During the pandemic, almost 50% of the US workforce worked remotely .
And the vast majority of employees want to continue working remotely moving forward.
Large tech companies, such as Zillow, have even announced their support by continuing to allow employees to work remotely, even if it’s just part-time.
Hybrid working encourages the best of both worlds by striking a better work-life balance.
Employees can prioritize health and wellbeing while benefitting from more flexible working opportunities.
The Role of Technology in the Hybrid Workplace
We have seen a monumental rise in the utilization of technology in the workplace to support remote working.
And with 77% of telecommuters reporting more productivity in their workday , it could well be our future.
Technology not only keeps us connected during the remote workday, but can also help teams to stay healthy when working from home.
Therefore, a hybrid workplace also requires a hybrid health and wellness solution that employees can tap into- whenever, wherever.
A complete software health and wellness solution can help alleviate the specific challenges that remote working poses, both physically and mentally.
The question is, in a rapidly changing climate, what are the pros and cons of a hybrid workplace model?
And how can employers ensure their teams remain happy, healthy, and productive in this new working landscape?
Stay ahead of the game and discover the 4 key health and wellness trends in 2021!
The Challenges of Working Remotely
While there are plenty of pros to remote working, some inevitable cons remain worth consideration. Learn more in-depth about how to help employees manage time effectively when working from home!
One challenge currently faced by employees is the worsening of physical health.
Remote working has led to an increase in makeshift home-office setups which can leave employees more prone to potential injury.
Our laptop, mouse, and keyboard setup can encourage poor posture and alignment, causing unwanted strain and tension on joints.
In fact, repetitive motion injury (muscular strain) is thought to cost the US approximately $20 billion per year in worker’s compensation alone, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration .
And according to research conducted by Nuffield Health, seven out of 10 remote workers reported an increase in aches and pains despite incorporating physical activity into their home routine.
Remote working has also seen a rise of sedentary lifestyles of up to 28% throughout the pandemic, which, coupled with poor ergonomics, can put even more strain on the body.
Mental health plays a crucial role in remote working considerations.
In the fallout from lockdown, there has been a significant decline in mental health, including loneliness, uncertainty, and anxiety about the future and returning to work.
Research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation concluded that 56% of people said they felt more stressed and anxious about work than before the pandemic; this further rose to 72% in 18-24 year-olds and 64% in 24-35 year-olds.
Growing evidence, as reported by Vitality ,also suggests that 50% of all homeworkers reported anxiety over physically returning to work.
Expectations and needs have changed fundamentally following the pandemic.
There is clearly a need for businesses to shift towards a more inclusive ‘healthy hybrid’ working blueprint which encompasses change in work-life balance, physical and mental wellbeing, and flexible working.
So, how do you incorporate a hybrid health and wellness solution into the hybrid workplace?
And why should you?
The Pros of Remote Working
Working remotely has produced many benefits since the beginning of the pandemic, including increased productivity and a better work-life balance.
According to Vitality, 55% of homeworkers found they were more productive when working from home, with 44% of remote workers finding it easier to manage their mental health and wellbeing.
An astonishing 85% of homeworkers even stated that taking employee health and wellbeing seriously would be an important future career consideration.
Working in a more comfortable environment, free from the daily commute, has improved the quality of how people work.
Flexible working also provides employees with more time to spend on well-being.
What’s more, data published by Vitality from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace, the UK’s largest workplace wellbeing survey, indicated that the UK economy loses almost £92 billion a year through workplace absence from ill-health.
When people feel well, they often perform better in the workplace, creating a shared value between employees, businesses, and society.
When employees feel valued, businesses are more likely to retain talent and increase productivity and reputation .
How to Implement a Hybrid Health and Wellbeing Model into a Hybrid Workplace
The pandemic has made us look at what is important in life- looking after ourselves and others.
Implementing an employee wellness program could just be your answer!
So, how do you get there?
Corporate health software programs bundle together the very best health and wellbeing tools into an accessible all-in-one package.
Designed to foster healthier living amongst remote workers, corporate health programs make it easier than ever to strike a happier work-life balance.
Technology is central to hybrid employee wellness -read more about the emerging trend of wearable fitness technology !
Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review indicates that corporate health programs can increase employee satisfaction, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity.
Companies investing in such strategies have proven to strengthen organizational culture and cultivate trust and commitment, alongside making significant financial savings .
Our 24/7 digital platform can be accessed by mobile app and features home workouts, food tracking, meditations, a digital community, and plenty of wellness content- all at the touch of a button and connected through your HR software.
So, is the hybrid workplace a blessing or a burden?
We do not know what the future has in store for the remote workplace, but there is plenty of sufficient evidence to support remote working as a far healthier and more productive opportunity for businesses, employees, and society.
Let’s support our well-being too!