Gympass, the leading corporate wellness platform, has just released its second annual State of Work-Life Wellness Report, shedding light on the growing significance of employee wellbeing worldwide.
Drawing insights from a survey conducted across nine global markets, including the United Kingdom, the report underscores the demand for wellness support in today’s workforce.
For the 2024 edition, Gympass delved into wellbeing trends within the context of the ongoing return-to-office debate, revealing a compelling link between preferred work environments and personal wellness and productivity.
The report brings to the forefront the predicament of “mismatched” employees – those who are compelled to work in a setting that is contrary to their preference, be it remote or in-office.
The survey findings are stark: “Mismatched” employees, those who work in an environment that doesn’t align with their preference, are experiencing significant negative effects on their overall wellbeing compared to “matched” employees.
These findings underscore the critical importance of flexibility as companies navigate the return-to-office landscape.
It has an impact on productivity!
The impact on wellbeing is clear, with 67 percent of UK employees indicating that loneliness and a lack of connection with their workplace have a major detrimental effect on their productivity. When assessing their overall wellbeing, mismatched employees are twice as likely to report that they are “struggling” or “really struggling” compared to their matched counterparts.
Furthermore, mismatched employees tend to suffer from higher stress levels, lower emotional wellbeing, and more sleep disturbances caused by work-related stress. They are also twice as likely to express unhappiness with their current company.
Cesar Carvalho, co-founder and CEO of Gympass, stresses the importance of addressing this “workplace ‘mismatch problem'” and highlights that individual wellbeing is unique to each employee. He underscores the need for companies to provide flexible, preventative benefits to ensure the happiness and health of their employees, which in turn can result in long-term cost savings.
The report indicates that employee wellbeing is a top priority for today’s global workforce, with 96 percent of employees actively seeking employers who prioritise wellbeing. In the UK, 88 percent of employees now consider wellbeing as equally important as salary, and a staggering 86 percent of UK workers state they would contemplate leaving a company that neglects employee wellbeing.
Leaders experience better wellbeing than others
An interesting observation within the report is that company leaders appear to experience better wellbeing compared to others, creating a “blind spot” that can cause a disconnect between them and their teams. According to the report, 91 percent of company leaders (director level and above) claim they can take time for their wellbeing, compared to 76 percent of managers and 66 percent of non-managers.
The majority of global employees, 91 percent, believe that emotional wellness, and 86 percent believe that physical wellness, positively impact their productivity and job satisfaction. Encouragingly, 77 percent of employees now engage with their company’s wellbeing programs, reflecting a nine-point increase year-over-year.
Cesar Carvalho emphasises that leaders and managers should not assume that their teams share the same wellbeing experiences, particularly junior employees. He underscores the importance of ensuring that all employees have the time, resources, and flexibility to take care of themselves, as wellness is not a seniority perk but the cornerstone of keeping employees healthy, productive, and engaged at work.
Luke Bullen, VP, Head of UK & Ireland, Corporate Business, Gympass, adds that while wellness has become an integral part of the modern work life, it is not a one-size-fits-all concept. He advocates for HR leaders to actively encourage their staff to engage in wellness solutions that align with their individual needs and lifestyles, thereby ensuring comprehensive support for all employees.
In an ever-evolving work landscape, the Gympass State of Work-Life Wellness Report serves as a compelling reminder of the crucial role that wellbeing plays in the lives of employees and the success of businesses worldwide. With the return to office on the horizon, flexibility and customised wellness support are becoming increasingly indispensable for employee satisfaction and productivity.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.