EXCLUSIVE: More than half (53%) of respondents favour employers that positively contribute to their wellbeing, even if it means they earn less money, according to research by actuarial firm Hymans Robertson and lifestyle insurance organisation Yulife.
The Closing the wellbeing gap: exploring the interaction between work, health and wellbeing report, which surveyed 2,009 UK employees born between 1946 and 1994, also found that 96% of respondents believe that work is important to their financial wellbeing, while 70% feel their current job has a positive impact on their financial wellbeing. This creates a 26% financial wellbeing gap, according to the findings.
In terms of mental wellbeing, 94% of respondents think that their work in general is important for their mental health, but only 58% state that their current role positively impacts this. In comparison, 90% of employees view work as important for their social wellbeing, yet 56% of respondents believe their current job positively impacts their social wellbeing.
This creates a mental wellbeing gap of 36% and a social wellbeing gap of 34%, while physical wellbeing correspondingly has a gap of 39%. This is because 89% of respondents view work generally as important for their physical health, but only a further 50% go on to say that their current role positively affects it.
Richard Purcell (pictured), insurance innovation lead, life and financial services at Hymans Robertson, said: “It isn’t surprising that work is most important to people’s financial wellbeing given its role in earning money; however, mental, social and physical wellbeing were not far behind. While the financial wellbeing gap was the smallest, it was still a sizeable quarter of people who said work didn’t fulfil that. Employers should recognise that the needs of the workforce are changing and look at ways they can create a working environment that contributes more positively to people’s wellbeing.”
More than a third (39%) of respondents cite satisfaction with work as a factor that has a positive impact on their feelings of wellbeing at work. This is closely followed by friendships with colleagues (32%), the ability to work flexible hours (29%), a good holiday allowance (23%) and interacting with customers (19%).
Around half (49%) of all respondents claim that they have the right balance between their work and home lives. More specifically, 56% of baby boomers agree with this, compared to 50% of generation X respondents and 40% of millennials. Two-thirds (66%) of respondents who work part-time feel they strike the right work-life balance, versus 44% of those who work full-time and 35% of respondents who work within the gig economy.
Sammy Rubin, chief executive officer at Yulife, added: “The fact a wellbeing gap exists highlights the need for employers to focus more closely on what their people want. It’s not necessarily all about salary but more about making mental, physical, and financial wellbeing simple, accessible and inclusive for everyone. After all, a healthier workforce makes for a happier work culture which makes getting and keeping the right people easier as well as increasing productivity and lowering sickness absence which is good for everyone.”