Health and wellbeing in the workplace is changing. Today, employees don’t just expect their employers to support and maintain their health and wellbeing, but positively and proactively contribute to it, too. In fact, three quarters of all workers today believe it is the employer’s responsibility to do just that. But many employers are slow to catch on.
While 70% of employers think they’re doing a great job in contributing to employee wellness, less than one quarter of employees think the same thing. But this year, we’re expecting that gap to become a little narrower as workplace wellbeing becomes a big priority for businesses who want to not only attract but also retain the very best talent.
So what sort of workplace wellbeing trends can we expect to see in 2020?
The physical wellbeing of employees (health and safety) has long been one of the most important concerns for businesses. However, one thing that we believe will become more common this year is a more holistic approach, also taking into consideration mental wellbeing and even financial wellbeing. Last year, MetLife reported that more than half of all workers want to work for a business that offers holistic benefits, so we expect to see more organisations supporting physically, emotionally, and financially.
As employees are encouraged to talk more about mental health, the lines between personal lives and working lives are becoming increasingly blurred. Gone is the mantra of ‘leave your problems in the office’, and this works the other way around, too.
What’s important to employees in their home lives is transcending into working lives, and they feel good when they work for a company that supports what’s important to them. We expect to see more businesses incorporating environmental and social responsibility into their processes to facilitate positive wellbeing, opting for sustainable workwear, introducing eco-friendly practices, or implementing social good schemes.
Technology is impacting practically every area of business, and we think that 2020 is the year when it will fully infiltrate the area of workplace wellness. Businesses will begin using collaboration tools to better promote the idea of teamwork and togetherness, and introduce new ways for employees to support one another. Additionally, artificial intelligence may begin to become more commonplace in employee wellness, predicting future needs and allowing businesses to be proactive in their approach.
Creating a Happy, Healthy Workplace
Focusing on workplace wellbeing is one of the most effective ways to create a healthy workplace, in every sense of the word. But it’s important to remember that employee wellbeing isn’t an exact science. It’s about organisations taking appropriate health, safety, and associated measures to effectively engage with their employees, ask questions, understand concerns and needs, and take action. According to the Mind mental health charity, poor wellbeing can result in a loss of up to £42 billion per year in lost productivity and absence. 2020 is the year that every business needs to act.