The hybrid work culture is not as welcome to people as it may appear. A good 70 per cent of the respondents, in a survey by ICICI Lombard partnered with Hansa Research, reveal that they would prefer to work regularly either from home or office. Amongst those who did not have a brush with COVID, 40 per cent are willing to work from office, whereas the others who have contracted COVID or have witnessed closed ones suffering from the same, prefer to work from home. More men prefer working from office than women. While 36 per cent prefer to work mostly from office, 34 per cent prefer to work mostly from home and only 27 per cent are inclined towards the hybrid model of work.
Only 75 per cent people are happy with what is being offered by their employers currently, in the name of health benefits or wellness initiatives, reveals the survey. Eighty nine per cent of the respondents expect more from their employers in the form of health and wellness programmes.
While health insurance, gym facilities and flexibility are being offered by most employers and considered routine offerings by employees, there are other facilities that the workforce expects in the new normal. These include, regular health check-ups, healthy work-life balance, healthy food at the cafeterias and focus on workplace ergonomics.
Women vs men
Women seem to be better off at handling physical health than men. While 49 per cent women were satisfied with their mental health status, only 42 per cent men could say the same. In pre-COVID times, the figure was 60 per cent for women and 56 per cent for men. However, mental health did suffer because of COVID. While 53 per cent women were satisfied with their mental health status before the pandemic, only 38 per cent were satisfied post pandemic. In case of men, 45 per cent were satisfied before the pandemic and only 35 per cent later.
When it comes to working from office, more men prefer working from office than women.
Age-wise take on health and wellness
Among the older lot, it appears that those in the 36 to 45 age bracket were more worried about their physical health, with 58 per cent being satisfied with their health pre-COVID and only 39 per cent post-COVID. In the 25 to 35 age bracket, 57 per cent were happy with their health before COVID and 47 per cent post COVID. In terms of mental health, however, the older lot seemed to have coped better with 48 per cent satisfied with their mental health pre-COVID and 32 per cent post-COVID. In the 25 to 35 bracket, the figure was 52 per cent pre-pandemic and 38 per cent post-pandemic.
A significant 86 per cent of people are engaging in activities to ensure better mental and physical health. About 47 per cent of the respondents want to adopt a healthy lifestyle to look better. In fact, 42 per cent of those in the 25 to 35 age bracket want to look and feel good, for which they wish to adopt a better lifestyle.
A significant 58 per cent of the respondents are more aware of the importance of being healthy. Forty one per cent have seen the negative impact of being physically unhealthy. Another 35 per cent admit that they feel lazy and less energetic when they do not take steps to stay healthy. Of those surveyed, 29 per cent have contracted COVID-19 and wish to recover with better health. While 38 per cent want to look and feel better, an equal number wish for better mental health and less stress.
Hurdles to adopting healthy habits
While 45 per cent of the respondents did not have enough personal time to adopt healthy habits, 44 per cent cite financial constraints as reason for being unable to do so. Thirty-six per cent say commitments at home prevent them from adopting healthy habits, of which the number of women is more than men. Seventeen per cent admit they are not motivated enough to take measures towards a healthier lifestyle.
While people in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune say it is because of financial constraints that they their health is being adversely affected, respondents from Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Pune feel inability to manage their time is keeping them from adopting healthy habits.
In Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata, almost one in every three people is adversely affected due to stress. People admit that working from home partly is more unfavourable than working full time from home.
While 78 per cent people were working out or visiting the gym or doing some exercise before the pandemic, their number increased to 84 per cent post COVID and a good 86 per cent are expected to continue the habit even when normalcy returns. While a good 83 per cent were consuming healthy food before the pandemic, the number increased marginally to 86 per cent during the pandemic and is expected to remain so post COVID too. While 47 per cent people were seeking health, wellness and nutritional advice online before the pandemic, their number increased to 57 per cent during the pandemic, and is expected to remain so even after normalcy returns.
If 53 per cent people were altering their daily behaviour towards more balanced and healthier lifestyles before the pandemic, their number has increased to 60 per cent during the pandemic and is expected to go up to 66 per cent after normalcy. That means, people are truly becoming aware of their mental health.
People seem to have woken up to the benefits of meditation. While only 55 per cent were meditating in pre-COVID times, 63 per cent were doing so during the pandemic and 71 per cent intend to meditate post normalcy.
While 47 per cent organisations are looking at open office spaces with informal seating arrangements, 37 per cent are inclined towards regular seating with assigned desks or workstations, and about 23 per cent are open to regular seating with unassigned desks.