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Home » Future of work » Wellbeing at work: time for employers to act 

Gautam Sahgal

CEO, Perkbox

The pandemic should be a catalyst for change amongst businesses when it comes to wellbeing. Research has shown our workplaces are a cause of stress and anxiety, it’s up to employers to change that.

Stress and anxiety have been a common theme for many during the pandemic, exacerbated by fears over our physical health, financial (in)security and a profound juggling of our professional and personal lives.

On the latter point, our recent research reveals an astounding 92% of UK GPs have seen an increase in the number of people seeking help for work-related stress or anxiety since the start of the pandemic. This gives rise to serious questions over our country’s working culture and the role we, as employers, have to play in the UK’s mental health crisis.

Falling short of the mark

Our work environments have become more of a focal point in our lives, placing a new responsibility on employers to show their teams that they genuinely care.

However, our research shows that businesses are currently falling short of the mark. Almost three quarters (73%) of GPs say that patients are referencing ineffective employer wellbeing strategies when reporting workplace stress. Indeed, 40% of employees felt their employer talked a lot about workplace wellbeing and culture, without actually taking action. Over half are looking to their company to demonstrate greater care for their wellbeing. In the midst of The Great Resignation, businesses must take heed of this. A failure to demonstrate care not only risks the wellbeing of staff but increases the chances of losing talented people to better prepared competitors.

What needs to be done

The last year has given many people a chance to reflect on their careers, re-evaluate what they want from work and reconfigure how this work fits within their lifestyles.

Employers need to respond to this, creating a holistic wellbeing strategy, which includes a flexible rewards and benefits proposition that can effectively meet each employee’s individual needs. 

A failure to demonstrate care not only risks the wellbeing of staff but increases the chances of losing talented people.

Technology holds huge potential for businesses here. User-friendly platforms such as Perkbox can provide employees in any location with the convenience to pick and choose the benefits which best support their wellbeing.

This not only lets businesses personalise support to suit their team’s unique wellbeing needs, but it can also create a consistent experience for all teams, no matter where they are in the world. It is the means through which you can create, communicate and reinforce a single organisational culture regardless of location; one that inspires, supports and brings your people together. 

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