It’s no surprise that many remote workers are anxious about the reluctant return to the office. As the after-effects of the pandemic begin to take centre stage, heading back into the office is just one of the challenges that businesses will face as the corporate landscape continues to change.
With a vaccination program slowly healing the Covid-19 outbreak, it seems as if the majority of corporate businesses are swapping their slippers for shiny shoes. With a predicted 47% of workers heading back to the Monday commute by 2021’s third quarter, it’s safe to say that anxiety levels amongst newly remote employees are high. As a post-pandemic office sits on the horizon, major changes to the new corporate workspace will be difficult to adapt to.
From socially distanced seating to sanitising stations, it has never been more important for business leaders to prioritise staff safety on the return to the office. However, mental wellbeing is not to be forgotten. In order to see the most successful transition back into the new normal, it’s time for HR to step up and take the lead in prioritising staff mental health for post-Covid success.
Impact of Covid-19 on Staff Mental Wellbeing
Swapping the office for the couch has become the new normal for many corporate workers during the pandemic. Trading workplace chatter for digital sociability has left many remote employees feeling isolated and alone. In a new study by LCP, 3 in 5 Brits claimed that they were currently worried about their mental health in response to their working conditions. With a lack of support from their employer and the office now miles away during their working day, it’s no surprise that working from home has impacted the mental wellbeing of an entire corporate nation.
As a result, companies, relying on a workforce who remain unsupported during these major changes are seeing a drop in business success and a rise in absenteeism according to a recent Health Shield Study. Using their platform to share the impacts of an unsupported workforce, they claimed that: “Mental health issues such as anxiety can cause someone to lose concentration, making it very difficult to multi-task and carry out day-to-day work activities. An employee’s stamina could also be affected, making task deadlines difficult to meet.”
Therefore, as a post-pandemic workforce returns to the office, it’s time to take workplace wellbeing seriously in order to maintain a healthy and productive workforce for ultimate business success.
Why HR Is The Key To Success
It’s proven that employees who feel supported in the workplace are more likely to perform well. Those of us with healthy mental and physical well-being find it easier to focus on daily tasks and meet the important deadlines that keep the business running smoothly.
Staff who feel as if their voices are heard and their needs are met when entering the workplace are statistically more likely to contribute to business success and set their company apart from their competitors. Therefore, a strong workforce is key if your business is looking to survive the ramifications of Covid-19.
This is where HR steps in to save the day. As the study above shows, happier organisations perform better, and human resources is the key to success. With an estimated 21% increase in profits and a 34% decrease in staff turnover, investing in workplace wellbeing schemes as a HR team will benefit the business in the long run.
How To Implement Wellbeing Into Your HR Strategy
Implementing wellbeing into your HR strategy has never been easier thanks to technological developments and the growth of workplace wellbeing providers. From workshops to ergonomic care, here are some of the easiest ways to prioritise staff wellbeing during the return to the office.
One of the newest and most effective ways to prioritise company wellbeing is to introduce regular wellbeing workshops and seminars to your working schedule. If you’re looking to improve your HR support system, breaking stigmas revolving around mental health and workplace stress is the first step towards a happier and healthier workforce.
Not only do mental health workshops improve team-building skills and company morale, but once stigmatised conditions such as anxiety and depression are talked about amongst colleagues, making employees who suffer from mental health issues more likely to step forward and seek support from HR professionals.
Physical wellbeing must also no be forgotten in the journey to achieving successful workplace wellness. Currently, 86% of office workers claim that they sit for long periods at a time from Monday-Friday each week. With office-based health decline on the rise, many full-time corporate workers are at risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity as a result of their ergonomic care.
To improve the physical health of employees, invest in some quality ergonomic work aids such as blue light glasses for heavy screen users and adjustable chairs to aid back pain and muscle strain. Healthy eating and exercise plans are also a great addition to a successful well-being scheme as educating staff members on the importance of looking after your body will encourage them to adopt healthy habits both in and out of the workplace.
With 25-30% of the corporate workforce estimated to swap the office for the couch by the end of 2021, remote well-being is also an important factor that many HR professionals need to take into consideration.
Remote wellbeing is all about becoming digitally sociable. Whether that is through the means of Zoom powered workshops, online communication tools or extra support for remote hires and staff members living alone, prioritising WFH wellbeing is imperative in order for your remote team to remain productive.