Today we’ve published new research which finds that, in times of uncertainty, companies must do more to listen to what employees want and give them initiatives that will have a lasting impact on their well-being. Three in five employees say that economic and political uncertainty has made them feel anxious at work, and over half report that hearing about current affairs has had a negative impact on their performance over the past year.
So how are employers taking action to combat this? We found that staff have received more ‘one off’ perks over the past year – things like beers in the afternoon, team lunches or early finishes. But when we asked employees about the impact of these, we found that they are not helping to sustain levels of happiness and motivation at work over the long term. Only 15% said they would like to receive more of them and half believe they primarily characterise cultures of long hours and high workloads. Instead, employees said that they would prefer benefits that help them become happier over time, with more chances to exercise and switch off mentally being high in demand, as well as opportunities for a better work-life balance.
While Friday beers are all well and good, employers should be thinking more strategically about the benefits they offer and whether they are likely to have a long term impact on staff happiness, loyalty and motivation.
At Cyclescheme, we’ve known for a long time that it’s often the smaller ‘marginal gains’ that can make the biggest difference and our findings support this, highlighting exercise as key to greater resilience and happiness at work. One in five even say they feel better able to face work challenges when they had walked or cycled as part of their commute, with cyclists reporting greater overall happiness than those commuting by public transport.
So one simple solution in times of uncertainty is for employers to encourage more of their workers to commute actively – it’s proven to positively impact happiness, resilience and productivity. Whatever the election outcome on Thursday, we need to see the next government do more to promote active commuting and better efforts to promote sustainable modes of transport to work, which we know provide huge benefits not only for the environment, but for our health, too.
Find out how Cyclescheme could make your business a happier one today.
Adrian Warren CGMA
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