Work Anxiety: Your colleagues may be in trouble.

Many of us are still working from home and with the new delta variant (or is it Delta+/Omega/next version) more will be back at home I suspect. It’s funny how we used to go to work see people there and interact all within the context of the business. Meaning, we were all there for the same shared purpose to work. Meantime everyone has their own lives, marital issues, sick parents, pain in the ass kids (hi kids, lol) on and on. I found an interesting article here about the new realities of a covid world in the context of working.

From the article: “In the U.K., a quarter of employees feel as if they have hit a psychological breaking point. According to a new study by health insurance company Lime Group, over half of those surveyed feel a pressure to disguise to their colleagues the sinking feeling that accompanies their difficulty in coping with both the stresses of the job and the stresses of the pandemic.”

This was a UK study but I would venture to say that its applicable really everywhere. We are in year 2 of this pandemic and the fear mongering by the press, government and social media shows no sign of winding down. You bet people are stressed. Maybe you are someone who copes well with stress and anxiety, that’s great. Imagine a moment someone who prior to covid was already in a bad spot, what do you think the last 2 years have been like for them?

A poke doesn’t appear to be enough for some people.

The article does a decent job of sounding the alarm for businesses to start working on better environments for their employees. In the U.S. we have a fairly unique republic where States actually have legal authority over much of labor laws. The federal government can’t lock the country down, this is why you have some states open and thriving (and having increased covid issues) and others still locking people down. The U.S. right now is in a unique situation where we don’t have enough workers to fill jobs.

I don’t know if that’s the reality in other places. The onus is now on employers to offer more options for work and benefits that accommodate workers with anxiety. Imagine a moment you are an employer who needs a web designer and there is a spectacular one available, but she only wants to work from home she has anxiety. Would you not hire her for that? You would be losing out and making a horrible business decision.

One of the side effects of the covid pandemic is the enormous effect it’s had and will continue to have on the work place. More people will be working from home permanently than ever before. More people will be working as contractors than ever before. If companies truly want to set themselves apart and thrive in the next 5-15 years they are going to have to shift from profits first at any cost to profits with an eye on investing and enhancing the employee experience. You want top talent you are going to have to pay more for it, and provide more options for that talent to want to work for you.

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