Mental health in the post-pandemic workplace is more important than ever. Discussions of mental health in the workplace have become more common since the beginning of the pandemic. And there have been numerous changes to the workplace to help employees feel more comfortable doing their job.
Many companies permitted employees to work from home, and a significant number of those companies have gone to full-time remote work, not requiring employees to come back to the office. They found it was better for the company and the employees. Plus, employees felt less stressed and had an increase in productivity while the company saved money on the overhead of office space.
Some companies allowed flexible work schedules, and others created new health and wellness programs for their employees.
As the country starts to open back up and many employees are required to go back to the office, we’ve been experiencing something called “The Great Resignation.” Employees are leaving their jobs for better opportunities that allow them to feel a greater sense of well-being and reduce their stress. According to Michelle Tenzyk, founder and CEO of East Tenth Group, a New York-based leadership and executive coaching firm in a recent SHRM article, “The pandemic has exacerbated mental health challenges, even for people who were on solid footing before.”
Employers are now dealing with a new problem: keeping their employees happy so they won’t leave. There are recent efforts to help employees deal with mental health in the post-pandemic workplace so they can get back to work.
Many companies are allowing either a more flexible work schedule or the ability to work remotely. Frequently, both. This will enable employees to have a better work-life balance. Everyone wants to have time for their family, and it encourages more productivity and focus. But these flexibility policies need to be clearly defined so that employees aren’t wondering what’s acceptable and what’s not. Companies need to create policies around a flexible and/or remote work schedule.
We’re all still feeling a little nervous about big events or packed offices. Over the pandemic, we learned to adjust to social distancing while maintaining contact with video chats, online networking events, and virtual social gatherings. Keeping large events virtual helps employees feel safe and secure. Especially with the option to work remotely, online meetings can be productive while assisting employees in feeling comfortable about interaction.
With the discussions of mental health being more prominent now, creating new employee programs is necessary. Adding health and wellness programs to employee benefits packages is a great way to make employees feel valued and accepted.
Great ways to make employees feel safer and happier include
- Gym memberships
- Health and wellness speakers
- Healthy snack options in the break room
- Weekly emails focused on tips for well-being
- The opportunity to speak to a professional if needed
It’s a new world, and it’s unlikely that things will ever return to the way they were before the pandemic. It’s vital for employers to embrace change and find new ways to help employees find a comfortable work-life balance and feel comfortable in their jobs.
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