Employee Mental Wellness Amidst Hybrid Work Environment
The pandemic has proven that we are living in an unprecedented time and these still remain somewhat unchartered waters for the enterprises.
The post pandemic world is where we shall continue seeing a balance between people working from offices and remotely. As more people get vaccinated, and with the comparatively relaxed pandemic restrictions, organizations are gradually getting back to work-from-office mode. However, a recent study by Salesforce suggests that about 72% of the white collar employees (knowledge workers) surveyed, expect a flexibility to work remotely. Over 1500 employees were surveyed in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland. It is evident from the survey that a hybrid work environment is the need of the hour where the employees have the option of choosing to work remotely or from office premises.
One aspect that has come through clearly is the need for positivity and mental health support from employers. A study suggests that working from home has a major impact on people’s mental health. While 67% say they felt less connected to their colleagues, and 56% believe that they found it harder to disconnect. The same survey also confirmed that almost 74% would be interested in a hybrid work environment, while splitting their time between home working and working in an office. It is abundantly clear that good mental health is crucial in both personal and professional settings. This is a huge step forward as it creates a greater level of awareness and helps recognize the factors that contribute to the poor mental health of the employees.
From an employee mental wellness point of view, organizations will have to step-up in order to create strategies that reach out and aid in supporting the mental wellness of its employees in the new normal of hybrid work environment.
A one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work is not a solution
Blanket policies dictating the terms of the hybrid work environment may end up defeating the purpose entirely. The decision makers should create a live strategy that evolves with employee expectations and an ever-evolving industry ecosystem.
Creating a Culture of Care
Employees expect sustainable and mentally healthy workplaces. By offering the support, enterprises are able to demonstrate their stance on the subject of mental health thus reflecting the values and the culture of the organization. It is important that as a part of their multidimensional strategies, every enterprise must promote good mental health practices within the organization, and create a culture where the employees are educated about mental health challenges and efforts to remedy them.
Inclusivity Is Important
A survey by McKinsey & Company reveals that respondents of all backgrounds, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation have encountered barriers to feeling included sometime or the other. It is evident from the same survey that an organization can gain significantly from the perspective and experiences of a diverse workforce if they feel truly welcomed at work, allowing them to contribute more effectively.
The impact of mental health challenges in the workplace has ramifications not just for the individual but also for the company's productivity. Employees' mental health has a direct impact on employee and enterprise performance. As a part of its policies, enterprises should have available access to mental health support for employees to help them cope with the challenges. Keeping in mind the complete spectrum of mental health and its challenges, the organizations must offer various channels and approaches of dissemination of the support, thus providing options for the employee to choose from as per their convenience. In an ideal situation, it is advisable that the enterprises foster a culture where they encourage employees to have a healthy work-life balance limiting the work communications within the working hours only.
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