Richa is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of YourDOST. In this era of rising expectations and aspirations of people, YourDOST is built to take care of emotional wellness of the people. Prior to YourDOST, she has led the product development for Webfluenz for 3 years – Now, Webfluenz is ranked among top 15 social media analytics tools. In March 2014, Webfluenz got acquired by Mu Sigma, leading Big Data and analytics solutions provider.
In the past year and a half, we have all become accustomed to remote working and are well on our way to a hybrid work setup. As per a YourDOST study conducted in December 2020, Indian working professionals found that working from home increased their productivity. But we’re also human and an increase in productivity isn’t necessarily a positive thing if it comes at the expense of one’s emotional well-being. As per another YourDOST study, a majority of Indian working professionals experienced a significant increase in feelings of anxiety, anger, and loneliness due to the pandemic. Our “Comfort Zone” provides us with the mental security which reduces anxiety and stress. Being forced to spend an extended period at home and working can affect our daily routine, and thus push us out of your comfort zone. Thus it leads to a rise in stress. According to a YourDOST study conducted on the mental health impact of the pandemic, 54% of Indian working professionals reported a significant increase in their stress levels.
There have been alarming effects of burnout, isolation, low job motivation, and Belongingness at work.
How can organisations improve the emotional well-being of employees in the new normal?
Many studies indicate that social capital is an important predictor of job performance. There are organisations where employees are encouraged to form parenting groups, yoga, and meditation, or even coding communities. Virtual or hybrid, these are easy to be implemented and give a chance for colleagues to build deeper connections.
Compulsory Virtual Coffee Break for employees
Work-from-home robbed us of the unplanned watercooler or tea/coffee conversations with colleagues. These are important parts of the workday that directly impact our performance too.
Scheduling virtual coffee breaks with co-workers at a fixed time every day can be almost as good as in-person interactions for our brains. Video calls where you drink your preferred beverage with each other can uplift our mood, and help us unwind, and bond with our co-workers.
Improved zoom etiquettes to reduce zoom fatigue
Remote work has caused all in-person meetings to be replaced by video conferencing. Video calls require higher focus from the participants to absorb information. Additionally, to process information in a video call, one needs to constantly gaze at the screen, which leads to further exhaustion. Employee engagement activities are all fatigue. One solution to avoid or overcome this fatigue that Experts suggest is to keep your cameras off. This reduces the mental pressure of self-presentation that comes with being on camera.
Schedule to manage work-life balance
The most significant negative impact of all was that employees could not switch off from their work mode at the end of the day, resulting in exhaustion and even burnout.
As simple as it sounds, creates a day schedule. Research shows that a schedule helps relieve the stress that comes from inappropriate time management. Plan for an exercise after work to ensure you will stop working after a certain period.
A lot of companies are now shifting to hybrid, to bridge the gap between remote and complete office setup. Organisations should switch to hybrid to maintain the emotional wellbeing of employees.
It goes without saying that if it ever gets too much to handle, talk about it – with a close family member or friend, a colleague you trust. If not these, connect with professionals like a psychologist or life coach who can empower you.