We teamed up with CBI Economics to survey c-suite execs on their experiences of hybrid working and combined their answers with insights from office workers, to find out how much health and wellbeing support UK businesses offer and why it’s more important than ever.
- Businesses prioritise health and wellbeing to boost productivity
- Employees want more health and wellbeing support from their employer
- A traditional ‘one size fits all’ plan is no longer sufficient, but most businesses struggle to adopt a more flexible, personalised approach
- Data, technology, incentives and regular reporting can help businesses shape their health and wellbeing strategy
- Outlines how adopting ‘healthy hybrid’ ways of working can improve employee health and wellbeing.
Much has changed over the last 12 months, including the way we work. Employers and employees alike have borne witness to the biggest reimagining of work-life behaviours in a generation, with hybrid working becoming the norm for most corporate businesses.
While cited by some as the holy grail of flexibility and the sure route to achieving a better work-life balance, our own experiences internally, as well as those of our corporate clients, find that the adoption of hybrid working – while positive in many ways - has not automatically eradicated the health and wellbeing challenge. Employees continue to have diverse health needs however and wherever they work.
- Neville Koopowitz, CEO of Vitality UK
Boost health to boost productivity
UK bosses recognise better mental and physical health of employees helps to increase productivity levels – and ultimately, profitability.
But they’re struggling to meet the diverse needs and expectations of a hybrid workforce.
Demand for better health and wellbeing
Employees want more health and wellbeing support from their employer and are happy to surrender more of their own responsibility to them to get it.
But they want it on their own terms and in a more personalised way.
Challenge to offer tailored support
Hybrid workforces are rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellbeing support. They expect a more personalised plan from their employer.
Unfortunately, many businesses (59%) are finding it difficult to tailor health and wellbeing support to meet the needs of all their employees.
Companies must decide how they can support employee health and wellbeing. As hybrid workforces are rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach and expecting a more personalised plan from their employer.
But offering a tailored wellbeing package to every employee takes time and planning.
For many, the world of work looks markedly different in the wake of the pandemic, with firms and employees working together to hone their own hybrid futures. Yet flexible working is just one facet of a growing business focus on wellbeing, with employee health increasingly now regarded as a sensible investment rather than a cost to be managed.
With employee expectations undergoing a similarly seismic shift, firms which fail to evolve their health provision risk being left behind by more proactive competitors. There are big prizes on offer for companies which develop the right package for their workers. It can be easier to recruit and retain staff, job satisfaction rises while sickness absences decrease – and there are productivity gains too. This makes good health both a critical pillar of business success and a key driver of economic growth and societal prosperity.
- Jordan Cummins, CBI Health Programme Director
Data and insights on employee health and wellbeing
Our Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey can help organisations get the data and insights they need to create an effective wellbeing strategy.
It is the UK’s largest workplace-wellbeing survey and is free , providing business leaders a way to measure:
- How COVID has affected the health and wellbeing of employees
- How hybrid working has impacted employee productivity and engagement
- How physical and mental wellbeing can boost productivity and retention
- How to write, implement and measure an effective wellbeing strategy
The survey is open to any organisation with 20 or more employees.
Three steps to create a ‘Healthy Hybrid’ environment for employees
1. Engagement from the top
- Put health and wellbeing onto your company’s risk register
- Prioritise and put health and wellbeing on the board’s agenda
- Senior leaders to practice, reinforce, and normalise healthy behaviours, both in the office and at home
- Establish a benchmark and understanding of the health and wellbeing of your organisation, through data and employee feedback, updating it at least annually.
2. Encourage positive behaviour change
- Use data and information on your employees and teams to target health and wellbeing interventions – ‘one size fits all’ does not work
- Consider how you have adapted health and wellbeing programmes since the introduction of hybrid working and how it may be working practically
- Promote inclusive productivity gains by assessing performance based on outcomes, rather than hours worked
- Reaffirm ‘right to disconnect’ policies and approaches, especially for the time when people are working from home to protect them from burnout
- Ensure health and wellbeing policies fit all work environments and focus on workers rather than workplaces.
- Consider offering employees health insurance with a wellness programme that encourages a more active, healthy lifestyle, as it can lead to higher job satisfaction and better performance.
3. Establish clear lines of accountability and consistent reporting
- Implement effective and consistent wellbeing monitoring
- Identify the best metrics for key performance outcomes, like productivity, and assess the relationship between those outcomes and employee metrics like engagement and wellbeing
- Clarify who is accountable for new health and wellbeing mandates and reflect this in management training
- React quickly - we’re entering a different period in employer-employee relations, but one that will likely be defined by flexibility and shifting responsibility
- Leaders should therefore monitor the metrics identified above, track progress with business strategy and employee sentiment, and be ready to shift course if necessary.
If you don’t have your own wellbeing monitoring systems in place, corporate health insurance policies that include wellness programmes and tracking can provide you with the insights needed to drive your workplace health strategy.