Support staff morale this National Work Life Week
We all want to be happier at work. Our colleagues are the people we interact with most throughout the week. We need to take care of our colleagues and employees wellbeing to ensure and demonstrates workplace happiness benefits organisations and their people. It is no longer enough for employers to view employee wellbeing and morale as a ‘nice-to-have’ feature. Work wellbeing programmes can be a gamechanger, from increasing employee engagement to reducing absence.
With so many of us operating on a tight working schedule, it can be easy to forget to check in on your colleagues. Morale offers employees a means to regularly boost one another, even whilst working from home. If whole organisations are to engage with the app, ripples of positivity can spread throughout entire workforces.
Although more employers are recognising the importance of employee wellbeing, there is still uncertainty over how they can practically support their teams. The pressure to find a solution has been accelerated by the pandemic, which has thrown all working norms into question and introduced additional stressors.
With nearly seven in 10 employees reporting that the pandemic has been the most stressful time of their career, we are facing an employee wellbeing crisis. The number of new prescriptions for antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and anti-insomnia medications on the rise.
Remote working has a lot to answer for when it comes to employee wellbeing. Though many have enjoyed increased flexibility, ‘burnout’ is rising. A survey by Indeed found that 52% of Americans felt burned out, up by 9% compared to pre-pandemic. The sharing of a working and living space is leading employees to blur the boundaries between their work and personal life. Many are finding it tricky to ‘unplug’ from devices, often checking emails well beyond working hours.
To solve this problem, employers need to go beyond the current solutions. Encouraging teams to book regular holidays and step away from their desks each day is a first step. However, these methods suggest to employees that their wellbeing sits outside of the working environment and puts them in a constant battle between working and thriving. Instead, employers need to find ways to boost employee wellbeing whilst they work in order to see sustained improvement in staff happiness and organisational productivity.
Isolation from colleagues at work
Remote working also puts employees at increased risk of social isolation. Stanford Professor, Nicholas Bloom, found that loneliness is the biggest problem facing remote workers. Both loneliness and isolation have been associated with poor decision making and increased stress, putting even more pressure on employees.
This problem affects the entire workforce as even those who choose to go into the office are having fewer conversations due to the reduced number of colleagues around them. It’s a complex problem to solve, as communicating through a screen can make it tricky to detect when a colleague is struggling.
This raises the question, how can digital solutions help us to reconnect and support one another when we cannot interact in-person?
One crucial aspect of workplace wellbeing is feeling that your work is valued as this helps us to feel motivated and engaged. It’s especially important for employers and colleagues to over-communicate their appreciation when separated. In the office, you might pat someone on the back or shout them out for a good performance, but at home, the endless cycle of emails and Teams messages could mean these moments of praise get overlooked. Research shows that sharing appreciation for a colleague’s work creates a deeper connection between them and their work.
Here at Morale, we want to help employers foster a happier working culture. By creating a company-wide network on Morale, it becomes easier for colleagues to remind one another of their value, without feeling corporate about it. As such, employees can maintain headspace at work and receive a boost which reminds them that they’re appreciated.
Drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help your business boost employee wellbeing – we’re here to help!
National Work Life Week runs from 10-14 October 2022. For more information, head to https://workingfamilies.org.uk/nationalworklifeweek/