6 Wellbeing Trends That Will Shape Work in 2023 and Beyond
As technology advances, societal values evolve to keep pace with technological advances. Soon, the workplace begins to reflect these changes in societal values. Employee expectations change, and the factors that keep them motivated and happy also evolve.
Businesses recognise that employee well-being is key to business success. Employees who are healthy in body and mind are more engaged and committed to their work. They also tend to be more creative, innovative, and loyal to the organisation. Enhanced employee well-being brings down employee turnover and absenteeism – leading to a net positive impact on the bottom line.
The 6 Wellbeing Trends for 2023 and Beyond
Employees today must deal with several factors affecting their physical and mental well-being. Inflation, job security, health issues, and gender/race-based discrimination affect employee well-being. Employees now need additional employer support to maintain a sense of well-being.
The well-being trends that you can expect in 2023 include the following:
Flexible Work Arrangements – Flexibility in work arrangements significantly impacts employees’ occupational well-being. The constant debate over remote, on-site, and hybrid work arrangements is a reason for employee-employer friction. This affects employee well-being and even impacts recruitment. Giving employees the freedom to choose the work arrangement that meets their needs without compromising organisational needs will become the norm in the time to come. Flexibility allows employees to manage their work and life requirements better. Being able to balance professional work and personal obligations promotes employee well-being. A recent Deloitte survey found that among Gen-Z and millennial employees, over 75% of them preferred hybrid or remote work arrangements. Under such circumstances, organisations that force employees to agree to work terms they are uncomfortable with will face resistance.
Financial Wellbeing – High inflation and the high cost of living affect everyone’s peace of mind. Older employees may find it challenging to repay a housing loan, fund children’s education, etc. Younger employees often repay college debt or save money to invest in a car, a house, start a family, etc. A well-thought-out pay structure promotes financial wellness and is the starting point for other employee well-being initiatives. Companies are acknowledging this and taking action. This trend will gain momentum going ahead. Living paycheck-to-paycheck increases employees’ financial worries and costs the company lost productivity. Companies will increasingly move towards pay structures that provide employees with financial security.
Physical Wellbeing – Until recently, employees were rewarded for spending long hours at work and ignoring physical exercise, sleep, and social interaction. Now, employers and employees alike realise this approach is not sustainable. Extended periods of such working conditions lead to poor decision-making and burnout. In 2023 and later, organisations will be more mindful of this. They will encourage employees to take time off to exercise, rest, sleep, and spend time with their family and friends. Well-rested and physically fit employees are more productive. It is now widely acknowledged that physical exercise is essential for physical and mental well-being.
The Practice of Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a part of your emotional well-being. The stresses in life make you aware of your emotional well-being. Mindfulness practice encourages you to train your mind to stay in the present. Be mindful of things and happenings around you, and observe. Think deeply instead of being reactive to incidents around you. Mindfulness as a means of obtaining emotional well-being is set to grow. An EY study on Gen Z’s approach to wellness found that mental and emotional health is essential for overall wellness. As more and more Gen Z employees enter the workforce, the importance of mindfulness will also grow.
Sense of Belonging – The growth of remote work and the resultant lack of social interaction have led to a loss of belonging. However, remote work is not going away anywhere and is expected to become the norm. Humans are social animals, and social well-being is important to them. Companies, going forward, will need to facilitate connections among employees irrespective of where they work. This will build trust and a sense of belonging among people improving their social well-being. This will be even more important in diverse workplaces, where employees from under-represented groups could feel alienated. Improving connections will foster a sense of inclusion, belonging, and general well-being.
Being Purpose-Driven – Employees are more engaged and productive when their values align with the organisation’s. While earning a living continues to be necessary, you must see purpose in your work. Organisations are beginning to take into account this increased desire for purpose-driven work. Employees will no longer be satisfied with ambiguous or mere polished messaging. Employees will want a clear sense of the organisation’s values and see purpose in their work. Supporting employees to see meaning in their work will be a crucial task for employers in the future.
Business leaders now understand the need to invest in employees’ physical and mental well-being. Providing employees with regular opportunities for self-care and development will increase their well-being.