The future well-being of the workforce: Managing what matters most
The drastic changes in day to day life which resulted in more than a third of the global population being in lockdown and millions of workers having to toil at home have thrown both mental and physical well-being into the spotlight. Even those who were once sceptical or dismissive of the burden of mental health issues and the importance of physical activity can no longer ignore the implications of the “new normal”. Stress, longer working hours, loneliness and physical confinement combined with a myriad of other challenges to our general well-being are now at the forefront of our minds.
Human relations theory has long argued that higher employee well-being is associated with higher productivity. This is particularly true of service industries whose employees’ remits generally involve creativity and empathy when dealing with both internal as well as external stakeholders. Adam Grant, an organisational psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, noted in a recent piece for The Economist that the current crisis may inspire a movement towards more ethical, compassionate leadership as employees will demand it. And, Gartner, a global research and advisory firm, posits that the pandemic has increased the trend of employers playing a greater role in their employees’ financial, physical and mental well-being. What does this mean for businesses today?