Out of sight, out of mind?
Why your work from home employees desperately need Financial wellbeing support.
When we were all plunged into a national lockdown in an effort to curb Covid-19, none of us could have guessed that more than six months later we’d be facing tighter restrictions on getting back to any sort of normality – particularly when it comes to working. A few weeks ago, the government was encouraging us to get back into the office to help “save the economy” and get the country moving again. Except, now many businesses are either back into local lockdowns, or have staff who are understandably reluctant to start their daily commute again.
For most HR managers, working from home has thrown a whole bunch of unexpected challenges your way. Not only are you adapting to not having your employees physically in one place, but you also need to manage their working environment, benefits, and company culture from afar. It’s a tough job to do, but now more than ever it’s crucial you pay attention to the financial wellbeing of your employees, even if they’re continuing to work from home.
Put yourself in your employee’s shoes. All the familiarities of “going to work” have been stripped away – networking opportunities, team socials, chances to impress your boss in-person 🙂 – all gone. Because of the uncertainties of work – possible redundancies, furloughed workers, and businesses failing altogether, people are increasingly stressed about their finances – around 40% in fact, and 42% are worried about losing their job.
They may also have seen a fall in their household income if their partner has been furloughed or ultimately lost their job, so your staff will be trying to manage their money in a completely different way. We know that 94% of employees say they worry about money, and three quarters admit it impacts their work.
Not only is this costing your business money (lost productivity costs businesses around £70bn per year), but 88% of employees want you, their employer, to give them access to top-quality financial guidance. This raises the question of how you can support your employees to get financially fit, even if they’re working from home.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider:
1. Get Talking
Working from home may have started as a bit of a novelty, but the shine has worn off for some. One of the biggest things employees are concerned about at the moment is their work-life balance. Some have even described it as ‘living at work’, feeling like they have little time available for anything other than work, including managing their money. Now’s the time for you to make sure your employees are clear about all their workplace benefits, including access to financial support and how they can access them from home. Promoting workshops and webinars that focus on providing useful financial wellbeing tips and strategies will not only offer real help to your employees; it will bring your teams together in a more social way.
2. Promote Team Wellbeing
Physically being together might not be a possibility, but this shouldn’t stop your employees from being able to enjoy some networking, team ‘downtimes’ or accessing wellbeing support. You can make the most of digital comms to ensure that people stay connected, use all available channels like apps, emails, and video calls to get ‘face-to-face’ help making them feel connected to your company in a real way. It’s also a good way for you to keep an eye on how your employees are coping while working from home. Distance working can be lonely, and some people might need more focus on their wellbeing during this time.
3. Reassure Your Employees
A lot of worries are being exacerbated by uncertainty in what the future holds for work and money. Recent research has found that 61% of employees say that they have little faith in the economy improving in the near future. Making sure that staff feel reassured and helping them understand what is going on behind the scenes to keep their jobs secure is incredibly important. Shout loud about any big company wins and be sure to communicate any changes to reduce the anxiety of your staff.
4. Address Their Concerns
If you can’t get out and mingle with colleagues or even work from a cafe anymore, chances are your employees will experience some isolation. Open a channel where people can contact support in a comfortable, confidential manner. This is going to help your business when it comes to absenteeism as you’ll be able to offer 1:1 support exactly where it’s needed. You can provide direct support when it comes to financial issues by pointing your employees in the direction of the financial wellbeing services that are included in their employee benefits. It also helps employees to build trust and loyalty towards their employer, which is excellent for boosting job satisfaction.
5. Get Feedback and Suggestions on the Future of Work
Have open and honest feedback sessions where your employees can suggest specific changes they’d like to see for their future at work. Perhaps working from home has made them realise that they’d like to be more flexible with work (freeing up office space), or maybe they’d like to return to the office as soon as it’s relatively safe to do so. We already know that 28% of employees want to work from home more often in the future, and around the same amount would like more support with their mental health, to do so effectively. Remember, good financial wellbeing is crucial to have excellent mental health, so as their employer, it’s essential to make sure your employees have all the right tools and benefits to support their work-from-home career.
Bippit is an advanced financial wellbeing platform that allows all your employees to receive personalised financial guidance from a real, human, financial expert. Bippit is jam-packed with useful resources in our Library where your employees can get clued up on all things money. If they have any questions, they can ask their financial coach at any time, from anywhere. They can also create and manage their budget, along with setting some money goals that will help them to become more financially secure.
If you’d like to find out how your business can support your employee’s financial wellbeing journey with Bippit, please get in touch today.