In March 2020, our favorite restaurants closed their doors, schools moved to virtual learning, and our physical workspaces seemingly shuttered overnight. We almost immediately fantasized the idea of our lives returning back to the normal that we had come to know and love.
While initially forced to take a few steps back, we quickly learned that most people actually like having a balance between their work and personal lives versus the status quo of an unstoppable pace. We know now that people need more support from their company to support their long-term health — especially with their mental health. And one of the greatest moments of reckoning of all: that we must focus on improving inequities within the workplace as we continue to recruit top talent and support the broader health needs of all workers.
We see companies bring back portions of their workforce to the physical workplace once again. They join an equal number of companies that support workers who never left their workplace to begin with — and even the workers who will never again return to one. Regardless of where your organization falls in that spectrum, we enter a new phase that will represent the future of work for decades to come and as an HR leader, you are the driver, speeding toward a more inclusive, innovative future.
We’re in a new era for HR and Benefits: one with personalization of benefits based on individual’s needs so they can be empowered to lead a healthier life. Not only will workers choose different long-term work preferences (virtual, hybrid, or in-person), they will have different long-term health needs. Proactive personalization is foundational for employees to feel supported in both their health and professional development.
About This Report
It’s no secret that the pandemic negatively impacted many workers’ mental health — especially among working parents and caregivers. In fact, 52% of working parents struggle to juggle their work and life, according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center. Sadly, the pressure to juggle both has disproportionately impacted working women leading around 69% of them to stay home as full-time caregivers for the upcoming year.
Chronic workplace stress — often called burnout — also played a major role in the 300% increase in employees reporting poor mental health as a result of the pandemic. That same study, conducted by Flexjobs, noted that 75% of workers experienced burnout last year, with 40% saying their burnout was specific to the pandemic.
Despite this gloomy picture, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are best positioned as a primary resource for your workers and supporting them will not only make them healthier, but it will also make your company a healthier place to work. Companies who support people with their life experience (versus their employee experience) see a 20% increase in workers reporting better physical and mental health, according to a recent study conducted by Gartner. Additionally, those organizations saw a 21% increase in high performers versus those that don’t provide the same level of support for their people.
Vida Health. (Aug 2020)