When the pandemic started, many workers had to go home without looking back. It’s been over a year since some haven’t gone to their desks and the only meetings they have with their teams and bosses are through platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or Google Meet. Although many don’t miss the long trips they’ve taken to the office, with all their implications, there are those who feel anxious, achy, and have little ability to focus.
to me One year of study Citrix – Where 500 CEOs were consulted from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico – 44% of people aged 35-44 experienced an impact on their mental health.
turn, in Mental health thermometer in ChileThe study, developed by the Chilean Security Association (ACHS) and the Catholic University – which surveyed 1,637 people between the ages of 21 and 68 – revealed that 48.9% said their fears made them lose sleep, 20.2% said they felt less or significantly less able to make decisions. 54.8% are constantly confused.
According to the first release of the thermometer, in July 2020, 22% of people who were in the home office had psychological problems, compared to 35% of people who worked face-to-face. In the second edition of the report, with figures for 2021, 27% of those who work remotely suffer from psychological problems, while 20% of those who work in person suffer from them.
From the Happy Space wellness management platform, note how complex it is to provide this kind of help to people. During the pandemic, they’ve gone from a corporate solution that facilitated mindfulness spaces with virtual reality to a platform that offers a series of aids, with sessions with psychologists and coaches, for example.
When they tested the new platform at two companies in Chile, they noted that because online activities were viewed during working hours, “workers felt guilty for disconnecting, even if the company suggested it, because they felt that these activities interfered with their working day,” he points out. Rafael Avila, co-founder and COO of HappySpace.
It can be concluded that people are tired of calling the screen. During the pandemic, there has been greater exposure to computers, mobile phones, and tablets, to remote work or to distraction, with both physical and mental consequences.
for the purpose of Daniela Campos, Technical Head of Psychosocial Risks at ACHS“This burnout caused by spending a lot of time in front of screens is known as digital burnout, which increases remote work, especially since significant difficulties have been observed in the symbolic differentiation of working from home. In other words, you are more likely to see an endless working day, as there is no Start and end symbols, as well as pauses.
In this way, digital communication is not closed off daily and mixed with everyday life.
In both Beat and ComparaOnline, they witnessed how the mental health of their collaborators was affected. Although the two companies maintain that this had no impact on productivity, they recognized the scope of COVID.
“There is zoom stress and it shows. When we try to have a meeting through this platform, something tells us no, because it connects us to work. Most of all many of them didn’t ask for time off so they wouldn’t come home during that time. There is a huge backlog of vacations,” as . points out Maria Gabriela Torrealba, Director of Human Resources at BeatTransfer request application.
Faced with a similar scenario, in a CompareOnline financial services comparison, where employees are between 27 and 35 years old, they designed a directory that changes according to the needs that arise in the company. After working for a month in the Ministry of the Interior, they prepared the document, providing the basis for working in this way. As shown Stephanie Furlong, Responsible for RR.HHThe move did not cost us much, and we said from the beginning the importance of routine, for example not answering messages after hours.
In general, most companies offer counseling to collaborators with psychologists, virtual meetings and facilities in terms of flexibility, among others. Everything so workers can deal with stress and anxiety. “They are effective in reducing the impact of an epidemic on mental health, however, the impact will always be there. In the context of a global pandemic, the emergence of symptoms of mental health problems is normal. Everything that organizations are doing to try to reduce this impact will be welcome, and we hope that We monitor the reality of their workers and their needs,” Campos points out.
“In a context where virtuality was dominating people’s lives, it was necessary to take care of the digital wellbeing of employees, and today this trend should be part of the new normal for the work system,” he says. Maria Celeste Garros, Latin America Sales Director, Citrix. In fact, according to One Year, 99% of employees are concerned about having a corporate culture that promotes mental and/or physical well-being.
But if organizations decide to conduct workshops and other activities online, experts advise that they should carry out consistent activities, and commit to avoiding overburdening their workers.
How do the collaborators feel?
One of the mechanisms that companies have used to measure the well-being of their employees is surveys. This way they can check their performance or how they assess leadership. To evaluate their services, Happy Space sent out surveys so that HR managers at the companies they offered their services to could see how their workers were performing. This allowed them to “see their stress and anxiety levels, the quality of communications in organizations and how they felt during this time, among other things,” Avila explains.
This needs survey is fundamental, because in this way it is possible to find out what the workers need, and then determine the activities to be carried out. “They are thus able to treat human tragedy as a first priority, and understand that working in the context of a pandemic requires flexibility on the part of the organization,” Campos says.
It is important that the activities of companies focus on empathy, knowing the reality of their workers. Thus, it is possible to present tools based on real problems.
But communication and leadership are also important. For workers to feel free and motivated to carry out these kinds of initiatives that seek their well-being, they must feel they have the support to be able to do so without problems.
Torrealba and Furlong agree that support from HR and leadership are key to understanding how employees feel. “Knowing how the other person is is no longer so obvious. When you are in person, when you hear or see their face you can tell the mood. When you are away, understanding what the people on the team have to do takes extra effort,” says Furlong, of CompareOnline.
In Beat’s case, Torrealba says, “we’ve learned to socialize in a different way,” so he had to understand how the people working at the company feel. “It’s completely different in a hypothetical way, but the bosses have learned to trust the team,” he adds.
It is important to maintain the welfare of workers, to have effective support and communication, to maintain transparency and to provide frequent updates about changes that may arise in the organization that may generate uncertainty. In addition, it is convenient to avoid excessive workload and there are icons indicating when the working day will end, so that you can reduce anxiety and stress.
“Social media evangelist. Student. Reader. Troublemaker. Typical introvert.”