The topic of health in the workplace has been on the rise over the past couple of years but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever before. The pandemic has increased workplace stress and has changed daily tasks for many employees. Excessive stress, anxiety, and change can cause employees to burn out, lose focus, and become unproductive and overwhelmed. Try adjusting expectations and taking safety measures during this time to keep your employees healthy and benefit your business.
Whether your office has shifted to a remote work setting or has reconfigured its in-office setup, make sure your employees feel safe and secure. If employees were abruptly asked to work-from-home, take time to make sure they are adjusting well. Even if your office switched to remote work at the beginning of the pandemic and employees remained efficient, their mindset may have changed over time. Forbes reported that 27 percent of workers are “Discouraged Employees” who dislike working from home but think their company is doing their best, while another 32 percent of employees also dislike working from home but do not think their company is handling the pandemic situation well. Remote work is a safer option, but it can cause employees to feel locked in and also make it difficult for them to separate their home-life from their work-life.
If you haven’t adopted remote work and have your teams in the office, they may feel constantly worried about their health and well-being, which can take a toll on mental and physical wellness. Constant fear and worry can be draining and cause employees to feel mental and physical fatigue, slowing down their workflow.
Make sure you’re following all of the recommended guidelines for social distancing, so your employees feel safe and relaxed while working remotely or in the office.
It’s important to encourage employees to enjoy a few minutes of downtime throughout the workday. Working remotely can make employees feel anxious at times like they need to constantly be online, but employees should be encouraged to take breaks like they would in the office. In fact, staring at their computer screen for 8+ hours per day can lead to digital fatigue and eyestrain, which can cause chronic headaches, eye pain, and neck, shoulder, or back pain, slowing down workflow even further.
Similarly, employees who work from the office should also be encouraged to take frequent breaks from tasks and computers. The pandemic has changed the typical day-to-day in-office setting, so employees are likely discouraged from group lunch gatherings, water-cooler breaks, and stopping by co-workers’ offices, leaving them sitting stationary at their desks for 8+ hours.
Communicate to your employees that they should take time to rest their eyes, do desk stretches, or go for a walk outside. Also encourage them to invest in a pair of blue light glasses to help them limit their exposure to blue light and avoid the harmful effects of digital fatigue, which is becoming more and more common in 2020.
Employees should have an efficient, dedicated, and ergonomic workspace while working remotely and in the office. This will help them remain productive, separate their home-life and work-life, and avoid an inactive lifestyle.
If employees feel like they need to be online invariably while working from home or can’t leave their desks while working in-office they can develop an inactive lifestyle very quickly. Constant inactivity can also cause neck, shoulder, or back pain, but more seriously it can lead to weight gain, and multiple health conditions like heart disease, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and increased anxiety and depression.
Supplying employees with ergonomic office supplies like desk chairs, monitor stands, and adjustable desks can help them limit back pain, increase circulation, and promote productivity. Employees working remotely will benefit from the designated office supplies as it will offer separation between their work-life and home-life. In-office employees will also benefit from such supplies as they will have more mobility at their workstation.
The health of employees should remain top of mind for all companies during this time. They are one of the most important assets and should be well taken care of by employers. If employee health and well-being is beginning to affect your company, reach out to Purple Ink. We’d love to talk with you to determine a solution that addresses your organization’s needs.