The Effect of COVID-19 is bound to linger on for quite a while. Even as most countries are starting to allow movement, social gatherings and resumption to offices, there still remain a good number of organizations that will continue to practice remote working. It is therefore important that companies and organizations pay close attention to the well being of their remote workers.
One vital area to pay attention to is the mental health condition of employees. A survey by TELUS International revealed that 57% of American workers miss the interaction with their colleagues, 50% miss the separation between work and home while 53% miss in-person collaborations with a team (Wilson, 2020, para. 2).
Westfall (2020) in an article on Forbes, highlighted some checkpoints that employers could observe to ensure their employees are being taken care of.
1. Having wellness workshops and classes to help employees de-stress
2. Making one- on- one coaching available for employees for higher productivity.
3. Allowing flexible schedules for employees to help them cope with the demand and stress of working from home.
It is worthy of note that based on a study carried out by Oracle, 84 per cent of employees in the UAE would prefer robots over humans to support their mental health. Some of the reasons given include
i. No judgment from the robots compared to a human therapist or counsellors
ii. There is higher liberty of expression
iii. More accurate and timely answers to health-related questions.
So, whether full-time workers, remote workers or a blend of both, it is also important for the employees to be open and communicate better with their employers. More than ever before, effective communication is a vital skill for both employers and employees to be able to navigate the new normal of working.