Bethan Flynn, Commercial Agreement Manager, Occupational Health and Employee Assistance Programmes sets out 3 vital areas you need to consider to safeguard the health and wellbeing of your workforce.

From dining table desks to lockdown loneliness, from homeschooling to workplace worry.  Are you prepared to respond to the wellbeing and occupational health needs of your employees?

“The new normal” is a phrase that has been much talked about over the last few months. Yet we don’t actually know what the end result will look like, with constantly evolving measures and ongoing uncertainty of what we are yet to face in the fight against COVID-19. What we do know is what is happening around us in the here and now, and that it is presenting challenges to workers and employers alike. Protect the health and wellbeing of your employees, wherever they are working, and effectively manage current – and reduce future – absenteeism. Consider these 3 important issues:

Workstation assessments

With so many employees working from home, concerns are rising amongst employers about their working conditions, particularly as agile working looks set to become commonplace in the longer term. Workstation assessments are regularly undertaken in office environments. But, competing priorities and social distancing restrictions mean that many employees have not yet had an assessment of their home workstation. 

A rise in musculoskeletal injuries is already anticipated amongst home workers, many of whom have spent much of the last few months leaning over a coffee table or slumped on their couch for 8 or more hours of the working day. 

Burnout

Burnout is a very real risk. People Management recently reported that a poll conducted by Robert Walters found 47% of managers thought their employees could be at risk of burnout, due to changes in working patterns and the rise of e-presenteeism brought on by the pandemic.  

Mental health and wellbeing

Not only are employers feeling increased pressure to fulfil their duty of care regarding the physical welfare of their employees, they are also tasked with supporting their mental wellbeing. The Office for National Statistics has recently reported that almost double (19.2%) the number of adults are estimated to be experiencing feelings of depression compared to pre-pandemic (9.7%). This offers insight into just one of the many conditions that can be a daily struggle for so many of us. 

Your buying decisions have the power to make work better for your employees

Through our Occupational Health, Employee Assistance Programmes and Eye Care framework we have suppliers who have developed innovative solutions to these problems. They are on hand ready to support you. 

Our suppliers were already working on the digital delivery of their services pre-coronavirus. During the pandemic they have had the opportunity to show just how effective their solutions can be to support employees, even outside of the traditional workplace. This includes providing virtual workplace and health surveillance assessments, online counselling and, of course, home working for their own employees to ensure continuity of service.

We know that the needs of different public and third sector organisations are rarely the same. This is why our framework gives you the flexibility to access a full occupational health and employee assistance programme service or just the particular service(s) that you need. Contracts can be put in place by direct award or further competition, enabling you to get exactly what you need to meet your specific requirements. 

Invest in protecting your staff – and your organisation – and ensure a healthy future for everyone. 

Everything you need to get started can be found on the framework web page. We’re also on hand to offer advice and guidance if you need it: