By Beth McMaw Considine, CIPD Northern Ireland Branch Chair.
As we settle into autumn, with cooler temperatures, shorter days and increasing COVID-19 related restrictions, I’d like to share with you, our members, some reflections on “wellbeing in the new normal” and hopefully offer some areas for review and consideration.First and foremost, it’s worth bearing in mind that whilst my focus leans more on mental wellbeing, wellbeing is not just about mental health. The World Health Organisation defines it as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.Sickness and absence levels have fallen to an all-time low, 5.8 days per employee. (CIPD, 2020). The initial reaction to this might be positive in terms of productivity and reduced cost, however, it’s important to dig a bit deeper and get underneath this figure and think about the term ‘presenteeism’ particularly as so many are working from home. This is where the role of the Line Manager becomes critical and further development should be provided to those with direct line management responsibilities.Technology has enabled almost all of us to not only continue working but it has kept families and communities connected as well as the education sector, through the unprecedented times we have and continue to live through. But we’ve also got to be mindful of the impact of too much screen time on our wellbeing and again the level of “digital presenteeism”.So as People Professionals, what should we be aware of and what should we be encouraging:
‘Promoting and supporting employee wellbeing is at the heart of CIPD’s purpose to champion better work and working lives because an effective workplace wellbeing programme can deliver mutual benefit to people, organisations, economies and communities.’
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Great reflections Beth, thanks for sharing!
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