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Workplace Insight: Wellbeing Deserves More Attention

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This is the conclusion of a four-part series based on insights we’ve uncovered while researching and writing our recent data-driven whitepaper “A Study of Credit Union Workplaces and the Future of Work.” We delivered a free webinar on our findings on how credit union workplaces support – or fail to support – their employees. To view the webinar and receive a copy of the whitepaper today, register via the form at the bottom of this page.

Workplace Insight: Wellbeing Deserves More Attention

Before COVID-19 hit, workplace wellness was a growing priority among credit union leaders, and now it is even more important. It’s difficult to understand the impact that workplace wellbeing, whether it is in the office or a remote work setting, has on employees. Unwell employees are neither happy nor productive.

Yet our recent workplace research, published in the whitepaper, “A Study of Credit Union Workplaces and the Future of Work,” consistently revealed gaps between the importance employees assigned to various aspects of workplace wellness and how their workplace supported them. We’re going to walk you through a few takeaways from our research and show you how to take the next step towards providing a healthy working environment both in your office and at home.

Read our COVID-19 response recommendations for a more comprehensive list of recommendations for creating a safe and healthy environment for employees returning to work. 

The majority of wellness efforts don’t deliver impressive results, and this is often due to a disconnect between what employers’ think matters to employees and what actually matters to employees. A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review reveals that the wellness perks that matter most to employees are the basic comforts, including clean air and better lighting.

HAPO Credit Union WorkstationsPoor air quality, bad lighting, distracting noise levels, too hot or too cold temperatures, and uncomfortable workstations induce both physical and mental discomfort and stress. These comforts are important to employees, yet these are the areas that employees are most dissatisfied with.

Our own research confirms this, revealing major gaps between what employees find important and how their workplace supports wellness. For example, 82% of credit union employees rate a comfortable temperature as important, yet only 24% are satisfied. 75% believe that noise levels are important, yet 73% are bothered by noise at work. 87% believe a comfortable chair is important, yet only 55% have one. 75% want to see natural light, but only 39% are satisfied with their access to it.

Issues with basic comforts can extend into the home office, as we found that only 46% of employees who worked remotely before COVID-19 had a dedicated home office. Now, with many employees unexpectedly working from home long-term, creating a comfortable and healthy remote workspace can be a major challenge.

We recommend bringing your staff on board with your wellness initiatives to identify which areas need attention and create and inclusive strategy that incorporates their idea of a healthy workplace. The key to effectively investing in wellbeing lies in understanding what areas you can really make an impact in and, more importantly, why they matter to your employees.

Another critical step, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, is to take ownership of employee wellbeing outside of the office and support remote working environments. Many organizations are supporting their employees with furniture, technology, and stipends to upgrade their home offices and create healthier and more productive workspaces.

To learn more about what you can do both in the short and long term to create healthy working environments, view our recent webinar and download our whitepaper by filling out the form. We also recommend third party rating systems, such as WELL Certification, that can help promote trust and awareness around your wellness initiatives to both employees and visitors and serve as a visible tool to keep such initiatives on track.

 

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