Almost 40% of employees say they feel less productive since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. To help lift wellbeing and productivity, 57% of employers now offer mental or emotional support for employees.
These changing workplace behaviors were unveiled by research by Clutch, specialists in B2B research, ratings, and reviews.
In its ‘How Employee Health is Affected by Covid-19 Work Environment Changes’ report, Clutch surveyed 301 US workers. It found that during the pandemic, businesses are likelier to provide access to emotional health support such as virtual therapy.
Business More Likely to Provide Emotional Support
Since the pandemic was announced in March 2020, the US workforce has gone increasingly remote. More than half of business owners say they will continue to work remotely after lockdown restrictions are lifted.
However, remote working is not without its challenges, and the changing working environment can have a negative affect employees’ mental and emotional health.
Within the challenging business environment, it’s more important than ever for businesses to remain productive. To help companies overcome issues related to mental and emotional health and productivity, help is being offered to employees.
Investing Time in Remote Workers
David Morneau, co-founder of inBeat, a micro-influencer marketing agency, confirms the importance of investing time into the wellbeing of remote employees. Commenting in Clutch’s report, Morneau said:
“I invest time in one-on-one conversations with each of my team members at least three times a week. I listen, empathize, and offer solutions. Motivated employees are always more productive.”
Flexible Scheduling and Advice on Remote Work
Out of the 57% of employees receiving additional mental and emotional support from their employer during the pandemic, 28% are receiving flexible scheduling. The report found that advice on remote work was another common support feature of the current climate, with 23% receiving support with remote work.
Staff Taking Steps to Improve Their Mental Health
Clutch’s research also found that employees are taking steps to improve their mental health during these difficult and unchartered times. 24% of recipients said they are contacting friends and family more frequently. The same figure said they take regular breaks throughout the workday.
More than half (51%) say their current working situation has not affected their feelings about continuing to work for their employer.
With around 4 in 10 of employees saying they feel less productive during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever businesses take steps to boost employee morale, motivation, and productivity.
Reminding Remote Employees of their Productivity
The report highlights concern that employees feel less productive because they are not receiving sufficient support and feedback.
Making efforts to remind employees of their productivity can be an affective way of helping remote workers achieve greater efficiency and output. One such step could be scheduling regular meetings designed to help team members recap on tasks and achievements. Another could be maintaining ‘small talk’ and typical office conversation via remote messaging and other remote communication. Complimenting employees for their work can also go a long way in boosting productivity.
Prioritizing 1:1 meetings with remote staff is another measure highlighted in Clutch’s report that can have an impact on nurturing productivity.
Flexible Schedules and Increased Time Off
According to Clutch’s research, businesses are offering employees more flexible schedules and increased time off to help keep workers mentally strong.
28% of those surveyed said they can work a flexible schedule. 23% said they receive advice about remote work, and 21% have access to professional counselling or therapy.
14% of the interviewees said they have had increased time off or sick leave during the pandemic.
Holding virtual events can be an effective way to help remote workers maintain strong mental health and increase productivity.
Clutch’s survey found that 11% of workers have been involved in virtual social or community events in recent weeks.
The take-away messages of the report are that with some effort including implementing some simple strategies, businesses can help employees navigate the unique challenges of remote working. By maintaining strong mental health and keeping morale and motivation levels high, remote teams can be in a much better position to work productively.
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