For business leaders, navigating the turmoil of the past several years has been nothing short of a herculean task. Even as the impacts of the pandemic have lessened, tough economic conditions have taken their place and executives have had to stay vigilant to keep their organisations on a strong footing.
This sustained period of turbulence has had an impact on the wellbeing of staff, and the ways that we view the role of the workplace. It has never been more important to ensure that everyone within an organisation feels supported and secure, and that businesses are able to retain and recruit for the best talent.
Based on data from Bupa Global’s Executive Wellbeing Index, here are some key workplace trends that will business leaders need to be aware of in order to create the best possible working environment for their teams in 2023.
A greater emphasis on employee health
Forecasts suggest that the current economic difficulties being faced by the UK are set to continue well into 2023, impacting a large proportion of the population. With financial concerns often come health concerns, with mental health often most acutely impacted, and it’s likely that many employees will continue to feel the pressure.
One of the most effective ways to meet this issue head on and demonstrate to employees that they are valued in the workplace, is to make good health benefits available to them. Compared to other, softer work perks, health and wellbeing support offers a tangible benefit to employees, giving them a straightforward way to access healthcare professionals if they need to.
At a time like this, knowing there is help available can take a huge weight off current employees, and serve as an attractive proposition for talent looking for a new role.
Ensure senior leaders don’t get left behind in the mental health conversation
Senior leaders can often put the health of their employees and organisations ahead of their own, but a lack of inward focus can have a negative knock-on effect for those at the top.
Findings from the latest Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index showed that mental health among senior leaders is declining with one in six (17%) experiencing burnout in the past 12 months, and 95% admitting to feeling symptoms of poor mental health. Worryingly, nearly half of board directors are planning major career changes as a way to reduce stress.
These figures demonstrate how critical it is that organisations ensure that their mental health programmes and initiatives encompass every employee, from the most junior all the way to the top of the boardroom and keeping senior leaders happy and healthy should be a consideration for businesses as we move into the new year. Similarly, by leading by example and accepting support, leaders will be helping to build a company culture where everyone has the foundation they need to work to the best of their ability and look after their wellbeing.
Recognising the value of hybrid working for health and productivity
After two years of hybrid working, 2022 was the first year that businesses were in a position to make autonomous decisions about how and where their employees should work. For many organisations this has been a complicated process, with varying opinions on the benefits of hybrid working versus being in the office full time.
As we reach 2023, it should be clear that most workplaces and most employees benefit from a hybrid work approach. Not only does greater flexibility give employees the opportunity to improve their work-life balance, but it also has a positive impact on productivity and health. The key for business leaders will be finding a balance between office culture and hybrid working, and ensuring that employees feel connected, committed, and purposeful about their organisation, even when they are not in the office.
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