Shutters continue to remain shut as the lockdown continues and the world grapples with the outbreak of COVID-19. Tech companies headed home with a comfort in knowing that ‘work from home’ would keep their businesses floating. After the tech giants announced ‘work from home’ for its employees, eventually, all organisations had to do it.
This is a time of proving efficiency and effort by still operating but this is also a time in addressing the emotional well being of your employees. A global pandemic affects each one of us with stress, uncertainty, depression, anxiety and so on. As an organisation, you must look after how your employees are doing and give them the support they need.
Why does employee wellness matter at a time like this?
Working from home may have become the ‘new normal’ but we can’t forget that humans are social beings and they are unnaturally being asked to stay inside. Some employees might be facing a space-crunch since they work out of residential spaces and with their families. There will be communication gaps between internal teams and social isolation isn’t good for mental health.
Indian companies should be thinking of revisiting their employee wellness plans to adjust it according to the shift in the work atmosphere now. Physical and mental health should be made a priority.
Here are 5 companies that have revisited their wellness strategies amid the lockdown:
1) The auto major Mahindra has launched a series of activities for the wellbeing of their employees which involves interactive sessions with nutritionists as well as an exercise regime. They are also running a webinar on emotional hygiene as employees work from home. Mahindra is also tying up with external agencies for tips on indoor exercises as they feel despite it being just a few days into the lockdown, it can start taking a toll on employees, sooner than later.
2) Brookfield Properties has launched Positive Pulse, A Wellness Initiative to promote employee health and safety while they work from home during the lockdown. Under this month-long campaign, Brookfield Properties will be hosting a series of engagement activities, across its Commercial Real Estate portfolios, Candor TechSpace in Gurgaon, Noida and Kolkata; as well as for Powai Business District and Equinox Business Park in Mumbai. It will be hosting two special webinars – one on Health and another on financial health along with cooking sessions. As well as a virtual skill-based CSR volunteering and rap/jingle contest, thus giving them a reason to stay healthy and entertained, and adding value and balance to the work-life of professionals even when they are away from their workplace.
3) Johnson & Johnson has rolled out a ‘telemedicine program’ globally to help the employees and their families with questions about their physical and mental health. They are also encouraged to seek confidential support from counsellors via phone using the J&J employee assistance program (EAP). Maintaining focus on their physical wellbeing is also important and Johnson & Johnson has digital mindfulness tools, virtual fitness sessions, home workout apps, access to health experts and regular knowledge-sharing to ensure their workforce stay motivated, healthy and mindful.
4) Flipkart is encouraging employees across the organization to take a ‘Digital Chai Break’ and guiding them in scheduling their work day. It is also encouraging parents with older children to get them involved in scheduling their priorities for the day and keep them engaged in this regard and believe that this approach will help them balance priorities while working from home.
During video meetings, they also encourage the working parents to bring their young kids to greet colleagues, who are more than happy to see them. This is building a strong sense of togetherness.
5) Vedanta is putting employee well-being ahead of productivity issues and offers psychological counselling helplines to people facing anxiety and stress-related problems along with online meditation and fitness sessions to a series of engagement activities during work for home to keep their employees motivated and engaged.
Once the lockdown is over, people will adjust back to their routines and eventually forget being locked at home. However, they will remember a company that stood by them and kept them engaged during these tough times. It is always the extra effort and wellness facilities that make an employee want to work for an organisation.