Switched off: is it time to reset the wellbeing agenda?
In this WORKTECH Wednesday Briefing we look at new research which suggests the corporate wellbeing agenda is in trouble, and how the race for the world’s tallest timber building is heating up
Despite investments in employee wellbeing soaring at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, new research from Gallup has found that in February 2022 fewer than one in four US employees felt strongly that their organisation cares about their wellbeing. This is the lowest number in nearly a decade of tracking employee engagement.
The finding is based on a survey of 15,000 full and part-time US employees. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, almost half (49 per cent) of Gallup respondents strongly believed their organisation cared about their wellbeing; that number has plummeted by half since.
At the peak of the crisis, leaders were frequently and transparently communicating with employees and prioritising their physical wellbeing with mandated work-from-home policies. Now, communication has tapered off and many employees are left in the dark about how flexible and hybrid policies will affect their work.
‘Communication has tapered off and many employees are left in the dark about hybrid policies..’
The Gallup research signals that it is time to reassess the wellbeing agenda. Employee expectations have shifted and wellbeing initiatives have moved on since the start of the pandemic. Those who have successfully maintained a culture of communication, openness and trust have retained employees who strongly believe their organisation cares for their wellbeing.
The findings from the research are significant because employees who strongly believe their employer cares about their overall wellbeing, in comparison to others, are: 69 per cent less likely to search for a new job, 71 per cent less likely to report burnout, five times more likely to strongly advocate for the company, and three times more likely to be engaged at work.
There is a big opportunity for organisations to engage once again with employees to rebuild communication and a culture of caring for employee wellbeing.
Transforming tress into skyscrapers
In the spirit of prioritising wellbeing, Danish studio Schmidt Hammer Lassen has revealed its design for a 328-foot-tall skyscraper in Switzerland, which will be the world’s tallest timber building when it completes.
It joins other pioneering all-timber structures such as the Mjøstårnet building located in an unlikely small municipality in eastern Norway. Mjøstårnet is the current tallest all-timber structure in the world depending solely on giant wooden beams and glued laminated timber for its strength and structure.
Mass timber is increasingly being used to construct tall buildings to combat the waste and carbon emissions produced by the construction industry. The development proposed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen is the latest of a series of pioneering concepts to revolutionise the world of corporate real estate construction using sustainable materials.
The Senseable City
On the theme of building sustainable futures, WORKTECH Munich returns in person with a line-up of pioneering experts and thought leaders on the future of the workplace and our cities. Luca Bussolino of Carlo Ratti Associates will discuss the ‘Senseable City’, highlighting how the architecture firm is using AI and real-time data to create innovative and sustainable solutions for the design of our cities.
Bussolino will be joined by other key leaders in the future of work including speakers from Accenture, The Office Group, Telefonica and Condeco. Secure your place at WORKTECH Munich on Thursday 31st May here.