Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, new data shows that stress, anxiety, and isolation caused by working from home is continuing to take a toll on mental health. Thankfully, employers are stepping up to support their team in new ways.
Among those surveyed in our New Workplace Employer Report, 86 percent said that they have, or plan to, implement new strategies to address employees’ overall wellbeing, including their physical, emotional, and financial health.
The most common changes were:
- 81 percent said they have added mental health resources to their benefits offering, and another 17 percent plan to implement this change.
- 79 percent of companies said they were communicating more to employees about their benefits and perks so they can take advantage of support they might not be aware of.
- 70 percent said they had invested more time in team engagement activities to improve isolation and collaboration, with another 11 percent intending to focus on these efforts soon.
Employers also supported their team members with care packages and gifts (64 percent), recognition programs (43 percent), mandatory days off (47 percent), and physical health programs (40 percent), as well as wellbeing stipends (31 percent). Additionally, we saw employers expanding their support beyond employees to include caregiver support (32 percent) as well, helping those shouldering a greater share of childcare and eldercare.
The strategies companies most commonly used to address the needs of caregivers were:
- Flexible work arrangements
- Leave policy changes
- Employee resource groups
- Resources such as childcare vendors or parental coaching
- Additional time off
- Subsidies for childcare and other caregiving
The additional stress and demands of adapting to the new work environment—often with roommates, spouses, and children in close quarters – has had many employees struggling to maintain work-life balance and led to deeper reflection on what they really need out of work.
It’s also sparked what some are calling a Great Resignation, with employees making moves to find greater job satisfaction, benefits, and compensation. To attract and retain talent at this critical time, 98 percent of employers are offering flexible work arrangements, increasing benefits offerings (79 percent), and redesigning their compensation packages (77 percent) as well as their wellbeing packages.
With depression and anxiety on the rise and families under incredible stress, employers can’t afford not to put greater focus on supporting their team’s mental health. This hopeful data shows, though, that most are listening and responding with programs to help their employees when and where they need it.