Hybrid working prevalent but not preferred.
Despite the prevalence of hybrid working, more than half (54%) of employers are actively encouraging their employees to return to the office. To achieve this, companies are using various tactics, such as mandatory office days, free meals and drinks, access to a gym, onsite wellbeing days, more onsite social events, subsidized transport, and access to in-person counseling.
Debra Clark, head of wellbeing at Towergate Health & Protection, noted that incentivizing employees to return to the office will require a careful mix of incentives and health and wellbeing support. Many companies have already begun offering wider health and wellbeing support based at the workplace, but with hybrid working becoming the norm, these benefits will need to work harder to encourage people to return to the office.
In addition to motivating employees to return to the office, health and wellbeing support will be essential for those who continue to work from home. Working from home can lead to various health and wellbeing concerns, including musculoskeletal issues, mental health pressures, and financial strains. To address these concerns, support may include virtual physio appointments, online counseling, and financial education, as well as access to face-to-face support.
Clark concludes that as working styles continue to evolve, employers must also widen their health and wellbeing offerings to match. This includes a range of options covering all aspects of health and wellbeing, and varied communication methods to ensure all employees can access the support they need.