PwC’s 2020 CEO Panel Survey found that Covid-19 has presented UK CEOs with a unique opportunity to refine or reinvent their businesses and reevaluate their priorities. Changes required in response to the pandemic are being considered as long-term strategic changes, such as increased remote working, reduced travel and a more digital way of working. The knock-on effects of this include the potential for cost savings across businesses and an improved environmental impact, plus a greater need to focus on employee wellbeing.
What has been the response of UK CEOs to employee wellbeing?
UK CEOs lead the pack in conducting wellbeing initiatives – 90% of UK CEOs compared with 61% globally. While 93% of CEOs invested in protecting employee health and safety – an expected response to government guidelines – the equal response regarding employee wellbeing and retention is striking. Nearly half of UK CEOs ensured leadership took the economic hit and nearly a quarter provided additional financial support to employees.
UK CEOs also ensured their workforces could help the community effort, with 49% contributing resources such as volunteers and essential goods to the pandemic response.
How can business leaders maintain employee wellbeing?
The survey found that 86% of CEOs saw a permanent shift to remote working, with a blend of office-based working. Face to face working promotes learning and innovation and so it is vital that the office environment is safe for all employees and visitors.
Government guidelines put forward a number of measures that companies can take to fulfil this requirement, such as easily accessible hand washing facilities/hand sanitiser and recording visitors to the building for track and trace purposes. Other things to consider would be how to manage social distancing, perhaps placing clear signage or purchasing reception furniture such as https://www.bestbuy-officechairs.co.uk/reception-chairs/. Reception chairs and furniture could be touched by many people throughout the day, so buying chairs in vinyl or antibacterial material would be an ideal option.
The charity MIND has a number of measures that employers can put in place for the mental wellbeing of staff. With more businesses reorganising their workforce to be more flexible and work from home, the charity recommends employees keep in regular contact with their team through video calls or by telephone and maintain a healthy work/life balance by taking walks on lunch breaks and having a firm time to finish the working day.