The New Post-Pandemic Challenge For HR
Remote work for some is here to stay, but some companies have mandated their employees to come back to work in the office. Many employees are still resisting the idea because they have created a “new normal” due to the pandemic by working remotely. New forms of hybrid work have emerged, allowing employees to work some days in the office and some days from home.
But not all companies have the luxury for their workers to do so. Some industries – healthcare, postal, education, construction, food and beverage, policing, and other essential services – never got such flexibility to do remote work. These employees have a high probability of burning out (if they haven’t already).
It is challenging for many to head back to the office full time and some simply don’t want to because they love this new way of working. For most office staff, work can be done nearly anywhere with portable high-tech devices and easily accessible high-speed Internet. However, there are many benefits to getting the staff to work in the office. Employers are now managing a fine balancing act between what management needs versus what the employees want.
Employees are the most valuable assets in any organization. Consequently, workplaces need their employees satisfied, engaged, and happy in order to retain them. Your workplace is at risk if your talent leaves. Your workers are who get things done and they dedicate so much of their life working for your company.
The new challenge becomes:
How do you encourage employees to come back to the office while keeping them happy and productive post-COVID-19?
Pandemic And Remote Work Takes A Toll On Employee Well-Being
Sure, it’s great to not have to commute to work and have more time to yourself. However, employees are missing out on what working in the office with a team can offer – spontaneous collaboration, common goal energy, mentoring, social networking, and the lifestyle that comes with leaving the house to go to the office. This is especially true for the younger workforce just entering into the workplace, as it is these face-to-face interactions that they need the most and for the opportunity to have senior management organically share their knowledge and experience.
Returning full-time to the office is going to be a hard sell for many as it is no doubt more convenient to cut one’s commute time down from a freeway traffic jam and have more time with the family. But what happens when the pandemic and remote work causes negative effects on the emotional and mental well-being of your staff and how can you help them through these difficult times?
“Just from a business standpoint, lost productivity due to mental health illness cost Canadian businesses an estimated $6 billion annually. And that was before the pandemic. With the surge in anxiety and depression, that cost for businesses is expected to rise.
On the other hand, organizations that champion employee well-being are far more engaged, motivated and productive. They tend to experience higher retention rates, reduced absenteeism, employee burnout and workplace injuries.— Source: HRPA, Mental Health in the Workplace
Solution: Corporate Responsibility for Wellness
Avoid your workforce dreading the back-to-office work mandate, quiet quitting, or leaving your organization altogether, by simply providing attention and resources to optimize their well-being. Simply put, show them you care about them! Create a work culture that fosters collaboration and inspires staff to be healthy and happy. Provide opportunities for personal development, recognition, wellness, and team building.
A company risks losing its workers if full-time back to work measures are implemented without thinking from your employee’s perspective. If workers need to come back to the office, they want to do so on their terms and know there is a work culture that cares about them as a person and not just their maximum output.
Instilling a workplace culture of wellness, celebration, recognition, mentorship, team building, and education will be vital to success. The talent pool is getting smaller, with the baby boomers aging out of the workplace and a slower birth rate; it’s a really big deal. Plus so many people are unwell, stressed with aging parents, babies, family life, mental health struggles, inflation, rising interest rates, lack of personal wellness, and being priced out of their communities due to the housing crisis. Things are changing and everyone wants more balance. People want to feel a part of something more in their work than just a great paycheque – they want to be part of a community, feel safe, and be taken care of.
Actionable Plan: Implementing An Employee Wellness Program
How do you show your employees that management cares about their well-being? Implement wellness programs and initiatives to keep the workforce healthy, happy, and engaged.
A great way to promote wellness in the workplace is give back with on-site amenities such as:
- complimentary chair massage
- yoga and fitness classes and challenges
- catered meals
- health coaching
Your team devotes a significant amount of time to your company. Demonstrate your support by providing exceptional extended medical benefit packages and provide some awesome in-office amenities.
Corporate On-Site Massages Delivered To The Office
With perks such as in-office chair massage days, your team will feel so loved and desire to come work at the office. It’s an inclusive service for all to participate. Employees don’t need to take time out of their busy schedule to get wellness. It’s embedded into your work culture and they would love your company for it.
Getting short 10-15 minute sessions are a quick and powerful way to help relieve tension, reduce stress, and improve circulation. Watch your office morale shoot through the roof!
Wouldn’t it be great if your employees can take a relaxing break in a wellness lounge in the office? A calming environment with a resting area would make for a nice space.
Wellness Gift Sets
If your office has already transitioned to fully remote work, consider sending wellness products to support workers at their homes to show your continued commitment to their well-being. Employers have a responsibility to create a healthy and safe working environment for their employees. Encouraging wellness is an important aspect of this responsibility, as it can help prevent work-related injuries, burnout, illnesses, and promote a positive work culture.
Make It A Win-Win!
By bringing wellness into your workplace you’ll be taking an important step towards improving employee morale, productivity, and providing a compelling reason for your staff to come work out of the office. Your employees will thank you for it! Don’t wait any longer to give your workplace culture the wellness it needs.
Interested in exploring innovative ways to foster wellness at work? We’d love to schedule a meeting with you to discuss your corporate wellness needs. We can help improve your organization’s culture, productivity, and back to the office initiatives.