Workplace wellbeing predictions for 2019
Employee wellbeing dominated the headlines in 2018, but what about this year? Kelly Feehan, Service Director at CABA, reveals her top five trends for 2019.
Following what we’ve seen in 2018, from the state of the nation’s mental health through to whether working while commuting should be counted towards an employee’s working hours, we’ve compiled our thoughts on what we think will be the major workplace wellbeing trends for 2019, and why employers should think about them seriously.
The evolution of the working week
Increasingly, we are hearing calls for a shift to a four-day week, to allow employees more time to relax and recharge as the pressures and strains of work become more intense. In New Zealand, a trial was carried out to test if employees reacted better to working a shorter week. The results? Work was completed, and both teamwork and engagement increased.
‘Hidden’ diseases being properly addressed
Following business leaders’ calls for better mental health training and the government’s commitment to mental health first aiders, we fully expect businesses to soon be able to support mental ill health as comfortably as they do physical health. However, the next challenge is getting employees to speak openly about these problems – including the more taboo physical health problems.
The rise of the robots
As companies become more used to automation, they are starting to see how technology such as artificial intelligence or machine learning can work to complement their workforce. While AI won’t add value to every workplace, or may be too expensive to implement, for some workplaces, it could help lessen the burden of menial, administrative tasks on employees and help them advance their career by letting them learn skills in other business areas.
Biohax, a Swedish company has already microchipped 4,000 employees internationally and is coming to the UK following increased demand. Ease of access to buildings, alongside making travel easier are the benefits cited, which for many time-poor employees could be appealing. It may take a while to take off and won’t sit comfortably with everyone, but it’s already making waves and we won’t be surprised if we see more about this trend next year.
There has been a lot of debate about the changing of the clocks and whether it should be scrapped. Not changing the clocks could improve employees’ ability to get out in the light more, which could benefit their wellbeing. This is especially true if commuting time is now included in the working day, as this would enable employees to leave earlier, work on the way home and maximise daylight opportunities.
Kelly Feehan is Service Director at CABA
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