Wellness support at work no longer considered optional: study
November 29, 2019
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View Inc. recently announced the results of a survey of Canadian workers, conducted in collaboration with Future Workplace on workplace wellness in Canada and the United States. The study found that the new demographic composition of workforces is requiring employers to go above and beyond a basic benefits package in an effort to engage, retain and attract multigenerational talent.
The survey of Canadian employees between 18 and 74 years of age found that 70 per cent of employees report that a workplace that supports or enhances their health and wellbeing would encourage them to accept a job offer. Only 34 per cent of employees rated their workplace ability to support their overall wellness needs with a score of 75 per cent or higher, indicating the need for employers to increase efforts to improve workplace wellbeing.
“The research shows that employer health and wellness efforts fall short despite Canadian companies’ investments in on-site gyms, ergonomics and healthy food choices.” said Grant Walsh, President of View Canada. “It’s the invisible factors such as air quality and access to natural light that are often overlooked yet provide a significant influence on workplace wellness, employee productivity and the overall quality of the employee experience.”
The study found that 41 per cent of employees think their emotional wellness would be improved by having the option to adjust their workplace conditions to match their mood. Thirty-two per cent say the ability to optimize their access to natural light from their mobile device outranked the option to have a pet-friendly workplace (28 per cent) or even having an unlimited vacation policy (27 per cent).
Meanwhile, an uncomfortable environment can be responsible for significant productivity loss. Thirty per cent of employees lose between one and two hours per day due to lack of connection with outdoors. The survey also revealed that poor ergonomics and physical discomfort from air, light, temperature and acoustics also resulted in losses by 31 per cent and 23 per cent of employees respectively.
In addition, different generations expect varying options for wellness support from a technological standpoint. Even though expectations vary according to role and age, most Canadian workers would like to be able to adjust their workplace environment using their phone. Forty-one per cent of Gen Z workers would like to optimize access to natural light from an app, while 48 per cent would like to adjust workspace temperature. Boomers, meanwhile, prefer the ability to adjust workspace temperature (41 per cent), control air quality (32 per cent) and mask noise and sound-scaping (31 per cent).
To read the study, click here.