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Global Employer Insights Survey: Health and Wellbeing

How has the COVID-19 pandemic continued to reshape work?

Optum surveyed 347 employers around the world to better understand current health and wellbeing (H&W) strategies and practices. Here’s what they said about how the pandemic has affected physical office locations and work schedules.

What percentage of employees telecommuted before the COVID-19 pandemic and what percentage are currently telecommuting?

Global employers reported fewer employees telecommuting before COVID-19 (32%) compared to currently 51%. We found this trend toward higher levels of telecommuters in 2022 versus prior to the pandemic in many regions.

Graph that displays more employees work remotely now than before the pandemic.

APAC, EMEA and LATAM regions all reflect the trend toward higher levels of telecommuting. In APAC 54% versus 31%, EMEA, 52% versus 31%, and LATAM 44% versus 35%.

As of today, which work location policy is in place?

Many companies have introduced hybrid work policies allowing staff to continue telecommuting part-time.

Graph that displays most employers (60%) have both in-office and remote work location policies.

In 2022, the majority of global employers (60%) reported that they have both in-person and remote work location policies in place.  Only 24% of employers have a mandatory in-person policy and 12% leave it up to employees to decide where they work. As few as 2% of employers have an all-remote policy and another 2% reported being undecided about their policy.

The most successful part of our overall health and wellness strategy has been creating a virtual community amongst teams when working from home due to the pandemic. At the start, we had lots of teams feeling isolated and lonely [so] we built a community online for people to interact, collaborate online, and share interests.

— Employer (England)

As a result of COVID-19, have you closed any physical office locations?

Many companies have introduced hybrid work policies allowing staff to continue telecommuting part-time. With fewer employees working onsite, over half of employers have closed one or more office locations. Financial pressure created by COVID-19 may also be a contributing factor.

Almost 60% more employees are working remotely today than before the pandemic began.

Graph that displays 3 in 5 employers have closed office locations as a result of the pandemic

In 2022, 3 in 5 companies reported that they have closed physical office locations. This includes 10% reporting they closed all physical office locations and 48% closing some. Just 41% of employers report closing no office locations, with the remaining one percent reporting they never had physical office locations.

The biggest challenge for our company is the economic pressure that COVID-19 has put on our company.

— Employer (Singapore)

How does your H&W strategy address the social health needs of remote workers?

Optum can help. We’re on a mission to create a healthier world.  At Optum, we understand that corporate success starts with a healthy workforce. Our integrated health solutions, including our global Employee Assistance Programme, help advance your health and wellbeing strategy to build a culture of health within your organisation.

Learn more at

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Survey methodology

  • 347 international employers located in APAC, EMEA or LATAM regions
  • Global companies with 3,000+ employees
  • Decision-makers in human resources, executive, management or administrative roles
  • Surveys administered online from 7 April to 5 May 2022