March 2020 saw the first UK lockdown due to coronavirus. For many, this meant the introduction of working from home (WFH) or for others, furlough. The furlough scheme was designed to support those who were out of work due to business closures in the pandemic. Covid-19 affected many things, but how did it affect corporate wellbeing?
This article will explore, furlough, WFH and lockdown and how that has influenced corporate wellbeing.
Corporate Wellbeing During Covid-19
Covid-19 had an impact on everybody in the world. The impact on mental wellbeing, however, varies from one individual to the next. Well-being encompasses one’s physical, mental, financial and career health. During the pandemic and the UK’s lockdown, individuals were encouraged to stay at home, not socialise and not work – all mechanisms that have a huge and for some, detrimental effect on wellbeing,
Corporate wellbeing refers to the overall wellness of a workforce. We believe that corporate well-being should be at the top of any employer’s agenda, however, we understand the difficulties that Covid-19 caused to corporate wellbeing. For one, how do employers monitor the well-being of staff when the workplace is closed?
Whether corporate wellbeing was abandoned or prioritised during Covid-19, it was sure impacted. Corporate wellbeing is an entity that should be monitored and maintained with a holistic approach – however on the flip side, the coronavirus pandemic didn’t take a holistic approach to its effect on people across the world.
Now we are coming out the other side of the pandemic, with the introduction of vaccines and returning to work – it can be difficult to monitor and treat wellbeing holistically.
During the pandemic, many businesses opted for their employees to take temporary leave whilst the business was closed, or not operating as it once was. During the furlough, the Coronavirus Job Retention Schememeant that employers could retain their staff by furloughing employees at up to 80% of their wages.
The furlough scheme ran from March 2020 to September 2021 and saw 11.6 million employees supported across the UK.
Despite supporting jobs, furlough and the 80% wage left many people in the UK under financial distress. Those under a lower income bracket, facing the wage cuts faced strain, having a knock-on effect on their financial and in turn mental wellbeing.
The furlough scheme for sure took the pressure off employers and supported those out of work but could have put more pressure on some employees due to the cut in wages. The effects furlough had on corporate wellbeing is a grey area because of this.
Working From Home
Not everybody got furloughed during the pandemic. Some employees could continue their day’s work, at home. During Covid-19 and the rise of WFH, we have experienced, as a country, a huge impact on corporate wellbeing – both good and bad.
In our blog: What Have We Learnt About Corporate Wellbeing In 2021 – we explore the effects that working from home has had on corporate wellbeing. 45% of people felt that working from home was better for their wellbeing, however, 67% felt more disconnected.
During a time of isolation and loneliness, it was vital for employers to take extra measures when it came to supporting remote workers. Despite the opportunity to return to the office after the pandemic, many businesses have continued to WFH as they have experienced the benefits that this has on corporate wellbeing.
The Importance Of Maintaining Corporate Wellbeing After Covid-19
As just mentioned, many employees are still working from home after the Covid-19 restrictions. In this case, it is of the utmost importance that employers continue to support employees.
It is important to understand, despite our advice to treat corporate wellbeing holistically, that everyone’s experience of lockdown was unique to them. Some effects are long-lasting.
There are several ways in which we can prioritise and maintain corporate wellbeing after Covid-19. You can find out more here.
Further Reading: Managing Coronavirus Stress At Work.
Corporate Wellbeing At Wellspace
At Wellspace, we think corporate wellbeing should be the most important thing on a leader’s list. Especially after the impacts, we have faced on corporate wellbeing due to Covid-19.
In 2022, coming out of the other end of Covid-19, there are several ways in which we can prioritise corporate wellbeing. Keeping with the evolving technology, wellbeing apps for employees is a great way to support employees after the effects of Covid-19.
Wellspace offers an application and portal in which employees and employers can communicate and engage regarding corporate wellbeing.
If you’d like to know more about how Wellspace works and how it can help support corporate wellbeing after Covid-19. Get in touch!