COVID-19 disrupted the daily lives of almost everyone across the world. The global health crisis has disrupted the health and wellbeing of employees of different working generations, including their families, in many ways.
The impact of employee health and wellbeing on productivity and overall workplace wellness has forced employers to reconsider their employee wellness solutions and other benefits packages.
Transamerica Institute and its Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies examined the pandemic’s impact on employers, their response, and timely opportunities. On behalf of TI, The Harris Poll conducted the online survey from mid-November to the end of December 2020. The 10,192 respondents were from across the country. This particular report represents the data of 3,109 employees above 18 years of age and who worked full-time or part-time potential respondents were business executives who made decisions about employee benefits at their company.
Depending on their age group, the respondents were broadly divided into 5 groups –
- Generation Z – Born 1997 to 2012 – 301 workers
- Millennial – Born 1981 to 1996 – 1,249 workers
- Generation X – Born 1965 to 1980 – 960 workers
- Baby Boomer – Born 1946 to 1964 – 573 workers
- Born before 1946 – 26 workers
Employee Physical Health Study Report
Although employees generally had positive feelings about their health and wellbeing, they were struggling to put all the pieces together, especially regarding their physical, mental, and financial health.
Almost 4 in 5 employees described themselves as healthy. With 83% of respondents describing their overall health as good or excellent, 58% said it was good, and 25% described it as excellent. While 15% said their health was fair, only 1% felt it was poor. Amongst the four working generations, the Millennials (30%) were the majority to claim their health to be excellent. This was followed by 26% Gen Z, 25% Gen X, and 17% of Baby Boomers.
Concerned About Physical Health
Almost 2/3rds of the respondents said they were concerned about their physical health and wellbeing. Of the 66% of respondents being concerned about their physical health, 29% were very concerned, and 37% were somewhat concerned. Millennials (36%) were more likely to be worried or very concerned about their physical health, compared to 27% of Gen X, 24% of Gen Z, and 20% of Baby Boomers.
Safeguarding Health and Fitness
When asked if they were consistently indulging in any physical health-related activities, almost 71% of the respondents said they engaged in pandemic-related activities. While 62% said they were taking COVID-19 precautions like wearing masks, social distancing, etc., 43% tried improving their social wellness by virtually communicating with their friends and family. 56% ate a healthy diet, and 55% exercised regularly. However, less than half of the population was working toward stress management, getting enough quality sleep, regular screenings and assessments, practicing mindfulness, or avoiding addictions.
Compared to the other generations, Baby Boomers were more cautious about their health and wellbeing, and so, they were taking adequate measures. Almost 75% of them were trying to maintain a positive outlook, 59% got regular screenings and physicals, 54% got plenty of rest, and 51% avoided harmful substances.
Although the pandemic might turn into an endemic, employees have adapted their daily lives to the changing trends and requirements. The workforce and employers are both taking extra measures to protect workplace wellness and employee wellbeing. In addition to redefining the workplace policies and employee benefits packages, employers have also started reevaluating their employee wellness solutions.
While providing the preferred workplace wellness program components is crucial, offering rewards and incentives to boost employee engagement is also necessary.