75% of Spanish companies are concerned about the physical and mental well-being of their employees
Professional life has changed dramatically in less than a year. Due to COVID-19, many employees are working from home and teams are dispersed, sometimes adding to the hours spent, stress and isolation. This has become a problem for Spanish companies, since 75% consider that the reconciliation and the physical and mental well-being of their employees is a “very important” challenge due to the pandemic, according to the study “Spanish companies in the ‘COVID-19 era’ prepared by Sodexo Beneficios e Incentivos.
The challenge is significant, since 4 in 10 employees say they are not taking any personal measures to improve their well-being at the moment, and find that their productivity at work has been negatively affected as a result of the situation, according to data from Sodexo. . And it is not a problem that the commercial fabric can be taken lightly. In this sense, the World Health Organization warns that depression and anxiety have an estimated cost of $ 1 trillion per year for their impact on productivity.
Dealing with the way the pandemic affects workers has become one of the big challenges for businesses in our country and 49% of them are already implementing new measures due to the crisis, according to the Sodexo study . According to the same study, companies approach it from two angles: on the one hand, by means of specific plans and measures to prevent the impact that the situation may have on the workforce; on the other hand, with specific initiatives to help employees who are experiencing deteriorating health.
Prevention of the impact of the crisis
In order to prevent the impact of the crisis on employees, companies are stepping up their reconciliation policies. In this sense, teleworking has become the flagship measure, since 76% of companies are strengthening it during the crisis, but the dissemination of conciliation content and information on physical and mental benefits is also important, which 44% achieved, as well as new programs aimed at making working hours more flexible for employees with children (80%).
In addition, to prevent teleworking from becoming a problem, 28% of companies in our country are implementing specific policies to encourage employees to disconnect outside of working hours.
In the same way that the Internet connection allows us to continue working, it also allows us to set up innovative alternatives to offer additional help to employees to reconcile their professional and personal life. In this way, 20% of businesses chose to offer online child care to their workforce, almost doubling the 11% who offered child care before the pandemic. This is a particularly popular measure in small businesses (less than 50 employees), at 31%. In addition, 14% of companies believe employees will demand digital benefits to help them care for dependent elderly people due to the impact of the crisis.
Psychological treatments and promotion of sport
However, despite these measures, Spanish workers face problems with work-life balance, overtime, relationships with colleagues or productivity, which has a direct and negative impact on their well-being. . For this reason, 32% of companies in our country are setting up emotional and psychological support services for their employees, compared to 25% before the crisis. In this sense, the smallest companies (less than 50 employees) are the ones that work the most with these initiatives (44%).
Another lesson this crisis has left us, especially during the lockdown period, is that many people have chosen to exercise at home. In this way, in order to cover this need of their employees and seeking to have a positive impact on their physical and mental state, 28% of companies in Spain have decided to integrate physical well-being services via the Internet, such as only courses. virtual sports or access to training videos.
“If ultimately it is the employee himself who must ensure his well-being, more than ever human resources departments must anticipate new needs in terms of employee health and well-being, by working on well-being which health in a global way, integrating physical, social and family well-being, so as to adapt to personal circumstances and to be a fundamental support so that discouragement and stress do not overtake the work teams ” , says Miriam Martn, Director of Marketing Benefits and Incentives at Sodexo.