The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the way we used to work, with many people continuing to work from home.
Your employees might have mixed feelings about returning to their normal work environment. Whilst they might be excited to get out of the house and see their colleagues, they might also be worried about how they will get the work/life balance right or whether it’s safe to return. A recent article in The Guardian referred to this new phenomenon as FORTO (Fear of Returning to The Office).
According to a survey by the World Economic Forum/Ipsos MORI in early 2021, more than half of employed adults have experienced anxiety around job security (56%) and found the change in work routines stressful (55%). More recently, research by the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) found that almost two thirds of employees (63%) no longer believe the office is necessary.
With many organisations introducing flexible working and taking workplace mental health more seriously, the future of work looks very different. As Chris Moriarty, Director of the IWFM, says, “Employers should now make every effort to provide staff with genuine choice to perform their role wherever they feel their performance would be best supported – adapting the office space, incentives and policies to reflect the changing nature of the workspace environment.”
In this article, we look at some of the Wellcome Trust’s evidence-based recommended interventions to improve wellbeing at work in the COVID era.