Manage and prioritise employee wellbeing in the modern work environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a spike in concerns regarding the mental health and wellbeing of employees. These challenges were heightened by the rise of the hybrid workplace model which combined remote and in-office work, making it increasingly difficult for employers to navigate around the mental health and wellbeing needs of their employees.

As the changing future of work post-COVID-19 will see a rise in the hybrid work setting, employers will need to gain a better understanding of how to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of their workforce. PeopleStart recommend:

Mental Health

A workforce divided between the office and home setting poses a significant challenge for employers to manage. Assessing employee mental health and wellbeing needs becomes progressively difficult and it is therefore crucial to familiarise yourself with the signs that can help you identify when someone may be needing your help and support. Common signs can include antisocial behaviour, lack of motivation, decrease in engagement and productivity, and feelings of anxiousness or fatigue.

It is up to employers to ensure that they are doing everything possible to support their team and assure that their mental health and wellbeing are maintained.

Being compassionate and understanding

Adjusting to the changing work environment of a remote work setting can be a challenge for many people. This requires an additional level of compassion and understanding towards each individual employee, taking into consideration their unique and personal circumstances.

Fostering this line of communication with employees is important as it creates a two-way dialogue where employees are given the opportunity to voice their concerns. This visible support from employers creates a safe space for employees and gives employers a further insight as to what support the employee may need.

Fostering connectedness through technology

With the rise of the hybrid workplace, digital forms of communication have never been more important to ensure that all employees feel connected and included despite being divided. Creating a sense of unity amongst the hybrid work team and ensuring that employees know they are being valued is an important consideration that employers have to make.

Using technology to connect with employees can foster this sense of togetherness. Holding virtual social events such as formal team meetings, informal team checkups or fun interactive activities can be a way to increase employee engagement and communication to further strengthen the connection of the hybrid team.

These virtual social interactions can also be an opportunity to reinforce your company values and recognise team or individual efforts and achievements.

PODCAST: How meeting technology is changing for the hybrid workplace

Wellbeing programs

The mental health and wellbeing of employees should remain a primary concern for employers. It is therefore critical to ensure that an employee wellness plan is structured to ensure that adequate support is available for all employees. Programs such as Workplace Mental Health Workshops, Meditation / Mindfulness Classes, Corporate Fitness Classes, Coaching and other wellness programs allow employees to have access to resources that are targeted at improving their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Encourage a positive work-life balance

For employees working from a remote setting, it can be challenging to maintain a positive work-life balance as their living and working spaces have become intertwined. It then becomes essential to ensure that employees have a clear distinction between working and non-working hours, allowing them the time to switch off and relax at the end of the day. Encouraging regular breaks can increase mental wellbeing and decrease the chance of employee burnout.

The mental health and wellbeing of people is extremely important. Making sure that it stays a priority in an increasingly hybrid workforce is even more crucial.

Article by:

Thérèse Lazaroo
HR Advisor
PeopleStart Human Resources