Much has shifted during the past few years. Hybrid and remote working have gone from unique to mainstream. People have been asked to do more and respond in unexpected ways to meet new community and customer needs. Time together as a team connecting has reduced, and a sense of greater purpose for the organisation may have been forgotten in the day-to-day operations.
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In Microsoft’s most recent Work Trend Index, a global survey across several industries and organisations, 85% of leaders say that the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive. The absence of the traditional visual cues of ‘seeing’ people actively working while passing by their desk, poses a challenge for many team leaders. At the same time, 48% of employees report that they’re already burned out at work. As the Microsoft report emphasises that this heightened concern about productivity has the potential to make hybrid work unsustainable.
Burnout is increasing significantly, and mental health is now a board-level discussion, with anxiety and depression at levels not previously seen. There are emerging signs of low performance, dissatisfaction, lower motivation levels, and not feeling valued.
For the past decade, the focus has been on staff engagement, when seeking to improve the experience of work. Yet the pandemic has shown us that this is not enough. Healthy organisations need a reservoir of resilience, not just engagement.
Psychological well-being has an additional effect on staff engagement: it can drive productivity. Compared to engagement alone, well-being is twice as strongly related to positive business outcomes (Robertson & Cooper, 2011).
To create a healthy culture, organisations now need an integrated approach where people wellbeing and engagement are strategically viewed hand-in-hand. Leaders need to take targeted action to foster wellbeing-led people experience, where we have more good days at work.
From our experience, by taking the following actions, organisations can achieve better workplace well-being and activate a healthier culture:
If this topic is of interest or you are facing a similar challenge in your organisation. We would love to chat!
Managing Director of Q5 Australia and Wellbeing Expert