We have been shaken by a once-in-a-century pandemic, particularly in the way we perform our jobs. However, we believe it also presents a great opportunity to do things better. Globally, the pandemic compelled businesses and employees to re-examine and restructure how to live and work while re-imagining some ways of working that were operating pre-pandemic. Do we really re-think healthy working?
Research from the Centre for Transformative Work Design (CTWD) in Australia found that more than 60% of managers had doubts about remote work performance. The research found that in May 2020, more than one-third (39.3%) of all participants working from home reported high or very high levels of psychological distress. Significantly, demand for work surveillance software doubled during the pandemic and in the US many of these factors triggered the Great Resignation.
MANAGE BY WALKING AROUND (MBWA)
Good managers are able to manage people they can’t see. Think about different ways you can reach out. Have conversations with managers and leaders about the difference between managing to outputs and managing to time. It’s about achieving outcomes. Work-life balance should improve outcomes.
THE RIGHT BALANCE
According to the data, 74% of employees believed companies should be just as concerned with social issues as with their financial results, while 37% said they were prepared to quit if their employer acted in a way that was inconsistent with their values. In the top issues listed by employees, mental health and wellness ranked first, ahead of access to healthcare and cost of living.
The pandemic has allowed all businesses an opportunity of reprieve to re-evaluate and create a work environment promoting a healthy and resilient mindset.
Flexible practices and a supportive environment can offset the impact of challenging personal and psychosocial circumstances.
To build healthy teams, one should:
- ensure a shared understanding of the team’s goals and each person’s role in pursuing them
- adapt planning practices that allow for plan adjustment
- promote an environment that celebrates achievement
- provide regular opportunities to reflect in a blame-free environment, and
- practice timely, constructive feedback that flows both ways between managers and their direct reports.
PRIORITISE MENTAL HEALTH
- Talk openly about mental health.
- Be honest about your personal vulnerabilities. Leaders at all levels should be trained to recognise warning signs in people who might be suffering from mental health issues.
Don’t be afraid of asking tough questions about yourself and of your company. Growth is the result of taking positive steps. Take your culture seriously. Embrace the changes that will be needed to align with a revised strategy, systems, and capability. Re-think healthy working.