Tag: hybrid work

Companies need to build wellness culture into business

There is no doubt that the thought of returning to work-life after COVID-19 is filling many employees with dread. More than two years of pandemic related uncertainty and stress have taken their toll on employees’ mental health.

Lockdowns sent us into survival mode, and it is only now, as life starts to get back to normal, that we begin to process the reality of what we’ve been through. There may still be safety concerns. Cognitively, employees may feel safe, but they may not feel emotionally safe. In addition, new habits have had two years to develop, and they may be a challenge to break.

But there are practical reasons too. A recent survey of 1,000 workers conducted by messaging app Slack suggests that almost two in five workers are stressed or anxious about going back to the office after more than two years at home. Concerns about work-life balance, the cost of travel and food were among the reasons for their stress.

The study revealed that 75% of workers had experienced burnout, and one-third had put in extra hours.

The study also found that only two in five respondents think their employers value their mental health, indicating how essential it is for businesses to provide more help.

Employers need to recognise and empathise with the different reasons that workers may be reluctant or anxious to return to the office.

Seventy percent of respondents agreed that a four-day workweek would help their mental health and wellbeing. Almost 50% believe that a hybrid work situation is the best approach for mental health, yet only 25% can choose whether or not they will work in the office.

Chris Mills, of Slack, said: “An employee who is cared for and supported will be inspired to do their best work.”

“It’s positive to see UK workers highlighting that hybrid work and technology has an important part to play in their wellbeing.”

“To ensure technology continues to be an enabler of healthier workplaces, leaders can also set a good example. Building best practices, for instance on how to use features like ‘do not disturb’ and scheduled messages to avoid out of office messaging, can be a great place to start.”

Charlène Gisèle, High Performance Coach and Burnout Advisor: “It is more important than ever for employers to integrate and incorporate a wellness culture embedded within the company. Offering wellness solutions goes beyond a gym membership – instead fostering a wellness culture is what a company ought to aim for.

Instead of focusing on concerns employees can focus on the positive aspects of being back in the office: camaraderie, being able to see colleagues again, and having social work life back on the horizon are all great for mental health as opposed to social/work isolation which many employees have faced during lockdown.”

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Employers must adapt to hybrid working to stave off loss of talent

An employee benefits survey conducted by London- and Machester-based tech recruitment firm Burns Sheehan, PixelMax, has revealed that only 4% of employees want to return to the office full time, 82% of employees prefer a hybrid model while 59% rate work-from-home flexibility as the number one choice in employee benefits. Following these findings, PixelMax, a British tech company believes that the virtual workplace is the solution to stemming the supposed “Great Resignation”.

They say that survey results show that if employers don’t empower their employees and adapt to rapidly changing working landscapes, they will lose their existing talent and fail to attract new talent.

The Great Resignation continues to make headline news since record numbers of staff are reported to either leave, walk out of their jobs voluntarily, or opt to work part time as they re-evaluate their work/life balance following the turmoil of the pandemic.

Other results to come out of the employee benefits survey found that 25% of those polled wanted a learning and development budget, 22% a clearly defined career path, 19% favouring an annual bonus, 17% wanting childcare flexibility and least important, 12% wanting share options.

During the pandemic, employees were just expected to adapt to a new regime of working fully remotely, with employers not aware of the consequences and underlying issues that would affect their employees. Many were suffering from Zoom and Teams fatigue, isolation, burnout, disengagement with their office workplace and a lack of social interaction with colleagues. This in itself brought to the surface many issues of wider mental health aspects and well-being, with many employers not understanding how this was impacting on their workforce. Many employees complained of not being able to detach themselves from their work and home life and feeling that they were not able to switch off, while others missed the office culture. The culmination of these issues resulted in the Big Resignation.

Rob Hilton CEO and Co-Founder of PixelMax, commented: “In order for business and industry to retain the best talent, they need to rethink the workplace environment. It needs to reflect a modern hybrid of the office and remote working from any location but interconnected within a platform that is engaging to all employees and makes them feel connected to their work colleagues, whether that be in the physical sense in the office or from their remote location.”

Employers need to radically rethink how to manage staff both in an office environment and remotely. Throughout the pandemic, employers were slow to adapt the workplace environment and to understand the wider issues their employees were facing in remote working environments. If employers don’t act quickly, they will get left behind because hybrid working is expected by employees.

Burns Sheehan Co-Founder, Jon Sheehan, also weighed in: “The tech hiring market has been the busiest Burns Sheehan have ever seen. I’ve never seen anything like this in the market before; most candidates will have four to five job opportunities and firm job offers on the go within 24 hours. This isn’t even about bigger salaries; that’s just a side perk. Employees are much more focussed on their work-life balance and wider aspirations in the working environment.

“This is very much an employees’ market, driven by employees calling the shots. Many are opting for a virtual workplace model, where they have the option to work from home and the office of their choosing, but also still to remain connected to the office environment even whilst working remotely. If employers don’t embrace this new model of working, then the ones who have adapted quickly to change will have the commercial advantage of hiring and retaining the best talent.”

 

 

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