Working Minds Encourages Employers to Start Listening

There has been much change in the working landscape since the pandemic, and we now expect different things from our workplaces.  Remote working became a new norm, and businesses adapted their outlook to allow for more flexible practices. 

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  • Working Minds

But it seems that business owners are more satisfied with how they have adjusted to the new working practices than their employees (according to the 2021 edition of the Global Workplace Report from NTT Ltd.).  It is suggested that organisations need to become more aware of their employees’ opinions and feelings about their changing circumstance – rather than simply assuming they understand their needs.  Communicating with and listening to your employees is a crucial baseline activity towards keeping the conversation about mental health in the workplace open and productive.

There is much more diversity in employees working preferences for the future than employers are perhaps realising…

“Voice of the Employee (VoE) data shows that, when offered a choice of at-home, hybrid, or in-office working arrangements, employees are relatively evenly split between the three, at 30%, 30% and 39%, respectively.  This finding contradicts the belief shared by 79% of organisations that employees prefer office working – when in fact, VoE data finds that just 39% of employees desire full-time office working….” – Workplace DNA

Work-life balance and commuting times are two of the biggest factors in an employee’s decision to take a job.  Simply concluding that remote-working is the loudest answer is to misunderstand – as is concluding that everyone enjoys office-working.  Our lives are not simple and employees have a lot to consider – so employers need to start listening more, in order to fully understand how they can meet their employee’s needs.

When employees are not considered – when they are not included in the conversation about their own working lives – tension, disappointment and frustration can grow, which in turn leads to stresses on their mental health.

To encourage and help businesses to recognise the signs of work-related stress and make tackling issues routine, HSE launched a campaign in November called Working Minds.  The campaign is specifically targeting small businesses, with fewer than 20 employees, with a focus on Agriculture, Construction, Health, Manufacturing, and the Motor trade.  But HSE is also calling for a culture change across all workplaces in the UK, to ensure psychological risks are treated the same as physical ones in health and safety risk management.

The reminder is that, no matter where people work, employers have a legal duty to assess the risks in the workplace, not just in terms of potential hazards and physical safety. By providing employers and workers with easy to implement advice, HSE intends for businesses to promote good working practices, and create open environments where employees can share their concerns.

To find out more about the Working Minds campaign, visit here:

To find out more about What No Safety’s own Mental Health in the Workplace Training Course, visit us here: