Slightly more than a third (38%) of working Canadians said having the option of full flexibility — regarding days, hours and location — for everyone would be the best working model for their team, according to LifeWorks Inc.’s latest mental-health index.

Meanwhile, 17 per cent said they prefer all employees are together at the worksite and 15 per cent prefer all employees work fully remotely. Nearly a third (29 per cent) of respondents said the most important type of flexibility is having the ability to step away from work to attend to personal issues, followed by hours of work (26 per cent), location of work (24 per cent), days of work (16 per cent) and work attire (two per cent).

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“Ensuring that employees feel trusted and encouraged to balance their work and personal lives in a way that works for them is essential to fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes employee well-being,” said Stephen Liptrap, chief executive officer for LifeWorks, in a press release.

Meanwhile, employees continue to struggle with mental health and well-being as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. The overall mental-health score for December 2021, was negative 10.2 compared to the pre-pandemic benchmark, a slight decline from the previous month (negative 10 in November 2021) and equal to the October 2021 score.

Additionally, half (50 per cent) of respondents said they believe their organization’s CEO genuinely cares about employee well-being. Notably, this group had a mental-health score of negative 4.9, more than five points above the national average.

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In contrast, 18 per cent said they don’t believe their organization’s CEO genuinely cares about employee well-being — this group has a mental-health score of negative 19.3, more than nine points below the national average. Almost a third (32 per cent) are undecided on their CEO’s position on well-being, while managers are more than 30 per cent more likely than non-managers to believe that their organization’s CEO genuinely cares about employee well-being.

“Many organizations have made great strides in prioritizing overall employee mental health and well-being. However, our data suggests that half do not feel that their senior leader truly cares, even if they do,” said Paula Allen, global leader and senior vice-president of research and total well-being at LifeWorks, in the release. “A positive view of the use of mental-health services and communications that come directly from leaders will ensure employees feel valued and appreciated by all levels of management and that their well-being is top of mind for their employer.”

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