A study by the CIPD, or Professional Association of Human Resource Management Professionals, showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our mindset when it comes to working from home and working remotely. Of the respondents to the survey, 61% admitted that their work-life balance has improved. Companies are predicting an increase in the number of employees working full-time remotely in the aftermath of the pandemic. So it is obvious that there has been a permanent change in the mindset when it comes to teleworking. Although, on the one hand, the possibility of teleworking is something that many employees crave and that reduces certain variable costs, but in the case of employees who work remotely on a large scale, there are also several aspects that are worth remembering. The survey found that 47% of employees were concerned about their mental health due to teleworking. This is a very high percentage and inevitably makes you wonder what can we do to support the well-being and mental health of workers who work remotely?

Which of these components have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis?

All components of well-being are affected. During the health crisis, the physical well-being of employees is most clearly affected. In the midst of strict restrictions and a closed society, which makes it difficult for people to spend much more time at home, it is difficult to maintain their current healthy habits. Physical well-being is also affected by the fact that many people lacked proper tools and an environment at home when they went to work remotely. In this regard, employers can support their employees make your employees aware of the importance of physical health and also contribute to maintaining people’s healthy habits.
By helping employees maintain their healthy habits, you also help prevent unhealthy behaviors that could lead to various health risks and develop into chronic diseases. Various in-house wellness programs help increase employee productivity healthy people have less time at work where they don’t actually work. Mental well-being is mainly influenced by the ignorance and fear that accompanies a crisis situation.
Many companies suddenly had to give up working in the office and redirect all their employees to remote work, i.e. work from home. All this had to be done with just a day or two of notice. With such a major change, such a short notice period is in itself frightening because it indicates the seriousness of the situation. Many companies were not familiar with remote work until now and lacked the necessary knowledge, processes and instructions to switch to remote work. In many cases, employees were sent to the home office without further explanation of the situation, introduction of new processes or even knowing how long

such a work arrangement would remain in force.
On top of all this, the rising numbers of coronavirus cases seen in the media, the banks’ predictions that a major economic crisis is expected, and the budgets frozen by employers and reports of major layoffs also caused stress. All this referred to the fact that the situation is bad. It is quite understandable that employees began to worry about their future when will all this reach my employer, and when will my salary be reduced or even laid off?
In challenging times, in-house communication is crucial. By keeping their employees informed of the situation and changes, employees perceive that they have not been forgotten and that their well-being is cared for. In a crisis situation, the employer should be transparent in its decisions and explain the reasons behind the decisions. Open and honest communication helps to reduce employee insecurity and stress. This, in turn, helps to maintain the mental well-being of employees, even in difficult situations. As an employer, you can also consider, for example, distributing supporting materials or conducting webinars for your employees. In 2018, 35% of working Americans experienced chronic work-related stress.
Can you imagine what that percentage could be in today’s coronavirus crisis? Work-related stress is not a personal problem for one individual. This is a problem for the whole organization. Work-related stress is caused by work-related circumstances. The main stressors in the workplace are work relationships, the pace of work and in a situation where work-life balance tends to disappear.
One of the great factors affecting well-being is a sense of social belonging. In a situation where the coronavirus crisis has forced us to work from home or even wait at home until the situation improves, the social aspect of our lives has drastically decreased. People are isolated in their homes and the sense of belonging begins to disappear over time. When social well-being suffers, it also affects other components of well-being.
People feel more stressed, lonely, less motivated, and ignorance and uncertainty about the future increase. Therefore, it is important for the employer to help preserve the social aspects of work. Employers could take more time for online meetings to examine the performance of their employees. Companies with a strong culture have started organizing online lunches, online counseling, online workouts and parties, and many other initiatives to help show employees that they are not alone, as they transition to remote work. There are many ways to do this find the right initiatives for your company.
Review your company’s today’s wellness program. Does it cover all seven components of well-being? Is it still relevant today? Does it provide the best possible support for your employees? Take a critical look at your wellness program and make sure it’s up to date and supports your employees even in challenging times.
If you feel that you would like help in maintaining the well-being of your employees, feel free to let us know! We are happy to help!

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