The range of challenges faced by today’s workforce has undoubtedly increased in line with the rapid pace of change in technology, innovation and society. This has been further compounded by the global pandemic and the rise in remote working as workplaces move to become more decentralised.
The risk of isolation, low mood, anxiety and stress is greater than ever and for some, they are dealing with grief or trying to manage changed personal circumstances. Workplace wellbeing has arguably never been more important, and employers have had to adapt their wellness strategies to ‘the new normal’.
IBEC’s 7th National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021, which falls today, is the only national day in the EU dedicated solely to employee health and wellbeing. Organisations are encouraged to examine the needs within to ensure a supportive and effective modern workplace, and Datapac are proud to be part of this wellbeing movement.
Launch of the Datapac Employee Assistance Programme
For Datapac, wellbeing in the workplace has always been something we are keen to nurture and for almost four decades, the organisation has provided often extensive support to those who have needed it. This support has, at the very least, helped to mitigate some of the difficulty being experienced, but very often played a key part in achieving positive outcomes.
Built on this foundation, we had a desire to further enhance the supports available to our team to be best-in-class, in keeping with our continued evolution as a modern workplace. Core to this was ensuring that we could reach and support any of our team who might need it, wherever they might be.
This National Workplace Wellbeing Day, we are delighted to launch our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) as part of our journey to achieving this goal. In conjunction with Laya Healthcare, this 24/7 service is completely free and confidential, and will support our team’s wellbeing in this changed environment. Whatever the individual need may be, Datapac team members can access ‘in-the-moment’ and expert counselling support specific to their circumstance.
Work and personal life have always coexisted and more and more, those lines are becoming blurred as working from home is quickly becoming the ‘new normal’. To truly support workplace wellbeing, an individual needs to be supported as a person and not just as an employee. It is important to Datapac that a holistic approach is taken to support team members in both a professional and personal capacity.
Towards this aim, we have ensured support services are also available to the family members of our team, that they can be accessed regardless of location and that multi-lingual support is available. In addition, we looked to provide access to services beyond the work context, and now have a wide range of supports available on practical, day-to-day issues such as financial or legal issues.
Supporting Team Managers and Coaches
Despite trying to do their very best for their teams by identifying those experiencing challenges and supporting them through it, managers often find themselves in unchartered waters, dealing with issues outside of both their expertise and comfort zone, and they too need to be supported. The implementation of a professional EAP provides a level of support for our team managers and coaches, and also assists this cohort to understand and consider the emotional wellbeing of others when conducting difficult conversations or resolving conflicts.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the modern workplace has been the ability to stay connected as the workplace becomes decentralised. At Datapac, we are doing everything we can to try to ensure that colleagues do not feel isolated when working remotely. We are leveraging technology and the latest platforms to ensure our teams are connected during the working week. We are fortunate to have been an early adopter of remote communication and collaboration tools, along with assisting many of our customers on a similar journey. As remote working looks set to continue, we will continue to build on this strategy to ensure maximum effectiveness going forward.
While such tools have proven invaluable, recent research by Microsoft has found that taking time out between video calls reduces stress. To amplify this and to mark the 7th National Wellbeing Day, we are encouraging our teams to step away from the screen to complete a socially distanced 5km walk or run and to share their pictures on our Twitter channel. Just because we are apart, does not mean we cannot do something together!
For more information on National Workplace Wellbeing Day, visit the Ibec website.
Karen O’Connor, General Manager, ICT Services and Solutions at Datapac
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