trends workplace wellness

Workplace Trends: Mental Wellness, Employee Well-Being Gain

According to at least one list of 2018 workplace trends, greater focus on individual well-being — in a number of formats — is gaining in significance.

The list in question comes from Forbes under the heading “10 Workplace Trends You’ll See In 2018.” At least three of the findings relate to employee wellness.

One key area: Mental Wellness.

The post notes: “Mental health, which has long been a stigma in the workplace, is now becoming something that is more common and accepted by leaders. Now HR is taking on the role of mental health counselors, helping support employees who have all sorts of mental health issues like depression, anxiety, bipolar and ADHD.”

It continues: While many of these disorders are hidden, 84% of employees have experienced physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health. Symptoms like depression can result in about five missed work days and 11.5 days of reduced productivity every three months, costing the U.S. 200 million lost workdays annually, resulting in $17 to $44 billion in lost productivity overall.”

Another key area: Managing employee stress and burnout.

The author writes: “Employees are burned out from working longer hours with no additional compensation, while companies are posting record profits. Full-time employees work an average of 47 hours per week and the tenure has decreased from 4.6 in 2016 to 4.2 in 2017. According to Right Management, over a third of workers get after-hours email from management and almost 10% get emails on vacations… In a study, in partnership with Kronos, we found that almost half of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsibility for up to half of their annual workforce turnover. They believe burnout is caused by unfair compensation, an unreasonable workload and too much after-hours work.”

Of course, key aspects of workplace wellness — such as communication and engagement — are benefited by a focus on humanness. To that end, one trend will be “Leaders encourage more human interaction.”

Interestingly, the author notes that ” One study found that moments of conversation between co-workers increases performance by 20% and another study uncovered that 72% of employees who have a best friend at work are more satisfied with their job. In our research, in partnership with Randstad, we found that Gen Z’s and millennials choose in-person conversations over using technology and prefer corporate offices over telecommuting.”

Tomorrow: More detail on mental wellness and a study that asks whether we’re at the tipping point?