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Business Self Care Taking Steps to Manage Productivity in 2021

Now is the time to press the reset button and take time to look at how the business and its employees are doing.

Preparing the business for 2021

As businesses try to balance the budgets for the effects of the COVID pandemic, during the final quarter of 2020 they also need to make ready their 2021 business plans. Now is the time to press the reset button and take time to look at how the business and its employees are doing.

We have had nine long months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and coping with a stop start to daily living has taken its toll on many people. So, this is the ideal time for all organisations’ to review their business performance and look at how they must adapt their businesses and support their employees for the long term, as we now know that the current situation will continue well into 2021.

 

Next steps

There are no handbooks of what should be done, it is down to all of us to be inspired and look at implementing the simple things that will support staff both in the workplace and for those working remotely. The key question that needs to be addressed is “how do we work smart to achieve this?”

Business success is driven by the performance and inspiration of employees working together. The goal for employers therefore should be to boost ‘positivity’ throughout the business. Business leaders need to inspire and support their people and help them through the worst of the pandemic. The creation of ‘positivity’ comes about through providing a range of employee benefits that support staff both in the workplace and in remote home working by taking them on a journey of reward, recognition, and wellbeing support.

 

Having the right tools

During the last eight months as a benefits provider we have been helping businesses ‘get organised’ to manage all their staff, be they working on or offsite, by offering a simple, easy-to-use and cost-effective employee benefits software called SmartHive. This is an affordable easy to deploy benefits platform that makes the delivery of employee benefits easier, aids communication, engagement and supports the emotional wellbeing of staff.

It is important to ensure that any benefits platform is 100% cloud-based, so that employees can log in from anywhere with a WiFi connection, to get access to their benefits. The other critical aspect of having a benefits platform is that it keeps all staff in the communications loop. A notices page will allow companies to share any new important information quickly, with staff seeing the notices on their messages board. A benefits platform will also enable a business to upload and store any important COVID-19-related policies and documents in and your team can access these from anywhere, fuss-free.

 

Choosing the right balance of benefits

The traditional employer-paid benefits are benefits such as retirement and health insurances. With products such as pensions, private medical insurance, cash plans, income protection, critical illness cover being provided. However, over the last 12 months we have seen a rise in the health and wellbeing services such as employee assistance programmes, which provide access to counselling services. There has also been an increase in the uptake of mental health and financial wellbeing services. Cycle to work has seen a big uplift as employees look to adopt healthier lifestyles and adhere to social distancing. Reward and recognition is also being used to motivate and reward staff with retail discounts and vouchers.

As companies look at their benefit provision for all staff, many are also looking at how they can influence and support staff working remotely. Here are a few tips on how life can be made better for those working from home.

 

Tips for those working remotely:

Improve the home working environment by changing the way it looks and by changing routines:

  • Decorate the house and rooms with plants. There is a significant amount of scientific evidence suggests that being around greenery can stave off stress, elevate mood and improve cognitive function, among other things. According to study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, active interaction with indoor plants (like touching and smelling) can reduce physiological and psychological stress (1).
  • Inject an exercise routine into the working day. Regular exercise has huge benefits for physical health. It lowers the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and it helps on mood, reducing stress and increasing energy and self-esteem. The NHS advice is to be active throughout the week and do a total of some 150 minutes of exercise a week.
  • Ensure that the professional life is kept in balance with the personal life by keeping to distinct time periods for each.
  • Having the right furniture to ensure that an employee’s posture is protected. No hunching over a laptop for long periods of time. How you sit is crucial to help avoid aches and pains in your back, neck, and wrists, by sitting in an upright position, with your forearms and wrists at right angles when typing.
  • Healthy eating by having a balanced diet comprising of fruit and veg and pulses such as beans or lentils. Pulses are a cheap and filling way of providing both fibre and protein. It is easy to add them to pasta dishes and casseroles or mix them with salads.

 

The next 12 months certainly promises to be as challenging as the last 12, but opportunity favours those who take bold new steps to changing the way we work and the benefits that are provided through the workplace.

 

Notes:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4419447/
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

 

Wojciech Dochan

Managing Director, Busy Bees Benefits

Provider of the SmartHive Platform

 

Smart Hive is an integrated, cost effective employee benefits platform that provides your employees with access to all their health and wellbeing benefits in one place. Talk to a member of our team today or book your very own demonstration.