Workplace wellbeing: mapping a shift in priorities

In this WORKTECH Briefing we explore how changing employee demands are reshaping wellbeing benefits in the workplace – and looks ahead to our virtual wellbeing conference

The pandemic has shifted many things in the world of work amid a public health crisis. Now our attitudes and expectations around workplace wellbeing itself are being revised.

According to a new study from Cezanne HR, there has been a shift in employee attitudes and demands for workplace benefits from 2018 to 2021. The research, which is based on UK employees, found some interesting changes in how employees prioritise workplace benefits. ‘Enhanced leave’, for example, has jumped from eighth place in 2018 to first place in 2021, whereas ‘social’ ranked second in 2018 and now ranks in ninth place.

The research found that the most valuable benefits offered by employers today are the ones that can help to deal with stress and burn out, such as more vacation days and flexible hours policies. Other benefits that have risen up the employee priority list are opportunities for personal growth like career progression.

‘The most valuable wellbeing benefits offered by employers help to deal with stress and burn out…’

On the other hand, things that were once popular wellbeing benefits for employees, such as gym memberships and workplace get-togethers, have now been put on hold or put aside altogether.

Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on many people’s mental wellbeing. Research has found that it is employees between the ages of 18 and 30 who have struggled the most. As a result, health benefits are a fundamental staple of any workplace benefits programme.

The research found that the provision of health and wellbeing benefits is one of the most powerful and easiest means to demonstrate to employees that they are a priority. Companies with successful health benefits have seen a reduction in absenteeism and increases in productivity and morale. What is surprising is how many companies are still missing a trick on workplace wellbeing.

Redefining workplace wellbeing

Will this change in the future? Will workplace wellbeing become a constant priority for corporate strategy? WORKTECH Events is introducing its annual WORKTECH Wellbeing conference to the virtual stage on Wednesday 26 May and Thursday 27 May; this event will address the current challenges and opportunities around physical, mental and financial wellbeing. Attendees will hear from industry experts, including five-time TED talk speaker and sound expert Julien Treasure.

The event will also share global case studies, best practice and latest innovations and research around workplace wellbeing. It will be split into five streams: healthy workplace communities, redefining workplace wellbeing, mindful leadership, prioritising people, and healthy innovative buildings. Join over 150 senior professionals from HR, real estate, facilities, executive management, architecture, design and professional advisors to listen to global thought leaders, further their knowledge and connect with peers. Find out more about the event here.

Future legal workplace

The legal workplace is currently at the epicentre of an increasingly competitive global landscape in which the physical, social and technological frameworks it is built upon are being forced under the microscope. New research from BVN architects and Cushman & Wakefield, in partnership with WORKTECH Academy, explores the fundamental shifts and challenges that are occurring in the legal sector today on a global scale.

The report entitled ‘The Future Legal Workplace: Designing for resilience in the legal sector’, identifies the disruptors in the industry both before and during the pandemic and critiques these shifts from the perspective of three super regions: EMEA, Australia and North America.

The report concludes with four new spatial typologies to design the legal workspace based on the most prominent challenges occurring across all three regions. Read more about the research here.

In our WORKTECH Wednesday Briefings, we reach out to our 10,000-plus Academy members, WORKTECH attendees, speakers, partners and sponsors while WORKTECH’s professional conference series continues through our virtual platforms. This edition is posted 21 April 2021.
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