When work entered homes, was life thrown out!
- by Sanjana Shivaram
Faster than mankind was prepared, the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the entire globe. Resilient humans came up with the ingenuity of technology to answer some aspects. Work from Home was one of them. But then, is it always about the technology alone?
When work came uninvited to our homes, life had no place to stay! A survey conducted across twenty-eight countries by the World Economic Forum with Ipsos has revealed that most employed adults report experiencing significant work-related disruption with a negative impact on their wellbeing. Nearly half of those who worked from home say they have felt lonely or isolated. Experts have rightly predicted that the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to leave a legacy of mental health problems. Home no longer shielded them.Work is not going to leave our homes soon!
A global research report by Lenovo of 20,262 workers worldwide, has revealed that 74% of survey respondents from India agree they will continue to work from home more than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. This shows that WFH will be a preferred way of working in the near future too. How do we then stop this significant and continued negative impact on our well-being? Here are some aspects we need to consider:
#Flexible to Fixed working hours:Work has taken more time than it should ideally. The number of hours has been stretched or staggered. Timings are not followed strictly. With limited avenues of socializing, the time available all day seems to be taken up by work. Organizations must take proactive steps to encourage fixed working hours. With online classes, web socializing, virtual learning, app-based ordering, and telemedicine for the aged at home freeing up our time, work seems to take it all. A fixed working hours policy allows employees to restrict the number of hours they put into work. There is a good case to move from time spent to output generated.
# Work Experience to Life Experience:Work Experience has given way to Life Experience. Employers have to embrace the life situations of employees. Life at work, the water cooler discussions and face to face meetings are being replaced with some innovative online options. Many employers are also including families in interactions and using the opportunity to build stronger bonds.
# Psychological support infrastructure:Office infrastructure has been added on with psychological support infrastructure. In a time of extreme stress, it may be helpful to seek the help of professional counsellors or advisors in the form of workshops or counselling sessions. This can be accompanied by employee assistance programs to keep employees motivated.
# Future Relevance:A large part of the anxiety and stress is emanating from the uncertainty of being relevant in the future. Updating skills, adjusting to the new business situation, being relevant in the new normal are some of the top concerns of employees. Several companies are offering reskilling support to employees and that is going a long way in addressing anxiety and stress.
Sanjana Shivaram is Counsellor at 1to1help.net, India's leading Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider. To know more on how the WFH environment can affect your organization and what needs to be done, register for the Webinar today.