With “burnout” being perhaps the most talked-about word of the last year, it’s obvious that the majority of us are dealing with a lot on our plate. Mental health and wellness benefits have never been more critical as we navigate the ongoing ups and downs of a post-pandemic world. In fact, Built In’s new candidate insights report shows that, for people ages 18 – 24 who are just entering the workforce, mental health and wellness benefits are second on the list of benefits they’re seeking from an employer.
Built In’s Senior Director of DEI, Catalina Colman spoke with Wellbeing Strategy Consultant at WellRight, Courtney Schroeder and Senior Advisor at One Mind, Daryl Tol about well-being at work and how it affects our productivity, mental health and overall life outside of our jobs.
In this on demand webinar, our panelists shared insights into how remote work affects our social well-being, why young talent are seeking mental health benefits and how we can personalize well-being benefits to better reach each individual person on our team.
Mental health and wellness benefits are on the rise, and some companies are struggling to meet the demand. Tol explains, “A lot of it has to do with how we were raised, and we are becoming healthier as we learn about how humans thrive best. People just entering the workforce are looking to their companies to provide better work life balance, access to mental health resources and ways to work towards a “higher purpose.”
Schroeder touches on the fact that older generations of workers might not be comfortable sharing so much of their personal lives with their organization and so therefore those benefits aren’t as high on their list of needs. But Tol also believes the younger workers are teaching the older generation about why these benefits will make them healthier overall.
With utilization of Employee Assistance Programs being extremely low, companies are left wondering how they can better provide helpful resources and benefits for their employees to increase their social, mental and physical wellbeing. Toll believes that companies can increase the use of their EAPs through culture work and assessing their current EAP.
Schroeder adds in that the managers and leaders need to be the ones to really make the wellness programs flourish, and without promotion of these programs by higher ups, employees might not take advantage of them and miss out on something that could really benefit them long term.
While there are many obvious health benefits of working remotely including extra time to exercise, meditate, time with family, etc. there are also several downsides to our social and mental well-being.
Schroeder expands on this saying, “The constant screen time, feeling like you’re constantly on, the Zoom fatigue: those are all very real.” So while we have more time to do so many other things at home, it is also very hard for people to separate their work and home life when they are one and the same. Tol adds that he believes a hybrid situation where people get to connect during outings or in the office once in a while, yet have the flexibility to work at home, is the healthiest option.
Becoming a more open company and creating a culture around honesty is one of the first steps to creating wellness among your employees. Schroeder mentions that holding free or cheap mindfulness events can help connect teams beyond just daily work, and foster a culture of understanding among employees. Tol agrees that it is extremely important for leadership to encourage communication when employees are having a tough time financially, socially, etc. Once that openness is established, the two panelists offer resources for companies to kick start wellbeing at their own companies, even on a budget.