Fresh research by insurance broking service and health and wellbeing advisor Towergate Health & Protection shows that on average 45% of employees are now working on a hybrid basis, splitting their time between working from home and their usual place of work.
The survey of 500 HR decision makers from businesses of all sizes across the UK highlights Towergate Health & Protection’s concerns for employee health and wellbeing.
Specifically, the report highlights concerns that without the traditional workplace there is no hub for the delivery and communication of health and wellbeing benefits.
Debra Clark, head of specialist consulting, Towergate Health & Protection explains: “Ensuring that employees are well looked after and feel equally valued is a major issue.”
All industry sectors affected
Hybrid working now reaches far and wide. Only 12% of companies said they have no hybrid workers and another 12% said that ALL their employees are now working on a hybrid basis.
Perhaps surprisingly, the phenomenon is not limited to office-based industries. Respondents from the construction industry said an average 26% of their staff are hybrid workers. In the hospitality and leisure industry, 32% of employees are hybrid workers, and in manufacturing it is 28%.
The changing nature of the workplace means that health and wellbeing requirements are changing too. This covers the whole supply chain, from what support is provided, to how employers communicate it, and how employees access it.
For instance, with the reported decrease in cancer diagnoses, increase in waiting times for treatment on the NHS, and difficulty getting GP appointments, the need for support has never been greater.
Towergate Health & Protection’s research suggests that there have been significant developments made to improve the accessibility of health and wellbeing support, with greater access to digital GPs, virtual physio, online counselling, screening, home-testing kits and fast-track access to support; and many employers now need to reconsider the support they offer.
The research also indicates that without the office as a hub, communication of health and wellbeing support needs to adapt. For instance, noticeboards in kitchen areas are unlikely to reach the number of employees they previously did.
They suggest that digital communications are now often the best way to ensure that all employees are kept up to date and it is good for these to include a mix – from emails and intranet content to video calls and apps – to resonate with the different ways that employees like to digest information.
Showing you care
Debra Clark concludes: “One of the biggest issues with hybrid working is in ensuring employees still feel valued. This is the case for those who are working mostly from home and missing the social interaction of the office, and also for those who are mostly back to their original workplace and feel that they may be missing out by not working so much from home. Health and wellbeing support can actually be enhanced by hybrid working, but only if it is delivered effectively and communicated regularly.”
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