#HR Trends and Insights

Does happiness in the workplace matter?

February 13, 2023

Many of us were taught growing up that “a job is a job” and that “being happy” at that said job wasn’t necessary.

So, we threw ourselves into our work, no matter the atmosphere, and despite a distinct lack of support, just so we could end up with stats like these:

  • 58% of Millennials are experiencing burnout, coupled with
  • 59% of Gen Z reporting burnout

The World Health Organization (or WHO) defines workplace burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

Put more succinctly, burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion due to prolonged and repeated stress.

Continuing The WHO’s definition, you may experience feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings negative towards one’s career, and/or reduced professional productivity.

You could delve into hundreds of studies and surveys completed, and still not quite be able to pinpoint the exact cause of burnout, because there isn’t just one, it’s an amalgam.

But here are just a few for your consideration:

  • You work so much and for so long, you no longer have energy for yourself, your family, or your friends; work/life balance is out of reach for you.
  • You feel pressure to “look” busy, and be available outside of hours, even when you’ve met and completed your work goals.
  • You have no control over your workload or productivity goals; or are unclear about the degree of authority you have or what your supervisor expects from you.
  • You have no clear cut “off” time from work and keep your phone connected to your work-life at all times.

Some of these probably ring true with more than a few of you reading. And if they do, you may have experienced some of the consequences of burnout: excessive stress, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, substance abuse, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and/or increased vulnerability to illness in general.

That’s a serious list of consequences.

If you are the employer and benefits provider, you hold the cards when it comes to preventing burnout and creating employee happiness.

There are few obvious ways you can do that, e.g. enacting policies stating that employees cannot be contacted outside work hours or on personal devices, laying out clear responsibilities, prioritizing “work completed well” over “appearing busy and mouse jiggling,” allowing flexible hours, and requiring workers to use up their PTO.

But above and beyond those basics, you can look into expanding your benefits package by including Lifestyle Spending Accounts and meal benefits.

Lifestyle Spending Accounts can help your employees move and improve their physical and mental health by providinggym memberships, and exercise classes; you can make it easier to afford healthy food by offering an at-home grocery stipend; you can help them get to work by offering a micromobility stipend for rented bikes and scooters; you can even help them keep their pets boarded when they travel for work or are on vacation.

Meal benefits can make sure your employees are eating consistently and well by providing a daily/weekly at-work meal allowance that can be used at any eatery, or the healthy eateries of your company’s choice (and don’t forget those delivery apps!)

Essentially what these benefits do is remove the barriers to happiness – those barriers being a highly sedentary lifestyle (the average worker can sit up to 15 hours a day), distraction, worry, and hunger – And can lead to positive stats like these:

  • Happy employees are up to 20% more productive.
  • Happy salespeople have been shown to raise sales by 37%.
  • Well-fed employees are 54% more likely to stay with your company, and 70% are more likely recommend your business as a “great place to work” (see: employee retention, and less money spent on employee turnover).
  • Employees who exercise regularly learn faster, are able to concentrate better, have an improved mood, and have prolonged stamina.

It’s plain to see, creating a healthy, happy atmosphere by providing your employees access to movement and sustenance (amongst other benefits) can only increase their productivity, creativity, and excellence at work.

When you take care of your employees, your employees take care of your business

Here at Edenred, we make it simple to craft a customized benefits package based on your work culture and company values. When it comes to benefits there is no “right” or “wrong” combo, there’s only what works best for you!

When you work with Edenred, you not only get a fully compliant program, but you’ll receive all the resources you need to manage a successful employee benefit program. Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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