Flexible working models intrinsic to talent retention, according to new research by Cigna Europe
October 2021   COMPANY NEWS

Flexible working models intrinsic to talent retention, according to new research by Cigna Europe

London, 14 October 2021 – Employees across the UK are placing greater importance on flexible working lives and increased health and well-being support from employers, according to new research conducted by leading health service company, Cigna Europe.
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  • 70% of office-based workers want flexible home working options (WFH)
  • 31% of employees are working longer hours when working from home
  • Enhanced health insurance cover, financial education and holistic support for work-life balance are among the most preferred Whole Health support

London, 14 October 2021 – Employees across the UK are placing greater importance on flexible working lives and increased health and well-being support from employers, according to new research conducted by leading health service company, Cigna Europe.

More than 1,000 Brits took part in the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: The State of Work research which reveals that 70% of people who worked in an office pre-pandemic want flexible home working (WFH) options – while over a third (36%) are looking for flexible hours and working location when considering issues important to their overall Whole Health.

However, the research also highlights the pitfalls to hybrid working, with 31% of respondents indicating they are working longer hours when working from home, primarily because they no longer commute and have a lack of routine.

With a continued spotlight on health and well-being, results underline this and highlight the shift in the number of employees looking for enhanced health insurance cover (39%) and a policy that allows virtual health consultations (35%).

In response to these evolving employee needs, Cigna Europe has launched its Say No to the New Normal campaign, which encourages people to rethink what normal really is in a changed world.  As people adapt to the new ways of working and realities of a life where boundaries are unclear, there are new stressors and concerns emerging. However, the stress people are facing is not normal and shouldn’t be accepted as such, prompting Cigna to develop a range of products to help support people, including the world’s first AI tool, Cigna StressWaves Test, that calculates how stressed a person is by the sound of their voice.

Other key findings in the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: The State of Work include:

  • Women prefer WFH to men (48% vs. 43%).
  • Millennials prefer WFH (53%) and those aged 35-49 like it least (39%).
  • Those with children prefer WFH (49%) compared to those without (42%).
  • Middle management prefer WFH the most (52%).

Employees who show a preference for working in an office either full or part of the time highlighted their concerns around WFH this included:

  • 37% consider online communication when WFH less effective than face-to-face.
  • 18% view virtual meeting fatigue as an issue.

When it comes to benefits of working from home, the following topped the agenda: 

  • Saving time on daily commute (52%)
  • Better work/life balance (42%)
  • Money savings (40%)

Arjan Toor, CEO at Cigna Europe, said: “The pandemic has significantly changed the landscape of flexible working, and it continues to evolve rapidly, create new challenges and opportunities for employers in the UK and beyond. It’s clear from our research that there is real demand from employees for more positive, flexible working options and that this corporate culture is becoming a more influential aspect of the workplace. With many organisations now competing for talent from around the world because they can work remotely, it’s never been more important for employers to support the Whole Health of their employees and to create an inclusive culture that better meets their needs.

“The new data Cigna has captured reinforces the requirement of hybrid working models in a post-COVID world as organisations reimagine the workplace and the future of work.”

 Read the full Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey: The State of Work report here.

For more information about the Say No to the New Normal campaign, visit: Stress Care for the New Normal

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