Just as every other country has shut down their commercial sector to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus, Singapore also imposed the same and implemented work from home guidelines for all the working employees to avoid commuting and risking their health amidst the pandemic. However, this work from home culture is no longer an added advantage for Singaporean work staff as the number of complaints revolving around headaches, high BP, intensified chest pains, etc. has witnessed a major rise.
According to a statistics report from the National University Health Systems Mind Science Centre in Singapore, approximately 60% of the workforce in Singapore who are/were working from home admitted to feeling higher levels of stress and anxiety during their transition from office desks to makeshift working space at home. Out of the 60% employees, approximately 33% consisted of women who complained that balancing work and home is even more challenging now, as compared to before the pandemic kicked in.
Common Concerns Of Employees During Work From Home
- Hyper engagement
- Lack of empathy
- Increased workload
- Low or No work-life balance
- Low support and interaction with management, causing job insecurity
- No team-building activities, lowering the morale of employees
- Multiple distractions
- Difficulty in time management
- Lack of required supervision
- Working in isolation, taking a mental toll
- Low motivation to work while sitting in bed
- Additional work and personal responsibilities to look after, while meeting work deadlines
6 Reasons How EAP Can Help This Situation
An Employee Assistant Program (EAP) is an initiative taken up by the Singapore government to ensure every employee that is working from home has enough help and support to deal with their professional as well as a personal crisis if any. Additionally, an EAP also contributes to building and promoting efficient work culture as well as trust between employer and employee. There are multiple other reasons why an EAP is an important requirement in the commercial and business sector today, especially with the possibility of the pandemic coming around for a second wave.
1. Increased Retention
One of the biggest benefits of introducing an efficient EAP in a company today is increased retention from employees. Mental health wellbeing has recently gained a lot of popularity worldwide and so providing the same to the employees at home can be highly motivating. It can be done in the form of one-on-one sessions, referrals, medical assistance, financial assistance, counselling sessions, etc. This motivation will further go on to convince these employees that they are being heard and understood by employers and that they care about their employees’ wellbeing. All this effort of EAP will result in a higher retention rate for the company as employees would not choose to resign and leave this work culture behind.
2. Improved Productivity
Another added advantage of EAP introduction in the company culture is getting heightened productivity from the employees while continuing work from home. One of the common reasons contributing to employee dissatisfaction during work from home includes a high level of stress and improper balance between work and home. This can easily be resolved with the help of EAP assistance as it will act as a management system that can aid the employee regarding these concerns and propose potential solutions to reduce the overall stress. This in turn will positively affect their productivity.
3. Attract a larger pool of candidates for the company
The overall profitability and richness of a company are judged on the basis of the level of digitalization within the workplace. Similarly, the existence of EAP is an aspect that has been attracting employees to join companies as it confirms that their well-being is kept a top priority. Additionally, an effective EAP also adds value to a company’s brand image as it directly contributes to the company’s corporate social responsibility parameter. This is because EAP implementation promised ethical working and highlights the efforts made by the company for the social and mental well-being of their employees. Especially during times of sudden resignations, this comes in handy as the inflow of potential applicants approaching the company is higher.
4. Increased trust between employee and employer
The important factor that builds a healthy employer-employee relationship is trust. It is very important for an employee to trust an employer in order to open up about their mental, personal, and professional struggles, as well as potential other family problems, which might have increased since working from home, became mandatory. So, introducing and implementing an EAP within the company will encourage employees to open up and increase the level of trust between the employee and the employer, which will greatly affect the overall productivity of the company.
5. Easy and effective conflict resolution when required to reduce dissatisfaction amongst employees
It is easier to resolve potential conflicts in the workforce while sitting in an office as face-to-face conversations are easy to conduct. However, with the work from home being in effect, conflict resolution can be tough for the employer to handle alone. This is where EAP comes to the rescue by offering easy conflict resolution activities that promote healthy discussions and improved conversations.
6. Help with financial stress
Given how the entire world is facing a financial crisis due to the sudden hindrance in the performance of their economy, every employee/employer is also potentially earning less as compared to their pre-covid salaries. This concern can really take a mental toll on the earning members of a family. So, an EAP also offers financial guidance in terms of budgeting advice, building spending habits, loan applications, etc. to help reduce the financial stress levels amongst the workforce, which in turn improves their overall work performance.
EAP is not an investment, it is a necessity today.
Click here to find out more on how to help your employees during these tough times with the help of effective EAP and online services that help with such employee concerns by ensuring their productivity does not get hampered while they are working from home.