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Maintaining the wellbeing of a hybrid workforce

When knowledge workers first switched to hybrid working en masse, many expected that more time at home (and less commuting) could only improve their mental health and wellbeing. But, for many workforces, the blurring of lines between home and work has taken its toll.

With support from Harvard Business Review, researchers found 55% of workers globally didn’t feel that they had been able to balance their home and work life. And global analysis of behaviour on Microsoft 365 shows how professionals have experienced more intense working days, as well as meeting and chat overload. All of which can be a recipe for poor wellbeing and high staff turnover.

Robert Walters global survey found that the blurring of work and home life was the most common issue faced by professionals while working from home.

The high prevalence of burn out and stress among workers suggests many employers need to do more to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of their people. Organisations that succeed will be more likely to retain their best people and have a positive message for potential new recruits. Tactics may include:

  1. Training and tools: A 2021 PwC global survey found only 21% of workers say their employer helps them manage stress and focus on mental/emotional wellbeing. Proactive employers should share knowledge and tools with managers and staff that helps them maintain wellbeing and address any concerns early.
  2. Publicly commit: The employer value proposition should consistently talk about the organisation’s commitment to wellbeing at every stage; from job adverts and job interviews, to onboarding and regular ongoing employee communications.
  3. Digital channels: Many people feel more comfortable accessing wellbeing support online, and sometimes anonymously. Make sure staff are made of aware of any digital resources and how to access them confidentially. 
  4. Measure and refine: It’s important to measure the take-up and effectiveness of wellbeing tools and resources – and continually improve them based on employee needs and feedback.
  5. Rethink processes: Hybrid working is all about flexibility so use that to its full potential. Encourage people to use the full suite of digital and in-person communication options, instead of assuming a video meeting is required and adding to everyone’s ‘Zoom fatigue’.
  6. Clarify obligations: Irrespective of geography, every employer has legal and regulatory requirements relating to the safety and wellbeing of their employees. As your organisation’s wellbeing activities evolve, double check you still comply with your obligations. 

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