As companies navigate the changing landscape of hybrid and remote work, the importance of employee wellbeing has become increasingly apparent. From remote-first startups to large multinational corporations, companies are finding that supporting their employees’ wellbeing is crucial for maintaining productivity, reducing turnover, and fostering engagement – wherever their employees are located.
I advise 5-10 leaders every week about hybrid and remote work, and find that wellbeing has become critical in our conversations regarding the future of work. To learn more, I decided to interview Cesar Carvalho, the CEO of Gympass, a company that provides employers with a key set of wellbeing benefits: subscription access to area gyms, studios, and wellbeing apps. Since any employee – fully remote, hybrid, or office-centric – can use their services, Carvalho’s comments applied to all types of work arrangements.
Research on Wellbeing
Gympass recently released an in-depth survey on the importance of wellbeing to employees. According to the survey, 48% of Americans are not satisfied with their wellbeing at work, in stark contrast to countries like Brazil, where 80% of respondents ranked their workplace wellbeing as good or better.
The results of the survey are particularly concerning given that 25% of U.S. employees do not believe that their employer cares about their wellbeing. This lack of support from employers has led to widespread feelings of unhappiness in the workplace, with one in four Americans reporting that they feel unhappy in their jobs and do not feel that their work allows them to take care of their wellbeing.
The trend towards dissatisfaction with workplace wellbeing has significant implications for companies, as nearly 73% of respondents across all markets would only consider joining companies that prioritize employee wellbeing. This highlights the importance of creating a supportive and healthy work environment, where employees feel valued and have the resources they need to maintain their wellbeing.
In-Office, Hybrid, Or Remote? Prioritize Wellbeing!
For those who work in an office setting, it is important to provide access to wellbeing resources both during and after the workday. This can include physical activity opportunities, such as gym classes or partner workout sessions, as well as opportunities for connecting with loved ones and finding meaning in work. Providing resources that are easily accessible during the workday and after hours can help employees achieve a better work-life balance.
For those who work fully remote, the absence of a physical workplace can lead to feelings of isolation and decreased work-life balance. It is important to provide resources for maintaining physical and mental health, building strong relationships with colleagues, and finding meaning in work. This can include virtual wellness programs, access to mental health support, and remote team building opportunities.
For those who split their time between the office and home, the line between work and life has become blurred. This can lead to feelings of burnout and decreased wellbeing. To support this group, it is crucial to provide resources for finding meaning in work, building strong relationships with colleagues, and maintaining physical and mental health. They can gain the best of both worlds, including resources both during the workday when they come to the office, as well as various apps when they work remotely.
Providing Wellbeing Opportunities to Employees
Carvalho noted that at Gympass, wellbeing is seen not just as a benefit but as the exercise of leadership. That’s why the company invests heavily in training its leaders on how to create a culture of wellbeing within their teams. This includes tips on how to let employees take breaks, giving feedback to help them develop, and providing opportunities for growth.
One of the first steps companies can take to support employee wellbeing is to provide them with the tools they need to improve their health and happiness. This approach not only benefits employees by helping them achieve better wellbeing, but it also benefits the company by reducing turnover, increasing engagement, and improving the bottom line.That can include subsidized access to thousands of gyms and wellness apps, as well as providing each employee with a wellness coach.
Finally, Gympass encourages its teams to meet in person at least once a quarter, not to discuss business, but to focus on building relationships and fostering a sense of community. This approach helps to create a strong bond between employees and supports their wellbeing by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
In the new world of work, the importance of employee wellbeing cannot be overstated. Companies that invest in the wellbeing of their employees will reap the rewards in the form of increased productivity, reduced turnover, and greater engagement. By following the example of companies like Gympass, companies of all sizes can create a supportive and nurturing environment for their employees, regardless of whether they are working remotely or in a hybrid environment.
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Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
Originally published in Disaster Avoidance Experts on March 02, 2023.
Lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky helps leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/newsletter/.