Job seekers care about workplace well-being just as much as salary


When I was starting my career as a journalist, I equated a six-figure salary with success. Now, as a first-time mom with my first book on the way, I’m more inclined to ask about work-life balance in job interviews. And I’m far from the only one.

In its inaugural State of Work-Life Wellness Report, Gympass, the employee well-being platform, surveyed 9,000 workers around the world and learned that well-being is just as important as salary for 83% of global employees and 77% would consider leaving a company that doesn’t focus on well-being. 

Although companies have touted workplace wellness perks, such as meditation apps, Peloton memberships and even paid time off to recharge, they’re still falling short. Nearly half of American respondents to the Gympass survey reported being dissatisfied with their well-being at work and 25% said they are completely unhappy in their roles.

As it stands, 25% of Americans surveyed in the Gympass report say they feel their work doesn’t allow them time to take care of their well-being. Instead of work-life balance, Gympass believes employers should strive to support work-life wellness, which the company describes as “a state of mind-body well-being found at the intersection of life and work.”

“As employers, we have a responsibility to confront this crisis head-on, to support our employees through better habits—be it fitness, healthy eating, meditation, mental health, or hundreds of other activities,” Gympass founder and CEO Cesar Carvalho says in a press release about the report. “There’s an altruistic element to supporting our employees in this way, but it also has a positive impact on our bottom lines when our employees are happier, healthier and more engaged. That’s what the State of Work-Life Wellness report aims to help employers navigate, and we hope other companies will join us in prioritizing the wellbeing of our employees together.”

The emphasis on workplace wellness is a sentiment that was shared among CEOs at a recent roundtable hosted by Fortune and Salesforce.

“Employee wellness is an imperative,” says Francis deSouza, CEO of Illumina. “It is one of the criteria that people use to choose a job and whether to stay at a job or not. And it covers a lot of ground…Safety was sort of the lowest bar…to help us navigate through the pandemic safely and make sure the environment is safe. But it also covers psychological safety and emotional safety. And even that’s too low a bar now.”

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