'De-stress, Unwind, Refresh': Companies Helping Employees To Deal With Work Stress

A time like this calls for flexibility. This means putting themselves in the employees’ shoes and improvising the policies, be it leave or insurance. Financially, organisations can extend support by covering for non-hospitalized expenses or providing loan and salary advance.


Burnout, pressure, stress, tension, deadlines; these terms have become common in the new normal. The transformed ways of working in the corporate world continue and will remain so till it is safe for people to work from the office. However, for many, working from home is not the same as working from the office; they feel more stressed. According to Gi Group’s study “All in the Mind - The State of Mental Health in Corporate India”, approximately 42.5% of corporate India is dealing with an anxiety disorder or depression. This highlights the need for HR professionals and management to reevaluate and improve their initiatives during this period.

Let’s take a look at how organisations can come to the rescue of stressed employees.

Adopt A Strategic Approach to COVID

Apart from general wellness, the current crisis warrants dedicated efforts. Devoted teams—including the HR staff and volunteers—can be formed to take care of the employee needs related to COVID. Be it organising vaccine drives and or suggesting ideas to the management to better cope with the crisis, such a team can play a vital role in easing the employee burden.

Flexibility Is Key

A time like this calls for flexibility. Organisations should prioritize their people over their policies. This means putting themselves in the employees’ shoes and improvising the policies, be it leave or insurance. Financially, organisations can extend support by covering for non-hospitalized expenses or providing loan and salary advance.

Updated Health Status

Organisations can roll out internal health check applications that track the health status of their teams. Updated health profiles, including reports of COVID symptoms, travel details keep the management informed and helps make strategic decisions towards the safety of employees. A team of on-call doctors that employees can get through anytime for a teleconsultation can ease the worry in employees’ minds.

Wellness Days

COVID’s impact is all-pervasive. Even when an employee is not directly affected, any impact on the family or the society takes a toll on the mental health. Organisations can declare company-wide no-work days; pausing work can help employees gather their energy and work with renewed focus. Such empathetic initiatives can go a long way in helping employees fight their battles against stress.

Supporting WFH Setup

A happy workspace and positive atmosphere could increase efficiency, productivity, and creativity. Organisations can financially support buying new home office equipment and work-from-home essentials, to name a few, a work chair, mouse, monitor, keypad, etc. An ergonomic work setup can give them the physical comfort they need to work effectively.

Fitness Programs

The pandemic has made many skip their fitness routines, for others this period has been the ideal time to start working out. Organisations can encourage a daily dose of exercise by organizing before-work virtual fitness sessions by expert trainers, online meditation and yoga. This could be a space where the employees’ family members can also participate and feel inclusive.

Branch Out

It’s undeniable that the crisis has put mental health in the spotlight. We see more people turning to telemedicine or virtual care and online communities for help; some are finding solace in rekindling their lost passions for painting, baking, music, gardening, and more.

Organisations can help such employees by making their weekends more interesting and engaging. They can go a step ahead by conducting virtual fun learning activities on arts and crafts, cooking, caricature and entertainment shows that employees can enjoy along with their families.

Transparent Communication

With home workstations spread across the country, feeling disconnected or uncertain is possible. Periodic updates from the management on the health of the organisation establishes a sense of trust among employees. Among teams, organisations can create a safe and open space where employees can share and discuss matters of concern. Vuram, a leading hyperautomation services company, has a dedicated initiative ‘Vuram Hears’; it is a voluntary initiative that provides Vuramites (Vuram’s employees) with a confidential setting to speak and be heard of the issues that are bothering them. The circles of trust comprise internal people and external trained professionals. Such a space helps people bare the bottled thoughts that might affect their physical and mental well-being.

During such critical and stressful times, it is the responsibility of every organisation to think empathetically about supporting their employees. Revamping traditional practices to offer more flexible options, taking innovative approaches to foster empathy and creating the sense of “being heard” among employees and that we truly are together in this battle goes a long way in a company’s success.

(The given article is attributed to Suresh Kumar C, Director-People Team, Vuram and solely created fro BW People Publication)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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