Out of the different types of wellbeing such as mental, physical and financial, social has taken the lead in importance to UK employees.
This research comes from Thomson Online Benefits, a global benefits management and employee engagement software company, who found that 31 per cent are kept awake at night by stressful interactions with their managers and colleagues. As well as 25 per cent being concerned about the relationship with the people that they care about.
Social wellbeing describes the degree to which an employee feels that they are connected and included in the relationships around them.
These social wellbeing issues came at a higher level of importance than financial matters, such as debts an employee may hold at 20 per cent or an employee’s caring responsibilities at 13 per cent.
The majority of UK employees (63 per cent) would like to see monthly company lunches, with less stating that they would like financial assistance such as emergency loans (56 per cent) and childcare benefits (58 per cent).
There seems to be a demand for social connections to be made at work with 56 per cent would enjoy success celebrations and 45 per cent would value Friday drinks. With just over a third (37 per cent) wanting yoga, pilates lessons or dogs in the office.
The younger generations of the workforce seem to hold social wellbeing as of more importance than the older staff. Just under half (49 per cent) of over 55s would like to see monthly company lunches, however, 72 per cent of 18-24-year-olds want the same thing.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of the younger age group believe eating out, socialising with friends and going on holiday to be a main priority. This decreases to 24 per cent for mental wellbeing and 25 per cent for financial stability.
Jack Curzon, consulting director at Thomsons Online Benefits, said:
Humans are innately social, meaning that our social connections and how we feel about these can have an incredible impact on our mental health, workplace engagement and productivity. Widespread digitalisation, the rise of the gig economy and increasingly flexible working patterns are all contributing to UK employees’ increasing anxiety over their social connectedness.
For the first time in research, we’re seeing social wellbeing appear high up on employees’ agendas, usurping mental, physical and even financial wellbeing. If UK employers really want to show their people they care, they need to create a culture that prioritises social interactions and inclusiveness – rather than implement one-off, quick fix benefits with no long-term value.
Thomson Online Benefits asked 2,000 UK workers to gather these results.