Employee wellbeing: Shifting the focus on employee benefits in a pandemic

The Guardian recently published a special feature on employee wellbeing, in collaboration with the Workplace Wellbeing Show.

Guardian Employee Wellbeing GuideThe supplement, available to download by filling out the form on the right, contains a host of editorials from several influential figures from the world of HR, mental health and wellbeing.

Debi O’Donovan, Director & Co-Founder of the Reward & Employee Benefits Association, opens with a look at how a year of remote working has caused a shift in the way we incentivise staff, saying “social wellbeing strategies are on the rise as we recognise the vital role of work to create connection and human interaction.”

Due to be published in April, the article talks about a REBA/AXA Health Employee Wellbeing study, which shows that while 52% of employers believe that remote working has had a positive impact on employees, employers do have key concerns. Three quarters (76%) worry about the physical inactivity of staff, while 41% say the digital and screen overload is a high risk.

The article also highlights information from the study which says that the proportion of employers offering virtual GP access shot from 37% in January 2020 to 61% in 2021 (up from 12% five years ago).

Poppy Jaman OBE, CEO at City Mental Health Alliance, takes a look at why mental health and wellbeing should be a boardroom priority. She believes that, “as we face a global mental health crisis, employers can play a key role in our recovery.”

She cites a pre-pandemic report from Deloitte, which says that poor mental health costs UK businesses £45 billion and 70 million workdays each year.

Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at mental health charity, Mind, provides advice on how your employer can support your mental health. Emma says now is a time to reflect on our own wellbeing and says that: “companies who invest in staff wellbeing typically report increased staff morale and productivity as well as reduced sickness absence and turnover.”

Robin Brodie-Cooper, President, British Council for Offices and Partner at Gleeds, asks whether the changing landscape over the last 12 months means an end for the office.

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community says that “our mental health shouldn’t be at risk when we go to work. It’s down to employers to stop that once and for all.”

“Worryingly,” she continues, “we know that one in three employees who experience poor mental health admit to telling nobody and are left to suffer in silence.”

To read more of each of these articles, and more, download the supplement by filling in the form on the right.

Workplace Wellbeing Show, along with Safety & Health Expo, Intelligent Building Europe, Facilities Show, FIREX International and IFSEC International is preparing to open its doors again in July, from 12-14).

Prior to that, don’t miss Workplace Wellbeing Virtual Conference (1-3 June) and Workplace Wellbeing Show Connect 2021 (1 – 30 June).

Listen: Episode 9 of the Safety & Health Podcast, features Peter Kelly, Senior Psychologist for the Health and Safety Executive about work-related stress and Inspector Phil Spencer, Blue Light Programme Co-ordinator at Cleveland Police, discusses the stress of working on the frontline during the pandemic. Listen to the full episode here.

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