Chief Health Officer at OptumHealth
We conducted a consumer insight survey. We did this survey twice. We did it in April and March, so we could see how things have changed over time.
The reason these insights are so important right now, is that they can really help the benefit managers, the leadership in an organization plan strategically for what are the services, the resources, in a sense the workforce management approach needed.
We did see significant overall impact on wellbeing that roughly 40 plus percent people were affected. The biggest area was social wellbeing, and that was higher than 50%. And frankly, over time that continued to get worse. Financial wellbeing, of course a big hit for people. Started around 40%, 41% and went down to around 31% still feeling like this is a big impact on me.
And then the physical wellbeing was interesting too, because initially about 26% of people said, "This is affecting my physical wellbeing." And that increased over time to around 29%. And I think what happened is, it's really hard for some people to maintain a routine.
So one of the things that we found in this survey that I think was very significant was a relationship between perceived employer support and employee productivity. And it was very interesting to note that for those employees that agreed with the statement that my employer has been supporting my total wellbeing, 39% said that they were less productive.
For those employees who disagreed with the statement that their employer was supporting their total wellbeing, 71% reported being less productive. So a very big difference between the group that felt supported in their productivity versus the group that said they did not feel supported in their total wellbeing and their productivity. So that's pretty significant.
One part of this whole process is the return to office or return to work. Data is very clear that employees really appreciate the sense of support that they get from their employers. And one of the big pieces is that employers can reinforce all the resources available to employees and their families.
During that return to work process, it'll probably involve a number of different phases. In those different areas, and then particularly in the preparation phase, employers will do a lot of communicating. A lot of reinforcing and helping to manage the expectations of what that process will look like.
We have to remember that we are all affected by this situation. We're all in it together and sharing our vulnerability is very appropriate. The idea that we're all struggling with this new routine, trying to figure out how to get the video working on the computer or trying to make sure that everybody is quiet in the house. Sometimes that doesn't happen and that you have an employer who's empathetic and that's supportive and that thinks about this holistically is really important. That the return to office, the return to work solution that employers are thinking through is not only about that physical safety, but it's also about the psychological safety and the social wellbeing.
Returning to the worksite
In a new video, Chief Health Officer, Seth Serxner, surfaces key insights from our consumer sentiment tracking study and discusses how these findings can help employers (and employees) through a time of transition.