The past year has been been tough for business and employees with political and economic turmoil caused by events like Brexit, Trump’s victory and the recent election result.
The past year has been one of the toughest in history for businesses and individuals. The pandemic has not only caused great worry for personal health, but also for the economy and the future.
One huge consequence of this new uncertainty is its damaging impact on employee morale. With a constant roll of bad news throughout 2020 and a strict national lockdown lasting the entire first quarter of 2021, peoples’ emotions are taking a hit.
Alarm bells should be ringing for businesses because employee anxiety, left unaddressed, will lead to higher rates of burnout, plummeting productivity and a greater chance of people experiencing more serious, long-term health conditions. Building the mental resilience of employees should and must be a key priority. But at a time of tightening budgets, what can employers do that has a lasting impact, without costing the earth.
Evidence shows that employers should offer employee benefits that help foster healthier behaviours amongst staff to boost long term happiness and morale.
Our 2017 study of 1000 UK employees found that those that cycle to work are more positive in times of uncertainty. They are more likely to feel optimistic about the future and much less likely to have their productivity negatively affected by hearing about current affairs. A further fifth of employees surveyed said that they felt better able to overcome everyday challenges on days when they’d walked or cycled to work.
The reasons for this are complex but we know that having more time to exercise and ‘switch off’ mentally has a sustained impact on employee performance and helps them to stay well in body and mind. These are also the exact types of benefit that employees say they want more of, with a third wanting more opportunities to incorporate exercise as part of their daily routine.
What are you waiting for?