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.
One of the less talked about consequences of this uncertainty is its damaging impact on employee morale. With the constant roll of ‘bad news’, people are taking a hit. We recently commissioned a recent study finding that only one in four employees feel optimistic about the future, with a negative workplace atmosphere being highlighted as a key source of anxiety in the current climate. Over half say that hearing about current affairs has had a negative impact on their work over the past year.
Alarm bells should be ringing for businesses, because they will know that 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. It also causes strain on our personal lives too. So building the mental resilience of employees should and must be a key priority. But at a time of tightening budgets, what can employers do cheaply that has a lasting impact?
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Our evidence shows that, rather than relying on more conventional perks, employers would be better off focusing on triggers that help foster healthier behaviours amongst staff to boost long term happiness and morale. Our study of 1000 UK employees found that those that cycle to work are more positive in times of uncertainty – as portrayed in our Happiness Highs and Lows graphic. 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.
To get more information about how Cyclescheme can help your organisation you can download our brochure – or click here to sign up now. If you’re an employee reading this, we’ve curated a guide to help you get your employer to sign up. As a first step, there’s also a ready-made email that you can send to them in seconds.
What are you waiting for?