5 Important Trends Impacting Today’s Workplace

  • Employee Wellbeing
Jeff Kirke

The expectations of employees have changed in the wake of COVID-19. After the remote work experiment, employees have their own visions of what makes for a good work-life balance. Now that more people understand working remotely is usually possible, businesses can’t afford to let something as trivial as location disqualify great candidates.

The Holistic Needs of Today’s Workforce

Employers are increasingly becoming more aware of the holistic needs of their workforce. As a result, there’s a need to enhance employee benefits with an emphasis on physical, mental, and financial health.

Employers need to understand these types of trends impacting the workplace to be able to evolve the employee experiences that improve the support employees need to manage all of the stress and anxiety from COVID 19.

I recently read through MetLife’s 19th Annual Employee Benefits Trend Study 2021. It contained a lot of interesting information, including the five biggest trends facing today’s workplace. If you have a moment to take a look, I encourage you to do so. In the meantime, I’ve outlined the five trends below along with a quick snapshot of each.

1. Employees Want a Holistic Wellbeing Protected by Employers

Employees are more concerned with safety and expect their employers to play a greater role in it. Simply put, they’re looking for more from their employer. Employers need to be aware of their employees’ needs and improve the resources that are available to support them.

2. More than Half of Employees Are Now Concerned about Their Wellbeing

Concerns about wellbeing come from increased and sustained stress that has impacted employees from all aspects of life. The MetLife survey states that over a third of employees report feeling stressed while working at least half the time, while nearly as many say stress has made them less productive. It’s important for employers to focus on expanding their wellness initiative to include mental health and wellbeing.

3. Employers Need to Adapt to the Flexible Workplace

As the survey says, flexibility is here to stay, but it will require creative solutions to foster collaboration and manage workloads.

As remote work becomes more normalized, aspects like collaboration and workloads may suffer. For example, the survey indicates 42 percent of employees say knowledge sharing with coworkers has become much more difficult since the start of the pandemic. Roughly half say they’re working outside of their normal work hours more often than they did before the pandemic. These challenges bring opportunities to promote collaboration and supporting balanced work schedules.

4. Benefit Approaches Muse Change to Meet Employee Needs

Employers are evolving their employee benefits approach to meet the changing needs of employees, build employee resilience, and support worker wellbeing. Employers are offering new benefits and becoming more intentional about engagement and employee benefit communications.

Employers hope these positive changes put their organization on the path to creating a better culture that will allow employees to be more productive.

5. Employees Need Help Navigating Stress to Current Events

Social justice and political turmoil reverberated throughout the workforce in 2020, disproportionally affecting women of color and younger generations. As the workforce confronts these tensions and realities, employees will need the support from their employer who understand that employees need to process. Diversity and inclusion initiatives, communication, and training will be critical to moving forward.

Again, if you have some time, I encourage you to read the report. It contains a lot of very useful information and can help you positively move forward throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we have a great resource on hand to help you with all of this. Our ethOs team helps empower organizations to rehumanize the culture and support the WHOLE employee.

Feel free to either reach out to them through Holmes Murphy or directly through their website. The ethOs experts would be happy to help you out!

October 4, 2021