Transitioning to a hybrid work model, how to deal with the changes?
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 impacted the world of remote work.
The pandemic is clearly creating new challenges for virtually every employer as to how work will get done when employees return to the workplace.
45% of employees began working remotely because of COVID-19, and of that group, 46% said their company was planning to permanently enable remote work.
Prior to the forced working-from-home era we were used to being in crowded and often uninspiring offices, today we can say we've almost grown accustomed to our home routine, and it's not entirely a given that we'll have the same desire to return to full-time office work again, at least not if the office doesn't make us feel as safe and comfortable as we feel at home.
We also understand this from software company Buffer's "2021 State of Remote Work" report, which found that 97.6% of respondents would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, even if they started working remotely recently because of COVID-19 .
Many people enjoy working remotely because of the convenience of having a flexible schedule, the ability to work from anywhere, and the ability to have more time to spend with family.
The downsides of working from home, according to the respondents, were mainly: not being able to disconnect, difficulty in collaborating and communicating properly with the team, loneliness and distractions at home.
How can companies embrace this change to encourage the “healthy” return of employees to the workspace?
Companies are making a number of changes in the workplace as they prepare for employees to return to the office.
According to a new survey of employers conducted by Willis Towers Watson, more than nine out of 10 employers (94%) said improving the employee experience will be an important priority. Most respondents say positive employee experience is a key driver of engagement (82%), ability to attract and retain talent (80%), employee well-being (79%) and productivity (79%).
When asked to identify areas needed to improve the employee experience, respondents said they are looking to improve their offering to meet the needs of inclusion and diversity (82%), management training (61%), learning and development (59%) and leadership skills (54%) .
Health and Wellness Programs
The global corporate wellness market is mainly driven by the growing prevalence of malaise linked to a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, uninspiring environments and overexposure to digital screens.
The state of well-being brings with it numerous advantages consolidated by empirical studies, playing in favor of employee involvement, their productivity and their resilience.
The global corporate wellness market showed moderate growth in the 2015-2020 period, which according to IMARC Group is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 6% in the 2021-2026 period.
Why is corporate well-being so important?
Vitality Health's "Britain's healthiest workplace" initiative has shown that companies that embrace wellness as a core part of their culture thrive, succeed and expand in many other ways than just the end result.
In an open letter to business leaders in the 2019 Health at Work Report, Neville Koopowitz, CEO of Vitality UK, writes: "When employers are committed to promoting better health among their employees, no one is excluded. employees are healthier, happier and more involved in their work: employers benefit from a more productive and motivated workforce, with lower levels of sick leave".
Designing spaces that are attractive and include biophilic components, such as green plants and natural light helps employees, creating a culture focused on offering and expanding knowledge, with the goal of improving physical, mental and emotional well-being.
The power of plants for corporate well-being
A study by the University of Technology in Sydney has shown that plants in the office make the company seem more caring, more concerned about the employees’ wellbeing and more trustworthy. For this reason, the indoor plants can effectively bring positive changes to the health and well-being of employees.
That's why companies like Hexagro aim to bring edible greenery into work environments. In the specific case of Hexagro's "interactive green", not only it makes the workplace healthier and more stimulating, but it also creates interactions among colleagues by growing and harvesting fresh herbs and vegetables. By carrying out small manual activities, in fact, users share relaxing moments where new ideas and human relationships can arise.
Thanks to the Living Farming Tree, the vertical vegetable garden, designed by Hexagro, people will be able to reconnect with a living and interactive nature growing every day, and enjoy all the mental and physical benefits that derive from it.
Find out How to improve your corporate well-being with the Living Farming Tree's plants here!