Returning to five days in the office will undo progress in promoting work-life balance

Despite the push back of the lifting of all remaming Covid restrictions, employers world-wide are starting to consider their long-term stance on working from home. Predictions from think tank, Centre for Cities, are that the five-day office week will be the norm again within two years.

However this may have damaging implications that on employee wellbeing, especially as many have now reached a sufficent work-life balance. 

The prediction of a return to a five-day office working week might be premature, while we are seeing a large majority of workers come out in favour of the hybrid system of work. There are a lot of hurdles that those returning to work face, especially over the anxiety of a busy morning commute that will force them to rejuggle their schedules to account for the extra time.

Additionally, workers now have over a year of experience working from home, which has for many allowed them to adapt a healthy work-life balance, one that they are at risk of losing when returning to  five days a week in the workplace.

For many, the practical benefits of easier childcare, reduced commuting stress, better sleep and increased time at home will be something they are not prepared to forgo for the sake of their improved overall wellbeing. Furthermore, a number of teams and businesses have found they can produce work of the same, if not better, quality and quantity from home.

Now that businesses and staff have this insight into what real work-life balance can look like, we anticipate there being more reluctance than has been predicted to simply going back to how things were before the pandemic.

This is not to say that returning to the office doesn’t bring with it advantages, including being able to build working relationships between coworkers in person, but for some this does not outweigh the negaitvies. Employers should take into account the prefereances of each employee and not rush or force those to return to the workplace if they are as happy and productive working from home.

To find out more about how Wrkit can support your company with its employee wellbeing and wellness strategy, visit www.wrkit.com.

Ideas for workplace fun in the sun – hopefully!

Workplace culture is one of the top factors linked to employee happiness. That and the fact that any job is all about the people and engaged teams produce results.

It is also very important that colleagues get on and work together well to be productive, effective and fulfilled, and while friendship can’t be forced, social connections need to be encouraged and woven into a company’s culture to help employees get to know each other outside their roles, to build strong teams and increase employee engagement and communication.

With summer here and lockdown restrictions being eased, people might not have to endure too many Zoom office quizzes! We can now go outside – if the weather is clement and take a break in our daily routine, especially if that routine has been Microsoft Teams from the box bedroom in the back of your house.

Being social doesn’t have to revolve around booze either and there are many ways and means of organising social activities to ensure they are inclusive. Define the goals and then establish the budget, who the planning team is and whether some of the activities are compulsory or not. Choose a date that everyone can make and get it into the diary as early as possible. Chose an activity that everyone can participate in and then build the excitement.

A good way is for staff themselves to brainstorm and come up with some ideas and then survey the most popular. And the activities themselves are almost limitless, although budget dependent. But given it’s summer going outside is an easy first step. We all benefit from unplugging from technology, being able to breath and rejuvenate in nature.

Rambling with packed lunches or hill walking or orienteering with a pub drink as a reward are easy fun activities, as are high ropes adventures in beautiful trees. Scavenger or treasure hunts and ‘geoteching’ are great for team building too. 

It’s also Olympics year, so why not create your own company version and compete in various games of skill – it doesn’t have to be the shot put or the 110 metre hurdles, just let your creativity run wild and  remember to consider skill levels!

It wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone in the UK that if we’ve already have had our quota of sunny days this year, but don’t let that stop you. There are scores of places to have fun and team build such as ball game venues offering table tennis, pool, crazy golf and beer pong, or escape room challenges (no irony meant), or go-karting. There is of course still fun to be had in the rain!

It doesn’t have to be all high-energy or competitive either. Many companies choose karaoke nights, chocolate making classes or cocktail masterclasses to have fun and build camaraderie. Or how about team lunches, a gentle picnic or a summer paella party?

To foster a good workplace culture, a supportive and open environment, office getaways or activity days shouldn’t be a tagged on after thought to company policy or even limited to the summer months. Many companies implement weekly or monthly activities like board game tournaments, office quizzes or just beers and pizza in the boardroom.

Bottom line though, after the year we’ve had, companies should make it a priority for employees to spend quality time together. It will help relationships blossom and bring the workplace together.

Introducing – The New & Improved POWR Dashboard

Staff wellbeing has, understandably, been an extremely important consideration for businesses as workplace stress levels continue to rise, which can create a variety of problems for businesses and individuals alike.

Particularly as many businesses are likely to make the permanent shift to hybrid, or even fully remote, working, it has arguably never been more crucial for companies to be able to monitor, measure and manage their staff wellbeing, in order to ensure morale stays high and employee recognition remains a priority even outside the traditional office environment. On this note, it is also critically important that staff are provided with the tools and support they need to take charge of their own wellbeing, particularly if working remotely.

It is for this reason that we have launched our brand-new and improved POWR dashboard, [TO1] which has been built from the ground up to help employees manage their wellbeing, as well as allow companies and HR departments achieve a far higher degree of insight into how their staff fare over time in the various areas of wellbeing – specifically work, sleep, activity, mind, food and life.

At its core, POWR is an online resource which replicates a professional health consultancy experience, which can provide employees with immediate guidance and support in a number of areas such as emotional wellbeing, psychological health and even personal development.

From data gathered via intuitive staff questionnaires, POWR is able to measure an employee’s health and wellbeing, and from there create a personalised health plan using the 400+ plans already on file, as well as provide support over time including instant access to external clinical support if needed. This support comes at a significantly lower cost-per-head, and higher engagement rate, compared with other Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP).

Of course, staff needs do not remain static, but rather change over time in line with the makeup of the workforce. Crucially, the dashboard also accommodates for this, allowing companies to monitor wellness data in real time and continually update their benefits provision accordingly.

Specifically, the POWR dashboard provides organisations with aggregated data at both an individual and team level, including comprehensive stats on both engagement and impact. Through this, business leaders and HR departments are able to identify real-time trends and specific issues, to help enhance wellness programmes to the benefit of employee and employer alike.

By making use of POWR, businesses can significantly reduce the cost of absenteeism – which cost UK businesses £14 billion in 2020 alone – and improve staff resilience, morale and overall performance. Furthermore, investing in tools such as this, which have the needs of employees front of mind, demonstrates a commitment to a healthy workplace, improving employer brand and increasing both employee attraction and retention rates. As employee expectations, and the world of work more widely, continues to evolve following the seismic events of the past year, it is crucial that businesses keep up with these changes if they are to attract and retain the top industry talent and, more importantly, keep their staff happy, productive and healthy in the months to come.

Getting Office Workers Moving

Thanks to research commissioned by office equipment business, Fellowes, images of Emma, The Office Worker of the Future, have emerged in the press as a warning of what could happen if employers fail to give employees adequate physical wellbeing support.

The gruesome life-sized mannequin represents the way office workers may look in 20 years if there isn’t more done to encourage better workstation setups, posture and getting a good level of exercise. Emma’s permanently bent back, varicose veins, rotund stomach and dry, red eyes serve a stark reminder of the consequences of poor workplace health.

With the return to a more normal working pattern imminent, employers must encourage employees to look after their physical wellbeing. In our Work From Home Survey, UK-based employees scored agreement with the affirmation “I get more exercise at home” 6.9/10, versus 5.7/10 worldwide. As people spend less time at home and more time in the office, there is a real risk of exercise levels declining, which will impact overall health.

What is the solution?

Office work is sedentary by nature, but that doesn’t mean employees should be sat down for eight hours a day. Whether it’s putting on lunchtime yoga, starting a walking group or signposting relevant resources, employers can encourage their workforce to stay healthy and active.

Wrkit’s Move product promotes and supports exercising at home, on the move, in the garden and even in the office. The platform hosts a huge range of activity choices, from quick desk stretches to full body conditioning sessions and there is something to suit those at every level.

The on-demand video classes are led by qualified professionals and are ‘always on’, so employees can move at the times which suit their personal schedule.

As well as supporting physical health, the mental benefits of exercise are well documented. Taking short movement breaks throughout the day, such as two-minute deskercise sessions, will promote healthier work schedules with an adequate amount of breaks, which only 29% of people currently report taking.

To avoid developing a workplace full of Emmas and promote a healthy and happy workforce, employers must do more in encouraging employees to take care of their physical health. Implementing exercise or movement into employee wellbeing and workplace health strategies should be a priority in the return to the office.

To find out more about Wrkit’s Move module and how it could help your workforce, visit this page or request a demo here.

How To Get Staff To Unplug From Work: A Guide For Employers

Jason Brennan, Director of Leadership and Wellness at Wrkit says a healthy work-life balance requires us to being able to ‘unplug’ from work – how can employers support staff to make this happen?

The recent criticisms from young Goldman Sachs employees over how they are expected to work 95 hours a week have highlighted a dangerous attitude towards what constitutes a healthy work-life balance. In fact in a recent survey conducted across 46 countries, 89% of respondents said their work-life balance was getting worse, while 85% said their wellbeing has declined, highlighting that this issue is not only global but is also growing.

One of the key issues surrounding employees’ inability to maintain a healthy work-life balance is not being able to ‘unplug’ from work.

Slacked off?

The development of digital technologies has indisputably changed the way we work, and while it may have revolutionised the way we live in many positive ways, it has made it fundamentally harder for workers to unplug themselves while on a break or after leaving the office. As most people continue to carry access to their work email inboxes and other communications tools like Slack, around with them, it can be tempting to carry on working, and to be seen to be working, outside of contracted hours.

This issue has only increased as many of us have been working from home, as it has become harder to separate work-life and home life when they exist in the same space. This problem is likely to continue with the extension of the work from home order and businesses such as HSBC making the work from home switch a permanent one for significant parts of the workforce.

Impacts on psyche

While businesses may originally believe that this increase in the amount of work people are doing is a positive, as it should increase output, it can actually have the adverse effect on productivity. The specific inability to unplug ourselves from our devices has led to proven impacts on workers’ psyche, including being linked to raising stress levels and increasing social anxiety. All of which can negatively affect productivity.

An unhealthy work-life balance and an inability to arrange time to de-stress can lead to employee burn out, which is often linked to serious mental health issues. In turn, this increase is having a significant impact on businesses, with mental health absences thought to cost the UK economy £26 billion per year.

89% of respondents said their work-life balance was getting worse

Helping employees to limit their work-based technology use outside of working hours can help with brain recovery that a Kansas State University study linked to a reduction in stress. Diminishing an employees’ ‘downtime’ outside of work reduces the time allowed for the brain to recover. Managers and directors should be leading by example and seeking to only contact employees outside of work hours in the case of emergency.

Excessive technological use, especially when it is tied to stress such as in a work capacity can also affect a person’s ability to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule. Reduction in sleep can increase the likelihood of mental health complications and will make it harder for employees to carry out their work-related tasks to a high standard.

Additionally, facilitating a working environment that promotes ‘unplugging’ from work can actually help employees to improve their focus. Employees who are trying to juggle both a home and work life simultaneously will have their focus split, which will increase their chances of making mistakes at work and quality of work can suffer. A 2013 study revealed those who have a greater tendency to multi-task are actually less skilled at it than those who multitask infrequently. Putting policies in place that allow for employees to separate work and home will inevitably result in a more focused and productive workforce.

Encouragement needed

It is good practice for employers to reassure their workforce of the importance of wellbeing and emphasise that their mental health should come first. Employees who are reassured that their employment doesn’t rest upon working in excess of what has been asked of them are more likely to use their downtime to unplug and unwind from work. These practices can also make employees more committed to their place of employment if they believe they are being placed before output.

Additionally, making sure your working environment is built around this idea, and that burnout practices don’t become part of the work or office culture will encourage employees to balance their commitments in a healthy way. This includes offering flexible working hours and employee benefits so that employees will feel valued and that their needs are being heard.

Finally, while there has been a shift to working from home, as lockdown restrictions start to ease there is also a need for workplaces to incorporate ‘unplugging’ measures into office spaces. That can include simple workplace modifications, such as providing office space away from desks for employees to take their lunch breaks so they will be less tempted to work through lunch, giving their brain time to recover.

The importance that investment into employee wellbeing and employee health can have for a business in preventing burnout, increasing productivity and also improving long-term employee retention cannot be understated. There are plenty of small changes that can be made to a working environment that will make a noticeable difference to your workforce’s satisfaction and mental health, that subsequently will help to improve employee commitment overall.

How Can Employers Help Staff Develop A Resilient Mindset?

Resilience at work has been a growing topic for the past few years as workplace stress levels continue to rise and present a myriad of problems for businesses and individuals. Training in resilience is an increasingly popular aspect of employee development to empower employees to overcome work stress, persevere in the face of adversity and be able to bounce back.

Although resilience training is beneficial for employee wellbeing and mental health, businesses should really be focusing on tackling the root cause of stress, which often lies in how we work. A major contributing factor to burnout is the perception that long working days equal productive working days, which has only been amplified while workforces are at home and employees feel added pressure to prove they are present.

Working hours that extend into the evenings and weekends, the time which should be dedicated to unwinding, will inevitably lead to burnout, no matter how resilient the person is.

Despite this, resilience training should undoubtedly be part of companies’ mixed wellness offerings. Employers can help employees develop resilience skills through the practice of regular time out, unhooking from tech at times, creating space between meetings and allowing staff to take time during the day to spend on self-focus – perhaps going for a walk or having some quiet time to unwind.

Employees can take an active part in developing their own resilient mindsets by discussing what is working well and driving optimisation with senior members of staff and by reframing challenging situations to look like a learning opportunity, and a way to grow and develop as an individual and as a business.

This “growth mindset” should be central in resilience training and can be encouraged through regular catch up and discussion sessions, and clarity around future plans will help to create more security. On the other hand, lack of dialogue and planning will lead to fixed mindsets within the business.

Beyond resilience training, employers should support their employees in achieving a sustainable work-life balance through exploring processes which will alleviate the intensity of work and reduce employee stress, which is often the root of workplace stress and mental health issues. This could include reviewing email policies and ensuring communication from managers is limited, if not completely eradicated, outside of working hours so leaders are demonstrating a healthy work and life balance.

Employers can also look at hybrid home working models to give staff greater control of their work schedule and having mental health first aiders available in the case that workers need further care and advice.

Wrkit specialises in the creation of better, healthier working environments. To speak to an Engagement Specialist about alleviating workplace stress and burnout and to explore options for resilience training, visit www.wrkit.com.

Why Employers Must Be Wary Of Presenteeism In The “New Normal”

While a significant number of businesses are now beginning their phased return back to the office (or equivalent workspace), many more will have made the temporarily-enforced shift to remote working a permanent arrangement.

While this comes with a laundry list of benefits for the workforce such as improved sleep – please do check out our Global Working From Home Survey for the full story on this step-change – there may also be a resurgence in a very unhealthy working trend: presenteeism.

For those unfamiliar with presenteeism, you will likely be aware that, when ill, not every employee opts to take the time off they should. Whether out of an extreme work ethic, management pressures or worries over their advancement prospects if they take time off, they continue to show up for work despite feeling unwell, and are likely far less productive as a result. This, in a nutshell, is presenteeism.

Unfortunately, the issue of presenteeism appears to have been exacerbated by employees working remotely, meaning it is crucial for managers and team leaders to be vigilant. Recent research from the CIPD revealed that 77% of employers have observed presenteeism from employees working from home over the past year – with 43% of these admitting that they were taking no action to prevent it.

When employees are working from home, it is all-too-easy to hide illness or signs that something isn’t right mentally, and employers that do not recognise this and take appropriate action will, at best, run the risk of losing their top talent to a competitor and, at worst, see their staff put at serious risk of burnout and other mental health issues. 

So, what can employers do?

In order to minimise the risk of presenteeism, businesses must build an open, inclusive working culture wherein staff feel safe and supported. In this environment, if a member of staff feels unwell, or if they have an issue that may affect their work, they will feel comfortable taking the issue to their managers so that a solution can be found.

Particularly when working from home, staff still need to stay in regular contact with their managers, and to be encouraged to take the time off they need when they feel ill. Managers and more senior members of staff also need to lead by example and take the time off they need, when they need it.

Particularly for businesses that have made working from home their “new normal”, companies must take a preventative, rather than reactive approach to employee wellness, ensuring it is always front of mind throughout every facet of the business. By doing this, employers will enjoy a happier, more engaged workforce, while reducing the risk of presenteeism.

It’s a cliché, but that makes it no less true – people are the lifeblood of any business. Encourage their development, offer them the benefits that matter most to them and support them in sickness and in health, and your business will reap the rewards. To find out more about how Wrkit can support your company with its talent engagement and wellbeing strategy, visit www.wrkit.com.

Worker Wellbeing In The Hospitality Industry

The gradual reopening of hospitality over the past few weeks has been a significant signal of better times – meeting friends, enjoying food and drink that you cannot have at home and generally soaking in the feeling of the return of normality.

However, behind the scenes, a staffing crisis within the sector is a real challenge.

Hospitality does have a reputation of staff working long, antisocial hours and dealing with difficult customers as well as it being a somewhat physically demanding and often low-paying job. A year of uncertainty, furlough, increased risk of infection and last-minute closures has only exacerbated these issues as jobseekers may be avoiding the sector in search of more stable and safer employment. Furthermore, Brexit has caused many European nationals previously working in the industry to return to their home countries.

As the country reopens to both citizens and international visitors, an adequately staffed hospitality sector is essential not just for the industry, but for the wider supply chain. To attract and retain staff, it is now vital that employers are making a conscious effort to support employee wellbeing and offer additional staff benefits to attract and retain workers.

Some businesses have increased wages and offer other financial incentives and while this is a good move for an industry that is known for low wages, support for hospitality employees should go beyond this. By being creative with their employee benefits offering, employers will improve staff satisfaction, morale and retention which may be crucial to the survival of their business.

Resilience

It is no secret that hospitality staff frequently come under fire from disgruntled customers and that these exchanges can be unkind and may leave team members upset, low and feeling less resilient. Similarly, amid busy service tensions between staff can run high and lead to stressed encounters between colleagues.

Offering stress and resilience training will give staff the tools they need to handle difficult situations, reduce the effects they have on them and allow them to protect their mental wellbeing while developing their confidence.

Employees can take an active part in developing their own resilient mindsets by discussing issues with supervisors and by reframing challenging situations to look like a learning opportunity and to discuss ways to grow and develop as an individual and as a team.

Employers can also support staff resilience by recognising that they have handled a difficult situation well and reassuring them that it is not necessarily a reflection of them or their capabilities. In combination with mental health resources, stress and resilience training will go a long way in protecting employees’ wellbeing.

Talks and workshops offered by Wrkit will give teams the tools they need to grow, develop resilience and manage the challenges that they face throughout the day through practical workshops and coaching sessions.

In addition, the self-help tools on the POWR platform will help employees build resilience and improve wellbeing. The platform allows employees to take control over their health and wellness through Self Awareness, Goal-Setting and ongoing Self-Monitoring.

Recognition

Recognition is not just a tool to build resilience, but it also makes employees feel valued in their role which improves overall job satisfaction.

Wrkit’s recognition module is a fantastic tool for promoting this and creating a culture of mutual support and celebration between the team to help everyone to feel appreciated and respected. This should span from management down and between both back and front of house staff.

Switching off

Spending hours on your feet, working busy shifts and keeping on top of what customers need and want throughout the day sounds exhausting, but in reality, it stimulates your brain and makes it hard to transition out of “work mode”.

Employers should encourage staff to unwind at the end of their shift, whether that is sitting down and having a drink before going home, providing a quiet space to sit at the end of the day and process the shift before leaving, or giving access to mindfulness or meditation tools.

These switching off practices are especially important for employees working late night shifts as failure to do so could leave them awake until the early hours of the morning and not getting enough rest.

Sleeping and resting

The hospitality industry is known for long, late hours and often a lack of breaks. While it is understandable, especially in the face of a staffing crisis, that staff cannot always take a break during a busy service, managers must ensure they are doing everything in their power to give their staff a reasonable amount of downtime.

Getting a good amount of sleep is critical to performing well at work and maintaining mental wellbeing. Late-night hospitality venues in particular must consider this. Avoid putting staff on shifts that require an early start after a late finish and explore options to help staff rest quicker after a shift, such as mindfulness or meditation resources.

Megan Sowney, Wrkit’s UK Managing Director, said: “Hospitality staff face challenging situations every day, but these challenges have been amplified in recent weeks. The public have missed eating and drinking out, so have descended on establishments in huge numbers. This combined with staffing issues means that hospitality workers are working incredibly hard, and this is likely to take its toll on mental health.

“Employers must ensure they are taking care of their staff, or they could end up losing them to other businesses or industries, which could have dire implications. The hospitality industry needs staff to operate, and it needs staff who are not burnt out to run well.

“Businesses that look after the wellbeing of current staff, re-evaluate the current industry standards and offer an attractive employee benefits package will enjoy higher levels of retention and an improved employer reputation, aiding recruitment.”

5 Employee Wellbeing Lessons From Your Favourite TV Shows

On occasion, we all like to sit down and indulge ourselves with a few episodes of our favourite TV show, but when it comes to fictional workplaces it’s best not to hold their practices as a guide on what to do. We have therefore collated our top five employee wellbeing lessons we have learnt from our favourite fictional characters.  

The US Office –  

For some, having a boss like Michael Scott might be a dream come true, but generally, it can be a bad idea to encourage a culture of over-familiarity within a workplace. In fact, unlike almost every The Office character you should want to encourage all employees to respect each other’s boundaries.

A great step towards this is ensuring all personal disclosures stay private and confidential. If an employee needs time off for a sensitive issue make sure to be as discreet as possible and refrain from prying into others situations.  

Grey’s Anatomy –


The life of a fictional doctor is likely to be full of high stress and emotions, but more often than not workers in the show are often pitted against each other. While competition can be healthy if it is conducted in good faith, you will have a much better success rate in promoting your team to co-operate instead.

It may seem that competition can encourage one employee but it can come at the cost of discouraging another. It’s a great practice to help employees focus on their own progression and explain to them how they can improve without comparing them to one another.  

The Crown –

One may argue that the job of a royal is a duty and not just normal employment, but if this show is to teach us anything about a role, it is that you shouldn’t let it consume you. Dedication and perseverance are great qualities to have in an employee but their job shouldn’t be their whole life – we all need downtime to recover from the stress of a day.

In doing this make sure not to reward unhealthy behaviour, as it will set a bad precedent and you will discourage workers from prioritising a healthy work/life balance.

Mad Men –

Immersing yourself in the world of an advertisement agency during the ’60s can be thrilling, and although being as dapper as Don Draper may seem like a great goal to strive for, promoting an unhealthy lifestyle at work can actually do a lot of damage.

For the most part, we expect that most places don’t encourage smoking and excessive drinking but an office can also go a lot further to helping employees make healthy choices in their day-to-day life. Offering out free healthy snacks and access to or discount on exercise classes can help your workforce develop both a healthy body and a healthy mind.

Line of Duty –

The pressure is likely to be high when you are tasked with catching a renowned crime boss but even detectives need to sleep. DS Arnott’s ability to catch a bent copper will be hindered if his work schedule impacts his sleep. Not only can poor sleep hygiene affect productivity but lack of sleep has been linked to lifelong health complications.

Our recent Global Working From Home Survey found that UK workers are strongly positive about their sleep quality when working from home, scoring sleep quality 7.6/10 on average, and also find it far easier to plan their nightly sleep routine (7.3/10). With this in mind, employers need to be wary of the effect on their employees quality of sleep when they eventually return to the office.

To find out more about how Wrkit can support your company with its employee wellbeing and wellness strategy, visit www.wrkit.com.

Are Staff Equipped To Handle The New World Of Work?

Following months of frenzied media debate it is clear that, for many businesses, remote working is here to stay in some capacity. Whether this means working from home permanently, or in a hybrid fashion for a couple of days each week, the way we work will look very different to how it did in years past.

While workers will see a great many benefits to this more flexible world of work, this cannot come at the expense of worker productivity or, more importantly, wellbeing. Unfortunately, our recent Global Working From Home Survey indicates that, unless action is taken, this may very well come to pass.

Specifically, our research indicates that UK workers overwhelmingly believe that they are not equipped to work from home permanently, with workers scoring only 1.6/10 – a significantly low reading – for the affirmation “I have the tools I need to do my job from home”. What’s more, there appears to be a disconnect between how the public responded to our survey, and how they actually feel.

In our survey, our respondents actually responded positively to the affirmation around being adequately equipped to work from home, scoring this at 8.4/10 – more than five times higher than the score above when you take into account the unique Implicit Reaction Time (IRT)* scale we have used for this research.  

This is a concerning finding, given it indicates that staff surveys across the country may be susceptible to similar “false positives” and, subsequently, a significant shortfall in equipment provision may be going unnoticed. Moreover, it may indicate that, while employees want to work from home, they may be struggling with aspects of the remote working environment such as limited work space and childcare, signalling that employers may need to rethink their benefits provision in favour of solutions that better fit the needs of their workforce.

Looking at the knock-on effect of this shortfall, whether this be in terms of equipment or environment, there is a clear correlation with (remote) workplace stress. In our survey, UK workers scored substantially lower than their counterparts across the globe when it came to managing stress levels, with UK workers rating their capacity to manage stress while working from home at 5.1/10, compared with the global reading of 7.2/10.

Given that the national rate of work-related stress, anxiety and depression has skyrocketed in recent years according to the HSE, employers would do well to pinpoint elements of the job that may be causal factors, and look to better support their staff in these areas wherever possible. Investing in the tools and platforms staff need to do their jobs effectively and (where possible) stress-free is a clear step towards this, which is highly likely to pay for itself many times over in the long run.

Simply enough,while it is encouraging to see that businesses are increasingly adopting more flexible approaches to working patterns, such as hybrid working, employers must now ensure that these changes amount to more than just lip service.

If businesses are to make the permanent leap to remote working in any kind of meaningful way, they must provide realistic employee provisions to ensure that they support their staff with the tools and technology they need to work from home effectively. After all, a business is only as strong as its people, and staff morale and wellbeing are paramount.

Interested in finding out more about how the team at WRKIT can help your business to provide world-class support to its remote staff? Visit https://wrkit.com