“We care for our people! Look at my office building, we have best-in-class facilities that would take away the need to visit a gym or restaurant ever. So much to offer that our people can virtually live here and go home just to sleep.”
That is the spiel.
Oh my, but how come so many people are suffering from mental health issues such as sleeplessness, anxiety, depression…? “Oh well, that’s not in our control. We can’t do much about it; nor do we want to get in there as it’s personal. If someone asks for help, we can connect them to a helpline that is anonymous.”
The real problem remains and seems to have aggravated even more with COVID-19 as people are house-arrested. What can real well-being mean? Since people are the most valuable assets, they need some personalised help and work-life balance — not the good talk of wellness initiatives.
A top executive has banned Zoom calls on Fridays. However, what will happen on other days? The pressure can go up and timelines will stretch. How about planning a balanced day every day? Can we have both work performance and well-being daily? Why not? Eventually, most people can work daily for eight to 10 hours and sustain; beyond that, burnout starts. Leaders need to beware that since we expect consistent performance daily, we should also build daily well-being. I would recommend a Zoom call timeline ideally during office hours, with the exceptions documented and approved by a leadership team.
How can we dig deeper into the larger purpose of life wherein a healthy planet and people are the starting point of any decision or action? As an individual, how can I save water, food and electricity, reduce usage of plastics, take some load off my spouse, speak to someone not doing well, and support the needy in my own small ways?
Look at the situation of a single mother who is the caretaker of her parents, caregiver to her children and breadwinner for the family. Zoom calls are fixed at odd hours and even on festival days, immediate responses are expected.
For her, the house is on fire and everything is topsy-turvy. No happiness or satisfaction from anyone.
A well-being approach will demand ways and means to address and deal with this — allowing her enough time and resources to recoup daily.