Smartworking and mental health - Five ways to help employees beat Blue Monday
By Sue Marshall, CEO of Abodoo.com
As a chief executive, I am acutely aware of the challenges employees and colleagues face in juggling their career whilst also taking care of their family, friends and personal well-being.
The demands of a full-time role are no stranger to me. At times, it may seem like there are not enough hours in the day to fit everything in.
We must be proactive in helping our staff beat Blue Monday by changing the way we work and our attitudes towards it. We can achieve this by implementing #SmartWorking as the norm.
The term, originally coined by Abodoo, refers to a method of work which combines the use of technology with employee flexibility to work remotely, from co-working hubs or in a part remote, part office role. Employee success is measured on output rather than the hours spent sitting at a desk.
This drives employee engagement and results. I can see the difference flexibility makes to the business and the impact it has on our employee’s well-being. They are energetic, passionate and determined to succeed career goals. So how can SmartWorking beat Blue Monday?
1 - More money
They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it certainly helps. As a SmartWorker, you’ll no longer waste money on diesel, bus fares, take-away coffees or deli sandwiches in service stations along the motorway. Instead, you can save that money and spend it on the things that really matter to you.
2 - Say goodbye to office politics
Office politics are a key contributor to employee stress levels and can be distressing at the best of times. However, SmartWorking from home keeps you away from office politics.
You are oblivious to the ins and outs of the everyday workings of the office and you get on with the task at hand. There is no doubt that office gossip decreases productivity and can create a toxic environment.
That is not to say that every office is a bad place to be but rumour and chat are unnecessary distractions and take time from your day, otherwise known as time theft.
3 - More free time
Perhaps the most significant perk is the increase in free time. By cutting out their commute, a SmartWorker can restore hours of recreational time they forgot or never thought they’d have again. And this doesn’t apply only to employees.
Many senior managers and CEOs are SmartWorking today, saving their businesses thousands each year by reducing fixed costs while also re-claiming lost personal time. I’m not suggesting that companies drop everything and go completely remote tomorrow (although this would help us reach our 2020 climate change goal).
Instead, I’d recommend that people, particularly employers, should be more open to SmartWorking as a completely viable way to work while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
4 - Cutting out the commute
Cutting out the commute can be a godsend for those of us who are all too familiar with the frustration of spending hours in traffic jams, bumper to bumper in the cold, dark winter mornings. Not only does it save you and your employees hundreds of euros each year, it also significantly reduces your stress levels and risk of heart-related illnesses.
Being able to tailor your schedule should also come as a real treat for employees who have spent the bulk of their professional lives dancing to someone else’s tune. We are moving away from traditional working methods as technology enables us to work remotely. We need better work-life harmony.
5 - Increased productivity
It may come as a surprise to learn that SmartWorking has been proven to increase employee productivity tenfold. Investing in your employee’s independence is a great way to encourage your workers to produce their best work and let their talents shine.
Make sure to reward this productivity. A valued worker is sure to feel happier than a worker who feels underappreciated and mentally drained. The future of work is transforming and we, as business leaders and owners need to adopt this change to retain, attract and improve the wellbeing of our employees.
We owe it to ourselves, our colleagues, our friends and families to establish a world of work that is progressive, encourages thought leadership and one that nurtures our mental wellbeing. It won’t happen overnight, but with a joint effort across companies and industries we can beat those Monday blues.
This is the time and era of #SmartWorking