POSTED: July 15 2021
What the workforce needs to thrive in the ‘new normal’

What the workforce needs to thrive in the ‘new normal’

For many businesses, the pandemic has accelerated workplace wellbeing initiatives and forced employers to consider flexible working plans. But after a year of adaptation, what will our future workplaces look like?

The pandemic has highlighted the advantages and limitations of traditional workplaces. As the country continues along the path toward recovery, we ask the questions, how are people feeling about the future, and what can businesses do to help them adapt?

Westfield Health asked 1,500 people across the UK about their future work plans and wellbeing needs.

The results suggested that 89% of employees are happy with their proposed new way of working, and a huge 66% of employees want more wellbeing support from their employer.

After over a year of constant and often last-minute change, employees may find themselves with mixed emotions over the return to the office. This is highlighted in the results, with 51% of respondents stating they are nervous about the return to work. While some are eager to rekindle a sense of normality, others are feeling anxious about further changes to their working habits.

So, what support are businesses offering?

In general, larger companies appear to be providing significantly more support in areas including wellbeing policy, mental health support and training. Just 11% of companies with under 50 employees offer mental health support – in larger companies with over 250 employees, this rises to 40%. 26% of employees stated they had no wellbeing support from their employer – or they were not aware of it.

Employer support in terms of wellbeing does not go unnoticed, with 29% of employees stating they feel more productive as a result of the support they have received over the course of the pandemic. The rate is highest amongst those who’ve been working from home, with over a third (38%) saying their productivity has increased thanks to their employer’s wellbeing support.

Ellie Sultana, Employee Benefits Manager at advo said of the study;

“COVID-19 brought employee wellbeing into the spotlight like no other event before it has done. Employee expectations in terms of employer support have increased dramatically. New ways of working have revealed opportunities to improve the employee experience, and boost morale and productivity.

Workers have become more mindful of their own priorities, and this extends to work-life balance and employer support; this research demonstrates the need to ensure wellbeing policies are thorough enough to meet employee expectation.

Having wellbeing policies in place is only the beginning. It’s really important to communicate the wellbeing policies you have implemented, and to ensure employees know how and where to access the support you are offering. Online employee benefit portals and systems, like advo-one, mean employees can access all of the details from wherever they are, 24/7.

With the marked trend towards remote and hybrid working seen in this and many other studies, accessing benefit details from a central portal that can be accessed from wherever employers are working will be of increasing importance.”

The study demonstrates the clear benefits of supporting your workforce, which is likely to become ever more important in light of the upcoming ‘Great Resignation’ (more on that here).

advo are here to help. If you would like to discuss online employee benefits portals, the range of benefits we are able to offer, or HR advice regarding how to help your employees adjust to your proposed way of working, contact us today.

Original article here.