How to Create Emotional Wellness & A Supportive Post-Pandemic Workplace
Employee Health and Emotional Wellness at Work
Large and small organizations across the country are concerned about employee health and emotional wellness at work. They are working to restructure arrangements and policies to reflect how the “new normal” will look within their offices and what that will mean for employees.
Employee benefits and workplace wellness has become increasingly important since the surge of COVID-19 and has remained crucial throughout the pandemic. Living in a time of great stress and uncertainty, and facing health challenges has weighed heavily on the workforce and their families.
As a result, corporate leadership has stepped up outside of the traditional parameters with proactive approaches to supporting employees and their loved ones with the mental, physical, emotional, and financial strains caused by the pandemic. See this Forbes article on this topic.
In order to promote emotional wellness at work and meet these challenges, business owners have had to be nimble and adapt to the ever-changing restrictions and provincial guidelines. They are working to keep their businesses operational while also keeping their teams safe and supported.
As COVID-19 enters the endemic stage and focus shifts to what the new normal will look like, we have seen some businesses issue the “return to work” orders, while others are sticking with a fully remote workplace. We recommend a tailored approach to best suit your business and team with continued leadership in terms of corporate wellness, and an emphasis on flexibility and additional support & benefits as needed.
Wellness & Working From Home
While some offices are opening doors and staff are rushing back to their stations, others continue to embrace remote work options or a blended model that allows for both, enabling their team members to be in control of deciding what the best fit may be for their situation.
Employees with chronic health conditions may experience a greater need to work from home, especially during times of peak infection rates, and new variants of concerns, or should a COVID-19 outbreak occur at the office.
Continued virtual offerings, like telehealth, and other online support services can be an inclusive way to support employees’ emotional wellness at work – from wherever they are working, and keep health and wellness at the forefront.
Mental Health Support
The additional mental health support that was offered during the pandemic period was a critical offering for employees. Burnout, depression, and substance abuse rose dramatically over the last two years and must continue to be addressed in order to have a healthy, happy and productive workforce.
In order to best support your team, we encourage openness, regular check-ins with staff, and adding an Employee Assistance Program to your package, or, if you already have one; ensure the employee benefits are well communicated and the programs are easily accessible.
Many people lost their jobs or took pay decreases due to the restructuring and downsizing of organizations during the pandemic, which put pressure on personal finances as well as their emotional wellness at work. Although government support provided relief for a period of time, we are now seeing the highest rate of inflation in Canada since 1991 amidst record surges in the cost of gasoline, utilities and power across the province.
Financial wellness is an often overlooked part of the wellness puzzle, and an underlying factor for anxiety, distraction, and poor productivity and job performance. Employers can empower and support their employees by offering benefit package add-ons that include tools for financial security like, disability insurance, life insurance, and estate planning.
Your New Normal
As you find your own new normal and return to business as usual, consider the physical, mental, and financial wellness of your team. Determine how you can best contribute to their emotional wellness at work and support them by utilizing employee benefits and incorporating greater flexibility in practices and policies.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to one of our advisors at Benefit Strategies Inc. by calling (780) 437-5070.