Employee wellbeing post pandemic
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that unexpected situations occur that we have no control over and we need to be able to deal with them. This means we need to be fit for purpose, both physically and mentally (let alone financially!) In other words, we need to be both adaptable to change but also resilient enough to cope.
Employee Wellbeing post-pandemic
There are multiple articles, podcasts, and interviews on the impact of Covid-19 on employee wellbeing.
Most good employers are in the process of identifying how to help their employees have the support they need to do their jobs effectively and ultimately to thrive. Happy staff makes for happy customers and it’s all good for business – but more so it’s about feeling good in the knowledge that staff are treated well, respected, and supported. For example, the adaptation to working at home will be positive for some but negative for others. The workplace provides a social environment, an opportunity to meet people and learn from others. It allows us to compartmentalise our lives into home/work. But for others not having to commute and be based at home is the perfect scenario. It enhances their life, giving them more free time and a more comfortable environment to be in. It is hugely individual, and of course, not everyone will have the choice.
What actions can you take as an employer to support your staff?
- Offer staff the opportunity to improve their mental and physical health through exercise and meditation. This could be through arranging a corporate membership rate with a local gym (for example, we offer a £25 / month fully inclusive corporate membership at our YMCA Bath Health & Wellbeing Centre) and these often do not have to cost the employer anything. You simply pass the saving onto your staff who can join directly themselves.
- Bring in professionals to offer meditation and / or yoga classes in the workplace – if you are local to Bath we can help you with this!
- Look at online apps such as Headspace and Insight Timer to help staff sleep and/or meditate. You could also investigate the feasibility of helplines and professional support provided free of charge to staff confidentially.
- Listen to staff – especially when wellbeing issues are raised – and respond positively with actions that show you hear them.
- If you expect staff to work from home ensure they have everything they need to be comfortable in that space from a good chair to lighting.
- Could you do a simple redesign of the office space to create staff areas and/or break out space where there is the opportunity to get away from the desk and meet other staff? Maybe provide free healthy snacks or fruit once a week.
- Lead by example – take a lunch break, avoid eating at the desk. If you are a leader, ensure you are spending time investing in your staff (go eat in that new breakout room) and meet people!
- Corporate events – giving staff the opportunity to do something good together such as a charity event/race / or fundraiser.
- Encourage and offer things like the ‘cycle to work scheme’ – maybe you could set up a cycling club – electric bikes are available on these schemes too!
- Encourage healthy eating and staying hydrated – maybe ditch the donuts on a Friday and bring in fresh fruit! If you have a newsletter for staff perhaps include a healthy recipe and ask people to submit photos of their bakes!
The key here is that the workplace is changing and we need to adapt with it. An organisation is only as good as the staff who represent it and therefore caring for staff is the top priority.
As an employee it is also important to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing, especially during these strange times. Here are some simple things you can do that may help.
- Talk! Always talk about how you are feeling. Some people are inclined to bottle things up in their personal and professional life. Often if you talk to colleagues, your boss or friends you can feel more settled about things that may be causing concern.
- Allow yourself down time. Ensuring an effective work-life balance is really important to physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Try to allow yourself time each day for your, even if it is just a 5-minute walk or reading a book.
- Exercise can be a vital part of health and wellbeing. This is not just about the physical effects that activity gives us. It is a proven fact that exercise releases hormones that make us feel good, added to this the positive social interaction the exercise can offer us.
- Eating a healthy balanced diet is a key aspect of physical and mental wellbeing. Try to ensure you eat regularly throughout the day, with a balanced diet of macro and micro nutrients. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!