7 ways to boost post-lockdown wellbeing of employees in the workplace

July 15, 2021

Boosting wellbeing of employees

Before the lockdown, the average American employee spent about 34 hours at work weekly. However, since the lockdown, many work environments have evolved from fully physical to remote and a mix of both, lowering the amount of time spent in a physical office significantly.  

With the effects of the pandemic slowly but surely being tackled and some of the employee workforce returning to physical work, there is a need to evaluate the wellbeing of employees in the workplace. 

Not only should it be evaluated, but it is also crucial for employers to look out for areas where improvements should be made to create a pleasant, wholesome and serene work environment for staff.

A good place to start is to look into the after-effects of the lockdown on your employees’ work-life during the lockdown. 

This information will be necessary for highlighting the possible challenges that employees returning to the workplace may face and how to avoid, tackle or improve them. 

The effects of the lockdown on employees

Being forced to work at home due to the pandemic, however relaxing it might sound, was quite the opposite for most employees. The new way of working was not only a challenge but also new for many people and took some time to get used to. 

From parents who had to deal with caring for children and attending to work, to couples who were now stuck with each other at home all day, and single individuals who battled depression from being holed up alone through the lockdown, the lockdown work-life racked up many side-effects.

Anxiety and insecurity

Workers developed anxiety over their jobs and felt insecure about whether they would be laid off or retained due to the economic downturn during the pandemic. 

Loss of focus

Employees had to deal with losing long-term attention spans or losing focus while working. Many workers had to multitask and juggle many responsibilities as they filled in shoes as workers, parents, and caregivers to the sick while on lockdown.

Longer work hours

Working from home during the pandemic made many employees work longer hours. The inability to focus on tasks made some workers have to put in more time and effort to get the job done. Others threw themselves into their work for lack of other activities to keep busy, resulting in overwork. 

Mental health challenges

With workers confined to one space for the period of the lockdown, many mental health issues were triggered or became difficult to manage. And even though many employers managed to find a way to keep their employees happy while working from home, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for everybody.

Why is wellbeing of employees in the workplace important?

The wellbeing of employees in the workplace is of the utmost importance and a great benefit to the company because a toxic work environment hampers many work processes.

If an employee is unsatisfied or not in a good space mentally, it could lead to all sorts of workplace problems, including poor work performance and bad behavior towards customers and colleagues.

Enhanced productivity

A work environment that forces staff to work long hours, endless shifts, take little to no breaks, or have zero personal time, is setting themselves up for poor employee output. 

When employees feel valued, understood, refreshed, and provided for at the office, it helps to boost their productivity levels significantly.

They become more eager to go to work and spend time engaging in their work activities because the atmosphere enhances productivity. They also have more energy and are mentally alert, so there are fewer costly human errors occurring in the office.

Improved loyalty and employee retention

With a work environment that is welcoming, positive, and understanding of employee wellbeing, your staff is more likely to feel inclined to be loyal to you and your business. 

Employee loyalty leads to employee retention, which improves brand reputation. When customers know that your employees love working at the company and truly enjoy their jobs, it helps to build their trust in the credibility of the business. 

A loyal employee can also help to spread the word about your business without being asked. They are proud to associate with the business and soon become your no.1 ambassador without any hassle.

Attracting the best candidates

Every employee loves to feel valued and respected at their workplace. However, no one is attracted to toxic work cultures. They would rather go for companies that offer perks and other initiatives for staff wellbeing

If your company ranks among the most respected companies with enough initiatives to improve staff well-being, then you will be like a magnet, drawing in only the best candidates looking to work with your company. 

7 cool ways to improve wellbeing of employees in the workplace after lockdown

Now that you understand the effects of the lockdown on employees and the need for an improvement, let’s equip you with seven fantastic ways to improve the wellbeing of employees in the workplace so they’ll enjoy coming back to work after the lockdown. 

Make provisions for healthy snacks and a sanitary work environment

A priority for many workers in these times is the health safety of their environments and the food they eat. People are looking to steer clear of the virus and keep a healthy immune system. 

Usually, staff rooms are filled with all sorts of unhealthy snacks that could compromise workers’ health and reduce their productivity. Not enforcing COVID-19 health protocols at the office, which is a public space, can also be a concern to many employees. 

By providing a healthy alternative to junk food like delicious fruits, vegetables, healthy snacks, and other tidbits that employees like to snack on, you encourage a healthy eating culture that boosts employee diet and health. 

Enforcing the health protocols for public spaces can also help employees feel safer and more eager to come to work.

Emphasize the necessity for employees with health issues to take sick days

With employees just getting used to the physical work setting again, it’s easy for physical exhaustion to occur. Work burnout is also a thing that can occur in any employee. 

In situations like this, employees may be reluctant to take days off because it may have negative effects on their work hours or attendance. 

With a good workplace wellbeing initiative for employee health in place, your staff will understand the importance of staying away from work when they feel burnt-out or sick. 

Introduce natural lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting in a room. 

If you’re looking to brighten up employees’ lives and work areas a little, you should invest in office interior design as well because introducing lots of natural lighting can have profound effects. You not only give their workplace a new look but natural light is also found to reduce eyestrain up to 51% and headaches up to 63%.

Natural light also makes the workplace appear brighter and cheerier, uplifting employees’ moods, spurring them to be much nicer to colleagues and clients at the office. 

Provide mental health resources and programs

A company that cares about its employees’ mental health is one that everybody loves. 

Improving wellbeing of employees in the workplace cannot exclude considering their mental health challenges too. A great way to ensure that your employees are in a good place mentally is to set up mental health resources and programs within the office. 

You can provide access to an in-house therapist for employees who would like to see one, or you can offer them online mental health portals that provide round-the-clock mental health assistance.

Offer a wellness program on the company

Another thing that improves employee wellbeing is wellness programs that are designed to do so.

Employees deserve a break once in a while, and providing a company-sponsored wellness program is a way to ensure that they get one. Even better, it can become a regular team building or team relaxation session where members of a team can go to unwind and destress. 

There are many amazing wellness programs like team yoga sessions, spa days, company workout challenges, etc., that the company can inculcate. All you need to do is ensure that it is relaxing and enjoyed as a team.

Introduce an employee recognition reward

Making your employees feel valued and recognized is one way to improve wellbeing of employees in the workplace. By introducing rewards and interesting perks for well-deserving employees, you are promoting a work environment that encourages positive feedback.

Employee recognition rewards could range from an employee of the month award to shoutouts, gifts, bonuses, and even a promotion and will surely inspire employees to do their best.

Give employees company freebies they can actually use

Many times companies produce promotional items for their customers and clients to create awareness about the business. You can also create exciting and branded freebies for employees that are useful in improving their well-being. 

Freebies can be anything from branded mugs to workout gear, comfy sweaters, or easy-to-carry water bottles. 

Conclusion

The lockdown left many employees in a confused state mentally and physically. From hours of sitting at home working while juggling other activities, the workplace is trying to go back to life as we know it. 

While some companies may retain a flexible work environment, for some, it’s back to physical working. This article will help you navigate the post-lockdown work-life as you work to enhance the wellbeing of employees in the workplace.

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