June 12, World Wellness Day
The Four Most Common Risks Affecting Employee Well-Being in Hybrid Workplaces
The new work environment implies an increase in sedentary lifestyle, deterioration of mental health, a greater impact of chronic diseases and an increase in ergonomic disorders.
BY RRHHDigital, 05:00 – 11 June 2021
Hybrid models are here to stay. Its management offers many advantages for companies by combining the advantages of teleworking and those of professional activity: more flexibility, efficiency and commitment on the part of the employees, which translates into an improvement of the work-life balance and has a positive impact on health and safety. . the well-being of workers. However, this new work model also involves certain risk factors that companies must keep in mind: it increases sedentary lifestyle, accentuates the deterioration of mental health, makes it difficult for employees to take charge of chronic diseases and leads to often an increase in ergonomic problems. .
And, the physical and emotional health of workers is now more important than ever. Proof of this is the data collected by Cigna’s latest ‘COVID-19 Global Impact’ study, finding that the main current demands of employees are oriented towards a better understanding of their personal situation (58%) and more support for mental health (55%). In addition, only 41% of the workforce in Spain claim to have satisfactory employment performance, according to the same study.
“Given this reality, it is critical that leadership, HR departments and managers support the implementation of holistic health programs that address the transition to hybrid work environments without compromising the well-being of their workforce. of work. We must take into account that the lives of employees are more complex than before the pandemic and that their health now depends on many factors which are constantly changing due to the overload of information that we receive and the situation of the pandemic: family good -being, social context, economic concerns, reconciliation between professional and personal life, work, taking care of one’s physical and mental health or accessing medical care ”, underlines Ana Romeo, director of human resources at Cigna Espaa .
However, to achieve this holistic well-being, it is essential to identify and resolve the risk factors present in the current working model, which combines face-to-face and remote activity. Under this premise, health insurer Cigna has identified the four most common dangers:
Intensification of sedentary lifestyle. With teleworking, physical activity has been reduced and, as a result, the risk of a sedentary lifestyle has increased. For this reason, it is essential to educate staff on adopting a healthy lifestyle based on physical exercise and a balanced diet. To achieve this, lifestyle management programs can be great allies, as they are based on interventions that introduce positive changes in lifestyle and, also, in behaviors, such as rest, weight control. or sports practice. Altered mental health. Lack of physical contact with other peers can produce feelings of isolation or loneliness. These perceptions, coupled with concerns about personal finances or the health and well-being of close relatives and friends, create more stress for employees. For this reason, developing prevention programs that prevent the onset of pathologies such as anxiety or depression and focus on controlling stress levels are essential to prevent the emotional state of employees from being altered by the environment. hybrid work. Difficulty in treating chronic pathologies of employees. New work models have involved, in many cases, changing routines and procedures, greatly affecting employees with chronic illnesses. Indeed, the fact of having two workspaces favors that certain pathologies go more unnoticed by employers and that, consequently, they are not treated as they should and can affect performance at work. To remedy this, disease management programs, focused on supporting employees with specific illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension, play a key role in companies. And it is that they allow not only to accompany the employee in his daily life and to take care of his health, but they also guide him at an individual level on his habits of life. To do this, you can opt for individual coaching sessions or workshops that determine the routines specific to each pathology: the times for rest, food or exercise necessary to control any chronic discomfort. Ergonomic problems are increasing. Remote work has highlighted the important role that furniture and employee posture play in preventing musculoskeletal injuries. In order to avoid diseases that affect worker well-being, companies can implement health risk assessment programs that detect potential threats to employee well-being. With them, the preventive culture will be strengthened and employees will understand how something as simple as their posture can affect their health and productivity.
These everyday risks in hybrid environments mean that companies must rethink the way they understand the health and well-being of their workforce in order to deliver benefits focused on holistic care. And it is that, the type of health program that each business implements will make a difference for them to become successful and productive, people-centered businesses.
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