The effects of the pandemic have had a full impact on the Spanish population, also with regard to mental health, with the consequent consequences at the labor level.
According to the Official College of Psychology of Madrid, psychological consultations have increased by around 20%. Companies, for their part, are not immune to this since, according to the study Challenges of Spanish companies in the COVID-19 era prepared by Sodexo, 60% of organizations considers work-life balance, physical and emotional well-being of employees as the most important challenge on which to start working, and 32% of companies also stand out as a challenge to mitigate the stress produced by hyperconnectivity, accentuated by teleworking.
In this sense, remote work and fear of dismissal In the midst of the health crisis, the obsession of workers to perform more and be always available to their companies triggered, giving rise to the appearance of syndromes such as toxic productivity, which refers to the need to produce more out of fear and uncertainty and that causes a certain mental block that prevents enjoying personal life and leisure time.
But, contrary to what it seems, it can cause the opposite effect and that the productivity of an employee falls. Toxic productivity thus becomes a syndrome that companies must combat and one of its main effects is that it collides head-on with work-life balance, which is increasingly valued among employees. In fact, according to the Randstad Employer Brand Research 2021 study, in Spain, after salary (70%), it is the factor most taken into account by workers (66%).
Companies should strive to avoid the appearance of syndromes of this type among their employees and implement a strategy that takes into account the overall well-being of professionals, including both physical and mental health. To this end, and as a reason for World Mental Health Day, Sodexo offered some advice that companies can apply to achieve it:
Create a culture of care and well-being
According to a survey carried out by Hays, 64% of professionals claim to have suffered from job anxiety or fatigue since the start of the pandemic. Encouraging the application of healthy habits, both from a physical and emotional perspective, has positive effects on the well-being of staff and, therefore, on their mental health. Acquiring customs that avoid reaching these situations is easier if the company’s benefits policy offers services in this line, such as giving access to wellness programs that encourage personal care through physical exercise and with practices focused on well-being mental.
Flexibility to receive help if needed
Sometimes ensuring emotional well-being involves having professional help. Facilitating this assistance from the companies will improve the mental health of the workforce, either by offering it internally or by providing flexibility to attend appointments. Organizations understand the importance of psychological support and it is something that they are beginning to consider as part of their benefit plans. According to the Sodexo report, 28% of companies consider including services such as meditation or practices focused on psychological well-being.
Promote (additional) time off if needed
Avoid work overload or hyperconnectivity are some fundamental aspects so that certain syndromes related to work in general and stress in particular do not develop. Enjoying quality free time helps to minimize these risks, so it is advisable to encourage disconnection and take advantage of the advantages offered by flexibility, closely linked to teleworking, but which can also be applied in face-to-face or hybrid work systems; even offering more free time than initially stipulated.
Achieve a work-life balance it is increasingly valued and demanded by professionals. Controlling the day-to-day in a simple way, both in the workplace and in the personal and in terms of the combination of both, minimizes stress levels and increases the general degree of employee satisfaction, which benefits the mental state. In the case of workers who are mothers and fathers, services such as the nursery check facilitate this type of daily management.