We are currently in the midst of one of the world's largest pandemics, resulting in us all having to make drastic changes to life as we know it. We have just about got our heads around that working from home may just be the new norm for many of us. But, how are we really adjusting to these abrupt changes that were forced upon the nation, and what effect is it having on us psychologically?
Change is a part of life, it happens whether we are ready or not. Overnight we had to adjust and adapt to the changes that came with Covid-19. For those that are accustomed to and appreciative of conventional “office life” and enjoy social interaction in the office; making the change to remote working may have caused even just slightly a deterioration of mental health. With the amount of uncertainty that came with Covid-19 it can really leave us feeling fearful, stressed, anxious and powerless.
Studies have shown that since Covid-19 over 85% of businesses found that productivity increased with remote working options (IWG Global Workplace Survey). This result was attributed to a number of factors including less distraction and interruptions and reduced stress from not having a commute. However, a study by Thrive Global showed that 85% said they wanted more help from their employers to help adapt to the downsides of remote working resulting in not having any work/life boundaries as well as pressures on communication, community, tech challenges and health concerns around being in an unequipped office environment. According to another study done by Glassdoor US it showed that 52% of people said that their productivity levels were increased during lockdown and 51% of people said that working from home offered a more work-life balance, so that really leaves it quite a 50/50 split. It goes to show that lockdown pros and cons are dependent on each individual's needs and requirements to work efficiently in the right environment.
It is obvious that health and mental wellbeing are high priorities in staff productivity, motivation and morale meaning that our post-Covid-19 offices will have to once again adapt. Making the transition back into the workplace may also not be that easy with even the thought of it for some, being quite daunting. So, businesses that prioritise the wellbeing of their people during this turbulent period will help ensure a more positive company culture and strengthen employee loyalty all contributing to the company's bottom line!
So, what can you do to ensure wellbeing is at the forefront of your employee engagement and boost your Covid Recovery strategy?
Take the time to ask your employees what would make a positive difference to be able to minimise any worries or concerns whilst working from home or if they are having to return to work. Ask them what they would like to see change within the company to help relieve any stress or tension. This may mean providing office furniture for their home office or consider permanent changes to the current office layout. You could arrange a meeting or even carry out a survey.
We truly recommend this step from a personal experience as one of our very first stages in the design process. We ask that our client hold out a team questionnaire so that we can understand exactly what the employees need from their prospective to improve efficiency and productivity within the office. We offer a templated team questionnaire that can be adjusted to your requirements. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.
2. Clear concise communication.
There is a lot of uncertainty around whether working from home will be indefinite or if there are plans in place to return. All this uncertainty leaves people feeling anxious and unmotivated when they are not aware of what the next steps are. It is important that whatever plans you are making are clearly communicated to all employees. By providing a summary or review of your current pandemic preparedness will prove your employees that their organisation is supporting their health and wellbeing. Any update is better than no update.
Here at Remarcable, we are approachable and encourage open conversation to ensure our team feels confident to ask any questions whenever they may be feeling unsure. Having clear communication between us allows us to feel at ease and get on with our tasks more efficiently and offer support where needed.
3. Encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Whether your employees remain working from home or if they slowly are returning to the workplace ensure that you have resources available to encourage your staff to have a work-life balance. Scheduling time out in their day for mindful activities such as yoga or meditation providing access to virtual therapists or wellness platforms which are increasingly on the rise it is possible that the integration of such activities within the workplace could soon become standard practice. Self-care is a priority for staff to regain their energy and productivity.
Remarcable is focused around wellbeing, it is actually our top priority when designing a new space. We established that work-life balance is vital for our wellbeing and we are able to implement this through design. There is a lot that can be done to a space in order to meet work-life balance requirements as well as the needs of your staff. For example creating closed off break out areas or wellness activity rooms, by dedicating areas for activities it encourages them to be practiced regularly.
Find out how to unleash the potential of your working space with our free design consultation. Speak to one of Remarcable’s design experts that will take you through a conversational questionnaire which will help you identify the next steps and make the right choices.
‘Happy People Work Better’
Remarcable Design Team