By Jane Thompson
We’re moving swiftly into 2022, is it just me but January actually seems to have gone quickly this year? Maybe we are all just keen to get to Spring and lower Covid rates (fingers crossed).
Never has there been more discussion about our mental health and wellbeing and how employers should support staff, and the research and discussion in the news continues. It is good that people are realising that mental health is a continuum that needs to be constantly looked after.
A recent article I read that is featured on our Workplace Wellbeing Hub recommended reading list is how work-life balance and personal wellbeing are the top priorities for younger generations, (Gen Z and millennials) when looking for a job, according to a report by Deloitte.
Having said that, nearly four out of ten respondents do not believe their staff took efforts to assist their mental health throughout the pandemic.
Businesses must adopt a more compassionate work environment for reasons other than to get the best out of their employees.
In this article a few industry members share their visions for mental health in 2022:
Healthy, happy teams result in dynamic, resilient organisations: For all the talk of “work-life balance,” it is important to understand that as human beings, we can’t just flick a switch at the end of the work day and shake off the professional pressure.
“The workplace has an important supporting role to play in the wellbeing of its employees – we’re ultimately only as strong as the weakest link. Resilient, motivated employees make for dynamic organisations, so it really is in a company’s best interest to encourage and support the wellbeing of their employees in a structured and empathetic way,” says Reagen Kok, CEO at Hoorah Digital.
The physical environment must support wellness. The impact the physical work environment has on our wellbeing is increasingly well understood. According to David Seinker, CEO and Founder of The Business Exchange, In the world of hybrid work, the workplace needs to be more than a functional place in which work is done, but rather be an inviting space that promotes creativity and collaboration, or “less office cubicle and more café lounge”, as the Harvard Business Review puts it.
Serviced office spaces, a mainstay of hybrid work models, are characteristically inviting – spaces that incorporate greenery, natural light, art and design, all of which contribute to making the space a pleasant one to be in.
Empathy is key: Employees can easily conceal their troubles in the virtual world, either voluntarily or unwittingly. “Supporting mental health should be motivated by empathy, which demonstrates a genuine concern for the ideas, feelings, and life experiences of others,” says Matt Poladian, VP of People at Liferay.
The best way to build empathy is to listen intently to your people and proactively ask questions to learn more about what is going on with them.
“Empathy is essential for building an environment where all employees feel safe and comfortable. This is critical not just for the employees’ well-being but also for an organisation’s creativity and productivity,” explains Poladian.
Jane Thompson, CWC