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Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, executives have had to quickly pivot their business strategies in response to a rapidly changing environment. The need for agility and innovation is at an all-time high – and so is the need for wellness. Global research shows that executives are prioritizing their mental health, as well as determining business changes they want to make.
Private medical insurance company Bupa Global captured the opinions of almost 2,000 senior executives and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) around the world to form the Global Executive Wellbeing Index. It found that 70% of global senior executives reported experiencing mental health symptoms ever since the pandemic began. A third (32%) of these executives find it difficult to talk about their mental health experiences, while 2 in 5 executive board members have delayed seeking help for their mental health due to the pandemic.
The emphasis on mental health and wellbeing cannot be ignored as research abounds on its newfound importance in global business. Despite the toll the pandemic has taken, the Index found that more than half (52%) of executives have increased their focus on mental health and wellbeing, while more than half (56%) have also committed to reassessing their values and goals. At 93%, executives are overwhelmingly committed to taking the necessary steps to improving their work-life balance. Whether that’s focusing on preventative health measures, managing work hours, accessing medical services and online support tools, executives are committed to improving their overall wellbeing.
Executives are also looking to the future to determine what the next normal will look like. While the overall outlook on a quick recovery of the global economy sits at 32%, 3 in 5 executives expect their home economy to quickly rebound. These days, an unprecedented amount of change can be daunting, but executives are up for the challenge, with 61% of Index respondents committed to applying lessons learned and new business practices formed during the pandemic to the next normal.
With 93% of executives planning on initiating changes to their companies, change could begin with technology. The pandemic has proven that digital transformation can demonstrate a company’s agility and innovation – elements to business continuity that are crucial in a pandemic environment. Three in ten executives are looking to increasing their investment in technology, according to the Index. Among other changes executives want to see, more than a quarter want their business to review office space, 16% want more decentralized teams, and 1 in 4 want to reduce their carbon footprint by taking fewer international trips.
As changes to global business continue, executive leaders around the world must pivot their strategies and priorities along the way. Going forward, the next normal is likely to center mental health and wellbeing for leaders and their employees like never before – a welcome change to improve all of our lives.
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