68% of employers saw staff wellbeing decline

Two-thirds (68%) of UK and Irish organisations found that employee wellbeing deteriorated over the course of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, according to new research.

Global technology and business solutions provider NTT conducted 1,146 interviews with respondents from across 23 countries for its 2021 edition of the Global workplace report, which explored the future of work as businesses around the world prepare for a post-pandemic reality.

The research revealed that compared to operations staff, CEOs are 20 percentage points more likely to believe that their business is effective at managing working hours, 28 points more likely to think burnout can be prevented, and 41 points more likely to be satisfied with their organisation’s employee experience capabilities.

Nine in 10 (91%) businesses said they recognised the value of employee experience as being important to their organisational strategy or as a crucial strategic differentiator.

Just over one-third (38%) of employees said that their employer fully values their health and wellbeing, and only 23% admitted they are happy working for their employer.

The findings also highlighted that when asked to choose from at-home, hybrid, or in-office working arrangements, staff are fairly evenly split between the three, at 30%, 30%, and 39%, respectively. Conversely, 79% of organisations believe that employees prefer office working, when actually just 39% of staff want full-time office working.

In addition, 84% of businesses found remote working to have challenged organisational performance and 86% said it has been challenging for workers.

Alex Bennett, global senior vice president of global trade management solutions at NTT, commented that the narrative is currently about remote working, but the reality of employees’ needs is much more complicated, and any failure to accurately assess and respond to that fact presents a serious risk to organisations.

“These are not mild preferences: we found that work-life balance and commute times are now the two biggest factors people look at when deciding where to work, and so performing well on workforce and workplace strategy will be a real competitive advantage,” Bennett said.