INDEAL Cares is a charity that was launched in early 2020 with a mission to support healthy workplaces in the commercial furniture industry in North America and in under-served communities around the world.
To ensure we are providing the tools, resources and educational support that reflect the needs of the industry, we launched our second annual Employee Wellness Survey in June 2021 with a goal to leverage industry insights to build on our knowledge, provide a better understanding about employee wishes for returning to the workplace safely, identify new product needs, and clarity on how we can move forward most productively and profitably as an industry.
Thousands of individuals from a variety of roles and positions within our industry were represented.
· 32% of respondents were distributors and manufacturers
· 28% of respondents were dealers
· 11% of respondents from A&D firms
· 14% of respondents were independent reps
· 4% of respondents were made up of other positions in the industry, including HR, administration, and designers.
The results of the Survey Report, Working Well at Home and at the Office: Understanding Health and Well-being in the Commercial Furniture Industry, is available to download here.
Insights from the INDEAL Cares Employee Wellness Survey Report – 2021
We asked individuals from the industry questions related to their mental and physical well-being, how they feel about returning to the office, their preference in terms of working environment, and what they are looking for from their employers in terms of enhanced wellness at work. In some cases, the results were quite surprising. Here’s what we found:
Mental Health: A Key Consideration for Employees and Leaders.
We asked the question: “How would you describe your mental health over the past 12 months, on average?”
59% of respondents said ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’.
However, when we asked the question, “What areas of your health would you like to improve?”
· 37% said: my emotional health. I worry about the impact of the pandemic on my children’s well-being.
· 33% said: my emotional health: Sometimes I feel stressed out or anxious.
· 22% said: my emotional health: Sometimes I feel depressed.
Physical Activity: An Important Priority for the Industry
When we asked the question: “How would you describe your physical health over the past 12 months, on average?”
79% of respondents said “Excellent’ or ‘Good’, up from 63% last year.
When we asked the question: “What areas of your health would you like to improve?”
· 40% said - my physical health: I would like to become more physically active and/or exercise more regularly.
· 34% said- my physical health: I would like to improve my diet to improve my health and/or lose weight.
Back Pain Continues to be a Health Concern
53% of survey respondents said they are currently experiencing back or neck pain, a significant increase over last year (31%). When asked the question, ‘Has your spine pain gotten worse since the pandemic began?”, 67% of respondents said yes.
The survey results also indicate that spine health was better for those who were working in the office:
· 44% of individuals who were working in the office said that they had back or neck pain, vs. 51% of individuals who had always worked from home.
· 61% of individuals who had only been working from home since the pandemic began had spine pain, vs. 51% of individuals who had always worked from home.
The Way We Work
When asked the question: “What would be your preference in terms of how you would like to be working?”
59% said in the office, 21% said hybrid and 20% said work from home
Here’s What You Can Do to Improve Health and Wellness in the Workplace Today:
Support Employees at Home and at Work: Acknowledging that your employees have full lives outside of work is an important way for you to demonstrate your commitment to their well-being, impacting health both at the office and home. By understanding that stress and anxiety can come from a variety of places and working to support your people in all aspects of life, you can have a positive influence on their overall wellness and contentment.
Flexibility and Autonomy is Critical for Engaged Employees People appreciate being heard and seen. Providing flexibility in terms of working hours, working spaces, and customization based on their needs will empower your employees, preventing burnout and encouraging productivity.
What You Do Matters Individuals working in this industry trust and appreciate their leaders. 97% of survey respondents describe their organizations as being supportive of wellness at work. They are listening and receptive to what you have to share but are also still struggling with different aspects of their health.
As leaders and influencers of health at work, not only in the commercial furniture industry, but all industries who rely on and utilize the products and services developed and brought to market, we all have a powerful and unique opportunity: We can design, implement, and support a healthy workplace for employees in the industry and outside of it.
Reach out to Executive Director Stefanie Ince to learn about the tools, resources and engagement opportunities that are available through INDEAL Cars – and what you can do to support health and well-being in your workplace today.