With COVID-19 lockdown restrictions easing, it is important to celebrate the positive ways that employers have adapted and helped improve employee wellbeing over the past year.

This week is World Wellbeing Week and whilst we should appreciate how far prioritising employee wellbeing has come, there is always room for improvement.

With so much change, in such a short space of time, employers ought to consider the wellbeing lessons we can take to support the future wellbeing of the workplace in a post-COVID world:

Encourage flexibility

Encouraging flexibility in the workplace can mean several different things. Whether its flexible working hours or remote working options, many workplaces have started to consider a new approach to flexibility.

New research has revealed that 49 per cent of the UK workforce would like their employers to offer increased working from home opportunities. Not only this, but 33 per cent of UK employees want more flexibility in terms of working patterns and hours.

However, it is crucial to note that what works today might not work in six- or 12-months’ time. Remote working is not always suitable for some businesses or specific roles.

Therefore, make sure you have time to discuss with your employees how you can form new working policies that support both the needs of your business and team wellbeing.

The most essential aspect that employers should be considering is how to create a working environment that makes employees feel both comfortable and confident in their employer.

Using wellbeing services

Over the past year, many employers have made progress in removing barriers to accessing healthcare – like taking time off work for medical appointments and increasing the availability of remote health services.

A recent survey indicated that 46 per cent of the UK workforce believe wellbeing support services offered by their employer have improved over the past 12 months.

Whilst this is a huge improvement, businesses should not stop there. Research also reveals that 33 per cent of UK employees say they would prioritise their health more if they had greater access to virtual services. As well as this, 14 per cent of UK employees would like businesses to increase the availability of remote services available.

Consequently, employers ought to follow a health-first approach to people management and make sure that staff have the appropriate access to both mental and physical health support services, whether they are working in an office or from their homes.

Not only will this support employees’ mental health more, but this will see greater productivity in the business, potentially reduce employee turnover and avoid any sickness absences.

Incorporating culture, diversity, and inclusion

Employers that embrace and encourage diversity see a larger range of talent, idea generation, innovative ways of thinking, and a better knowledge of customer bases.

A recent survey has found that 14 per cent of UK employees would like to see more policies introduced to promote and protect diversity and inclusion in the workplace over the next 12 months.

Employers can start taking small steps towards diversity and inclusion matters by educating managers on the topic, hiring leaders who understand the importance and encouraging employees to express themselves and their values.

HR Caddy has always believed in getting to understand our clients’ businesses, their employees’ needs, and their culture first. That means we are perfectly placed to offer you advice on all employee wellbeing matters, no matter how large or small.

For more help or advice, please contact us today.