2020 has been one of the toughest years for business and individuals around the world. Bringing the workplace to the home hasn’t been an easy transition for many. Employees have been left juggling a career with their personal space whilst a health crisis is on everyone’s mind.
From not having the appropriate office setup to having to share their work life with their personal lives, it's been a period of adjustment. Working remotely has also been a challenge for leaders managing their teams and checking on their employees wellbeing.
2020 has been a year to learn about the impact of remote working, and how wellbeing at work has also an important role to play for business success. 2021 provides the opportunity for a conversation to be had about placing mental and physical wellbeing at the core of an HR program.
We’re going to take a look at how to identify workplace stressors and how to promote wellbeing at work - be it in an office or working remotely.
What are some key workplace stressors?
Whilst the workplace has moved in 2020, the factors that cause stress haven’t. In fact, there may be more associated stressors due to the new environments your employees are working in.
Pre-covid, video conferencing may have only been a small portion of your workplace efforts but since the pandemic, businesses have been working throughout the day on this technology. Internal and external calls, meetings and, being available to catch up with the team, are all adding more to the workday and yes, in turn, causing stress.
Other workplace stressors include;
- Long hours
- Increased workload
- Changes within the organisation
- Tight deadlines
- Changes to duties and job role
- Job insecurity
- Admin requirements
- Lack of autonomy
- Boring work
- Lack of focused time
- Insufficient skills for the job
- Work-life balance overlapping
- Inadequate working environment
- Lack of proper resources
- Lack of equipment
- Few development opportunities
How home life affects work life
Currently, remote working is merging the balance between work and life. For many, it may be the first time that they’ve had to work from home after years of the routine of going to the office. It's easy to forget that not all homes are equipped with an office or a workplace setting that makes it easy to work from home.
Many have lost control over their environments and lives such as; how they work, shop, exercise, sleep, socialise, keep in contact and even learn. Before, juggling personal and work life was easier to distinguish; office and home were separate but now they are often the same thing. This is causing more home life stress, as the hours spent at a screen and juggling priorities with longer hours (thanks to no commuting) has made a lot of people (64% in a recent CIPD survey) feel overwhelmed and anxious.
Of course there are things that can be put in place to ensure that some of the stress is taken care of. For example, businesses can provide laptops and computers to work from home. Desks, chairs, conferencing software and additional I.T equipment could be sent to the employees house to make the transition easier.
Also, establishing a clear policy on video-conferencing to reduce time spent being at the screen can ease anxiety and make employees feel less micro-managed.
What can employees do if they’re struggling with stress?
A key to reducing workplace stress is good feedback. Managers should be in contact with their employees on a regular basis but not micro-managing.
By establishing some team routines for catch-ups and setting out the work for the day, managers can spend their time checking on the workplace wellbeing of their employees. Scheduling calls, 121s and even performing assessments to see how their team is doing is a critical part of the workload.
Feedback mechanisms are essential now more than ever. Employees must be able to tell their manager that they are overwhelmed or struggling to work from home in these current situations.
Managers must also be on hand to help with additional support such as providing numbers to contact charities or specialists to help deal with mental wellbeing at this crucial time.
Whilst it's important to focus on worker wellbeing at this time, it's equally important to continue doing so when staff return to the office. Looking after your worker’s wellbeing is essential. Regular conversations and assessments will be required to maintain this support, and understanding what stressors can cause issues means the can be addressed before they have an impact. All these are important elements in dealing with wellbeing in the workplace.
Identify stressors and promote wellbeing at work with Thomas
Finding the right wellbeing strategies comes down to your business. Everyone is different, just as every organisation is unique. Our Employee Engagement assessment helps you to establish the levels of engagement within your organisation and identify strategies and initiatives to enhance employee wellbeing, motivation and productivity.
Speak to one of our team to understand how our solutions can promote wellbeing in your workplace.