Employee wellness, as shared above, buckets several components of well-being. 2020, bringing upon the worst health crisis the existing generations have gone through, forced one and all to rethink and reset the importance we place on wellness.
Post shifting to remote working overnight, several organizations emphasized communication, connection and collaboration as focus areas, to the extent of incorporating over-communication, not realizing the long-term impact of the excess conversations and timelines on the blurry work and home boundaries, and consequently, the well-being of employees, which has in recent months resulted in excessive stress and burn out, and deteriorating mental health.
Microsoft’s latest Work Trend Index report brought how the pandemic impacted well-being at work globally with five key findings:
According to the report, over 30 percent of firstline and information workers stated the pandemic has increased their feelings of burnout at work. The report also highlighted that everyone is experiencing this time differently—44 percent of those in Brazil are feeling more burned out compared to 31percent in the US and 10 percent in Germany. In terms of how longer workdays impact feelings of burnout—workers in Australia saw the highest increase in workday span in Microsoft Teams (45 percent), with a medium increase in burnout. While workers in Germany saw very little change to workday span or feelings of burnout. Among all the surveyed markets globally, India was found to have the longest workday span.
Highlighting the criticality of ensuring mental well-being, SVP and Head of HR (Global) & Corporate Quality, CSS, Corp Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, said, “Uncertainty breeds anxiety, and we are living in uncertain times. Since the pandemic began, 36 per cent of India Inc. employees reported that their mental health had worsened, found a recently concluded survey by HR and well-being firm – The7thFold. It goes without saying that it is the need of the hour to have our minds healthy and hearty to overcome the isolation, fear and agony caused by the pandemic.”
Speaking of the much needed education about mental health to effectively address it, Shefali Garg, Senior Director, People Strategy, Publicis Sapient, said, “We need to create spaces at work that are inclusive and non-discriminatory. To do this we must empower ourselves with the right knowledge about mental health, practice empathy, and help to create a safe space where people can open up about their mental health issues, instead of feeling judged for seeking help or wanting to seek help.” Garg added that despite mental health being a pressing subject, most healthcare providers don’t share it in their plans voluntarily. “At Publicis Sapient, we worked with healthcare providers to include mental healthcare as part of the insurance cover, over and above the Employee Assistance Program services we provide.”