Work-from-Home Is Usually Out of Reach

in Uncategorized, Featured

hand reaching out to village of homes

The National Wellness Institute asked, in a LinkedIn poll, “What work week environment do you envision as being the most optimal for high-level wellness and high productivity?”

Confirming similar survey data from other sources,

  • 3% favored being in the office 5 days a week
  • 20% preferred 4 10-hour days a week
  • 53% said a hybrid of 3 days in the office, 2 days remote
  • 24% wanted to be remote the whole work week.

I wonder, when I see data like this, how one would have responded if they worked in a store, in a hospital, on a tarmac, at a restaurant, at construction sites, on a farm, picking up trash, or driving a bus.

Only about 45% of US employees work in occupations for which working from home (aka telework or remote work) is feasible, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may be an overestimate, as BLS had determined just a year prior that 29% of employees “could” work from home.

Employers should grant workers as much flexibility as possible (for achieving the goals of both the organization and the employee) regarding when and where they work. But we should consider whether increased work-from-home opportunities for office workers will amplify disparities already prominent in the US.

To assume office work is the norm is a shaky way to start the conversation.

Bob Merberg and Jen Arnold Strikethrough the Year 2020 in Employee Wellbeing

in Uncategorized, Wellbeing, Commentary, Featured

Scene from Fury Road

At the end of each year, a hush falls over the world, as it awaits the arrival of…

…the annual end-of-year wellness wrap-up that Jen Arnold and I record for her Redesigning Wellness podcast! It’s here!

This year was no different.  Of course, this year was completely different, but Jen and I still managed to offer some reflections on 2020 in employee wellness. Unlike previous years, this time we forgot to prepare for took a pass on the nerding out on analysis of peer-reviewed studies that have tested the patience of delighted audiences in years past.

Predictions? Oh, we have predictions. We’ve got nothing. Our best shot at predictions were: Continue reading »

2020’s Trends and Transactions Foretell the Wellness Industry’s Future

in business, Uncategorized, Wellbeing, Employee Wellness Programs, Featured

Work-from-home, social connection, telehealth, social justice, mental health… and, of course, the COVID-19 disease itself have been the hot topics of 2020 in the employee wellbeing world.

Meanwhile, the US wellness industry — the business of employee wellbeing — grinds on, with a slew of trends and transactions that foretell its future. Here, I’ve summarized the commercial patterns and milestones that signal which doors are closing and which may open. Continue reading »

Here’s How Employee Mental Health Strategies Can Perpetuate Stigma

in Uncategorized, Wellbeing, Featured

Mental HealthWell-meaning employee mental health advocates, including wellness leaders, may — in our zeal to address mental health — inadvertently reinforce or perpetuate mental health stigma. Here’s how:

1) Viewing stigma too narrowly, especially seeing it only as failure to seek treatment. Mental health stigma includes public stigma, characterized by lack of information (and stereotyping), prejudice, and discrimination, and self stigma, which includes internalization of social stigma stereotypes, reduced self-esteem, and reduced self-efficacy. Reluctance to seek treatment (or not being aware of treatment opportunities) is a critical consequence of stigma. But people who receive treatment, and people who don’t need treatment, experience stigma, too.

2) Not understanding how to address stigma. Anti-stigma campaigns are based on protest (e.g. speaking up against stereotyping); education (like the communication tactics employers commonly implement); and contact (interacting with people who have “lived experience” with mental health problems). Continue reading »