- Employer mental health initiatives could positively affect employee wellbeing
- Most U.S. workers believe a four-day workweek would enhance wellbeing
U.S. workers are optimistic that employer-sponsored wellness initiatives could enhance their wellbeing, according to data from the Bentley-Gallup Business in Society Report. When asked to rate the potential impact of six wellness initiatives on wellbeing, the top three most positively rated (based on combined extremely and somewhat positive ratings) are employers offering a four-day workweek option (77%), providing mental health days (74%) and limiting the amount of work employees are expected to perform outside of work hours (73%).
Notably, limiting the number of hours employees are expected to work outside of the workday and offering mental health days receive the highest ratings for a perceived extremely positive impact on wellbeing (50% and 49%, respectively).
Majorities of workers also said the other policies asked about -- related to employers limiting the amount of time employees spend on work emails outside of work hours and offering free mental health screenings and counseling sessions -- would have an extremely or somewhat positive effect on their wellbeing.
Results for the Bentley-Gallup Business in Society study are based on web survey responses collected May 8-15, 2023, from 5,458 U.S. adults via the Gallup Panel.
Americans Have Favorable Perception of Four-Day Workweek
Americans are optimistic about the potential impact of a four-day workweek on their wellbeing. Seventy-seven percent of U.S. workers say a four-day, 40-hour workweek would have an extremely or somewhat positive effect on their wellbeing, while 20% think it would have a neutral effect and 3% a somewhat or extremely negative effect.
Gallup data show that on-site workers with four-day workweeks have higher rates of wellbeing than their counterparts who work five- or six-day workweeks but have no higher rates of engagement with their work. Burnout is slightly higher among those working four days per week than those working five days. The best solution likely varies by organization, role, job demands and customer needs.
Younger workers are more optimistic about the effect of a four-day workweek on their wellbeing: 82% of U.S. workers aged 18 to 29 say a four-day workweek would have a somewhat or extremely positive effect on their wellbeing, compared with 80% of those aged 30 to 44, 76% of those aged 45 to 59 and 69% of those aged 60 and older.
The U.S. is in the midst of a wellbeing crisis. Just over half of U.S. adults nationally -- 51% -- are classified as “thriving” on Gallup’s Life Evaluation Index, and 5.6% of adults evaluate their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering” -- the highest rate since the index’s inception in 2008.
U.S. workers are also experiencing low levels of wellbeing and are seeking employers that prioritize their employees’ wellbeing. Yet, just a quarter of employees strongly agree that their employer cares about their overall wellbeing. These trends have many employers considering new approaches to addressing wellbeing. Results from the Bentley-Gallup Business in Society study indicate many Americans believe various wellbeing initiatives could have a somewhat or extremely positive impact on wellbeing. However, more research is needed to fully understand how workplace policies aimed at increased wellness could improve employee engagement and decrease burnout.
Learn more from the Bentley-Gallup Business in Society Report.
Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.