased productivity levels.
- If worker wellbeing is suffering, so is their performance at work. Here’s what employers can do about it.
Grokker Innovation Labs recently published the results of its “2021 State of Physical Wellbeing” report.
The report identified the behavioral changes that have taken place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and—more importantly—how these changes are impacting workplace performance.
7 Key Findings from the Report
- Workers report being generally satisfied with their wellbeing – but self-reported practices of strategies for maintaining wellbeing indicate that employees are struggling more than they’re divulging.
- Women were far less likely than men to report that their physical wellbeing is “excellent” or “above average” or to report that their physical fitness, nutrition, or sleep habits have improved significantly.
- Fewer than half of workers’ sleep, nutritional, and exercise habits remained the same as prior to the pandemic.
- Job activities have become either more sedentary or significantly more sedentary since the start of the pandemic – even for those working on-site.
- Employees overwhelmingly are experiencing an onset or worsening of insomnia, fatigue, or a lack of energy since the start of the pandemic and others are reporting an onset or worsening of aches and pains and digestive issues.
- Lack of motivation is the most common barrier, followed by a lack of separation between work-life and home-life for employers to fully maintain their physical wellbeing.
- Half of workers report that their employers are not supporting their physical wellbeing.
Implications for Work
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have led to significant changes in our lifestyles; some for better, and some for worse.
Those that have experienced positive change in their habits report increased productivity and satisfaction with work. On the other hand, those that are experiencing negative changes in their work-life balance are also suffering with stress, burnout, and decreased productivity levels.
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If worker wellbeing is suffering, so is their performance at work.
What Employers Can Do
The report found that common barriers to maintaining wellbeing include:
- Lack of motivation
- Separation between work-life and home-life
- Financial resources.
Interestingly, the report found that company benefits do make a difference.
“A difference was found between workers with benefits and those without, both for the hourly and salaried employees, as a higher percentage with benefits rated their physical wellbeing as being ‘excellent’ or ‘above average’ compared to those without benefits.”
Employers, therefore, could greatly benefit from providing employees with access to benefits that can eliminate or reduce barriers to improving wellbeing. According to the report, employee benefits and access to the right resources can help drive behavioral changes that improve overall wellbeing.
Benefit Program Ideas
- Encourage walking meetings to help combat sedentary behavior.
- Flexible schedules to help workers maintain better work-life balance. This can be especially useful for working parents and caregivers.
- Yoga days. You can partner with a trainer or organization to host a yoga workshop once a week. Studies have shown that yoga can:
- Help reduce stress
- Improve sleep
- Boost energy levels
- Ease back pain.
- Provide access to digital health solutions.
- Incentivize healthy behavior, like providing workers with an annual budget/bonus that can go towards activities that promote and improve their health. For example: nutritionists, meal prepping, personal trainers, gym memberships, meditation apps, etc.
- Implement a mental health day off.
- Build an online wellness resource library.
- Create social channels to encourage employees to connect with one another.