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BUSINESS

Companies should heed the wellbeing lessons of lockdown

Companies should heed the wellbeing lessons of lockdown 35

By Vicky Walker, Head of people at Westfield.

Helping teams maintain the healthy habits formed while working from home during the pandemic should be part of HR leaders’ wellbeing strategies in 2021, according to workplace wellbeing experts, Westfield Health.

With the vaccination programme underway, many businesses will be looking at their return to office plans for later in the year. They will include wellbeing programmes designed to help manage this transition and also repair the damage of potentially a year of remote working.

Vicky Walker

Vicky Walker

Westfield Health’s research as part of its Divided Together report revealed 31% of people asked to work at home started to take regular breaks through the working day – something they say they did not undertake when in the office. A quarter said they were also taking a full lunch break for the first time, while others pointed out the benefits of being able to exercise more, as well as the chance to spend more time with family.

While there has been some positives from the pandemic, Westfield Health’s Divided Together report found that 50% of employee’s mental health has worsened during the lockdown months, with just 11% seeing an overall improvement.

Vicky Walker, Head of People at Westfield Health, said “it’s important to understand both the positive and negative habits formed during this time in order to create a meaningful and relevant wellbeing programme for your people.

“After a year where employee wellness and productivity was put under severe pressure and workplace wellbeing catapulted from a nice-to-have to a must-do for almost every business, there is a need to keep that focus as we move through this year.

“Working together, teams and managers should take guarantee that regular breaks from the desk, sufficient time for lunch, opportunities to exercise and the availability of quality family time become part of a newly fostered culture of wellbeing.”

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