Thought leadership

A major new piece of research has revealed that rising workplace stress among younger workers has seen business investment in ‘nature breaks’ doubling in the last year with over half of UK business trips now including nature or activity elements from shark diving to gorilla treks.

Overall UK investment in employee gift schemes has soared by 44% last year and has doubled over a three-year period, indicating rising investment in employee rewards. In a bid to focus on corporate wellness, evidence shows that rewards also increasingly feature health-based or experiential elements, with wearable fitness monitors and an ‘afternoon tea for two’ among last year’s top 10 most widely chosen UK employee rewards.

There is evidence of companies increasingly harvesting employee data to create more personalised HR policies and programmes; 38% of enterprises now use automated real-time systems to track and reward employee performance.

The report, Corporate Wellness 2.0, drew on data from over 287,000 users of reward, recognition and incentive programmes at over 120 major enterprises from Virgin Atlantic to Microsoft, to gain insight into changing trends in corporate workforce management. The issues and challenges thrown up by this report will be examined in detail at our upcoming 2020 Employee Wellbeing conference next spring.

David Gould, CEO at CR Worldwide, commented: “Employers have been investing in gyms or chill-out spaces in the workplace for a few years now, but new data shows that corporations are now increasingly investing in employee wellbeing outside the workplace by offering rewards from extra time off to company-sponsored jungle treks. This reinforces recent evidence of the widening scope of so-called ‘corporate wellness’ initiatives from employee counselling services to international retreats. The main drivers include a growing need to recruit a younger workforce that believes companies should care about their overall wellbeing, as well as the pressure to counter rising workplace stress, which has an impact on productivity.”

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