Strict lockdown appears to be easing for now but the new normal is not yet with us. We suspected that for many people the transition phase feels quite ambiguous and anxiety-provoking. Therefore, a in mid-July we created a survey to understand how people are feeling.
Thank you to the individuals from over 160 different organisations who responded! This is what we discovered…
When the new normal arrives 83% of individuals plan to work at home more often than they did before lockdown. This has all sort of implications for the world of work, from the amount of office space required and the demands on the travel network, to the way meetings are conducted and decisions are made.
There are many advantages of this, including reduced travel time and costs. However, what impact does it have on our wellbeing?
Our poll showed that 20% have been eating less well since lockdown started, 45% have been more sedentary and 15% have been sleeping less well. It is no surprise that over 25% have been feeling more anxious and 7% feel depressed.
So what might have caused this?
- 32% have too much work
- 42% find family interruptions a challenge
- 25% do not have sufficient space to work at home
- 29% feel isolated
In light of these staggering figures, one would assume that employees are desperate to get back to the office. This is not the case, with 62% concerned about the potential of catching COVID-19 and 56% are worried about the r-rate rising if they go back to their desks and lockdown continues to ease. One respondent wrote “I don’t feel like either option is good for my mental or physical health – from the frying pan, into the fire”.
So, more people plan to continue working from home, but for many it has a detrimental impact on both their physical and mental health.
What happens when people get bored of the virtual quizzes designed to boost morale, stakeholders become less tolerant of children appearing during conference calls and tech issues impact the smooth running of meetings?
Line management relationships and team dynamics will change. But are leaders ready for this new challenge?
We have heard from our clients that their EAP utilisation figures are down from pre-COVID-19 times and that they are getting less interaction on all topics (including wellbeing) posted on digital channels such as Yammer, MS Teams and Slack.
It seems likely that corporate culture (and within this, wellbeing culture) are beginning to fray as your teams finds themselves fragmented and working in a new environment, with competing demands for attention.
The answer is simple – We need to support people through this transition. Healthy high performance in a post COVID-19 world will not just happen and sending out links to the EAP is not enough.
One size doesn’t fit all – Every organisation will have a unique set of needs that require a strategic, tailored intervention.
Over the coming weeks we will be providing a bit more information on a series of programmes that we have put together as a direct result of this survey to support your business, so watch this space!
We have also continued to support our clients across the UK with webinars on exercise, nutrition, sleep and musculo-skeletal health – We’d love to help you too!
Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss ways we can help you and your colleagues feel sane, satisfied and supported as the new normal continues to unfold. Why not take a look at our other services, many of which can be delivered safely either in person or remotely.
Healthy Best Wishes – The Boost Wellbeing Team