As we’re all aware, the last two years brought about unprecedented change in the way many businesses work. A large factor in this was the ‘stay at home’ order and the need for those companies who had not invested in home-working to get up to speed pronto.
Many businesses found that their employees rose to the challenge and there may have even been a somewhat camaraderie-feel as teams got together for catch ups online; everyone was in it together. Two years on and many workplaces are now back to being fully open, although while that is the case, hybrid working continues to persist as a favourable option for many.
But what has that meant for wellbeing initiatives? Has it been harder to keep track of how employees are feeling with more time spent working away from the office?
The role of hybrid working
Whether you love or hate the term, it seems the concept of hybrid working is going to be with us for a while. The idea is that employees have flexibility on where and when they work.
Potential problems with this may arise if employees feel that less support is available to them with reduced time in the office. However, new research suggests that business leaders are turning to virtual offerings to aid their wellbeing initiatives.
A survey carried out by Group Risk Development, compiled information on employee wellbeing from 501 HR managers and 1,212 employees at UK businesses. It found that of those employers who responded that working patterns had affected the way they support their staff, 49% had made it easier for staff to access benefits and support via online solutions and apps.
The survey also found that 43% of employers had introduced benefits to help employees’ mental and physical health while working remotely and 38% had increased access to virtual support, such as GPs.
Support for men’s health
It seems online benefits that complement remote or hybrid working may become more prevalent as time goes on. The ability for employees to access support in a confidential way could also play an important role in today’s working landscape.
There is still a stigma attached to addressing mental health in the workplace and this particularly persists for men.
A recent study found that four in 10 men have used annual leave as opposed to sick leave to address diagnoses regarding their mental health, highlighting that they would rather use precious holiday days than be open about the need for time off due to their health.
The study also found that almost 75% of men agree that experiencing problems with their mental health can impact on their ability to do their job.
With this in mind, confidential, tailored benefit offerings could assist in easing the pressure males in the workplace feel regarding accessing help for their wellbeing.
Of course, women will also benefit from such support. As more innovative solutions are released, it seems that workplace wellbeing and online support are going to continue to be high on employers’ agendas for the foreseeable future.