The coronavirus pandemic hits workers’ health and productivity hard
More than half of Spaniards think their business hasn’t taken their mental health into account
Personio, the European leader in HR software for small and medium-sized businesses, has launched a survey that reveals a drop of up to 30% in worker productivity during the pandemic, or in the event of exhaustion (33%), low motivation and morale levels (28%), poor physical or mental well-being (26%) and Zoom fatigue (17%) are the key factors.
Over the past year, many companies have had to readjust their working models to overcome the crisis that has marked the turning point in the world of work. To investigate the effects the pandemic has had on the way businesses work and the impact this change has had on the mental health and well-being of workers, Personio interviewed 500 human resources managers and 2,000 employees. of the whole world. . As a result, he presents the report “Hard blow: How the pandemic has affected the mental health of workers”.
Telework and productivity
The pandemic has accelerated digitization. Indeed, 40% of Spaniards have worked remotely in the last 12 months, ranking in the European average with countries like the United Kingdom (51%) and ahead of Germany (36%) *.
As a side effect of digitization and teleworking, 47% of companies have increased the use of business management tools. Organizations now use an average of 6 tools for information and personnel management tasks, a figure that rises to 8 in large companies. But the effects haven’t always been positive: more than a quarter (27%) of organizations say it slows down processes and causes unnecessary delays. 23% say it disrupts workflow and 15% say it causes frustration among teams. For their part, almost half of workers (47%) stress that there are too many digital tools at work, and 35% agree that this interrupts their productive flow.
So much connectivity affects mental health
On the other hand, hyperconnectivity has a profound impact on the well-being of employees and its consequences have manifested themselves more strongly. Over the past year, employees reported exhaustion (33%), burnout in English, and zoom fatigue (17%), as ailments associated with working long hours in front of electronic devices.
Regarding this question, 56% of Spaniards believe that their company has not taken into account their mental health in the last year, while two in ten employees (18%) describe the management of their organization as “bad” “.
The importance of work-life balance
Another of the most important aspects that emerged after the widespread and sudden introduction of remote work has been the relevance of a good work-life balance for Spaniards. So much so that a poor work-life balance is the main reason (23%) that employees will look for a new job in the next 12 months.
Behind a good salary (59%), work-life balance (39%) is one of the three priorities for work in Spain, along with job security (39%) and, just below, working hours flexible working hours (38%) which also gained importance during the pandemic.
Mental health and well-being of workers as part of corporate strategy
As the survey results show, working from home can cause a lot of stress. However, there is still a lot of work to be done on well-being at work. Only 14% of HR managers prioritize mental health initiatives over the next 12 months, an alarming figure.
“Corporate well-being is one of the fundamental pillars of any organization’s success, and HR has a responsibility to create these links with employees. To achieve this, HR must develop programs designed to create a positive work environment and encourage people to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. A good wellness strategy increases employee productivity and business potential. », Explains Angelina Gentili, head of human operations at Personio.
This is why it is essential that companies protect and preserve the physical and mental integrity of employees, not only from a human point of view, but for strategic reasons: although mental well-being is one of the 3 main business challenges facing organizations, only 15% of HR managers consider it a priority.
The results of this study show the relationship between the deterioration of employee well-being and a decrease in productivity that directly affects company goals. HR managers who do not have initiatives in place to protect the physical and mental health of their employees are putting their organization’s greatest asset at risk: people.
Download the full study