Having a robust wellbeing strategy in place is important all year round, but especially at this time of significant change as we adapt to new ways of working. COVID-19 has significant implications, challenges and opportunities for the way that we protect our colleagues’ happiness both now and into the future. It has meant we have had to take a fresh approach to how we maintain a culture of happiness.
This week is International Week of Happiness at Work which aims to get organisations of all sizes to put this at the top of their agenda, and start to implement changes to ensure the workforce is positive. We believe in our colleagues’ happiness so much, that our company motto is ‘Happy People Make Happy People’ and we are constantly addressing and rethinking how this should look, both now and in a post-pandemic world.
Before COVID-19 hit, I would regularly ‘walk the floor’ and speak to colleagues and teams delivering our cleaning and security services to get a sense of how they were feeling. Now, with social distancing restrictions and some colleagues working from home, and in an ever-evolving situation, we must adapt our strategy and procedures to ensure everyone continues to feel reassured, motivated and valued.
We have also had to adapt quickly to support those working on the frontline delivering vital cleaning and security services, to those that are working remotely or have sadly been furloughed, as client sites temporarily close.
Whilst the impact of COVID-19 has been felt by every single person across society, there have been some positive implications for our work-life balance too. Less travel and more home working has meant more time with family and adopting new ways of living and working have made a lot of sense in many ways. However, many have missed the social interaction with colleagues and the opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other.
During the pandemic we have been giving our colleagues additional support, not only to ensure they are resilient enough to handle the changes, but to also protect their mental health, and help them remain positive throughout.
Some of the practical steps we have taken including launching our Inspirational Toolkit, packed full of stories from colleagues, useful tips and practical advice to guide people through this challenging time – both professionally and personally. The online resource features a raft of support tools, from training modules on working together online and mindfulness, to working from home and wellbeing advice. Many of our colleagues also provided short video clips to talk about how they were managing lockdown. And we even created our very own Facilicom Video Call Bingo – a light hearted game to prevent colleagues from getting bogged down with virtual meetings. The toolkit has been extremely well received by our teams and we hope to use it well into the future, beyond our pandemic days.
I also talked recently on Linkedin about the importance of taking a break. With the restrictions that lockdown has brought, many people have put their annual leave to one side, with hopes to spend it later in the year when the country is back on its feet. But this has meant many people haven’t been taking a break at all, leaving them at risk of exhaustion.
The nature of workplace wellbeing is clearly changing, alongside significant changes to working practices. The question is, how do we best support our colleagues through these changes and proactively ensure their happiness whilst we shape the ‘next normal’?
Jan Hein Hemke
Managing Director at Facilicom UK & Ireland