Hybrid working- WHY it is effecting employees mental healthMar 29, 2022
Hybrid working is such a challenge for all areas of business from the individual employee who is digging their heels in about not returning to the office, the line managers who have such a challenge in managing performance and work ethics from home to the HR Director who is having to make new policies and oversee the headache of it all.
Hybrid working is one of the key areas for organisations following the pandemic that needs to be manged carefully in regards mental health.
The main reason is because a large percentage of employees are operating from the primitive limbic part of their brain right now. The part of the brain that only has three parameters these being anxiety, anger, and depression. The part of the brain that fears change, that is fighting for survival and the part that controls the ego.
One of the reasons your brain is wiring to the limbic part is due to how full your ‘stress bucket’ is. Your ‘stress bucket’ is filled by negative thinking. Worries, judgements, criticism, negative self-talk, opinion of others all go in and fill your ‘stress bucket’. When your stress bucket is full your neuroconnections in your brain naturally keep you in the primitive, limbic survival part of the brain. And you have less neurocennections within the intellectual positive left prefrontal cortex part of the brain. The intellectual part of your brain is the part you need to be operating from to have good mental health.
With all the changes and uncertainty in regards working from home it causes negative thinking to fill your stress bucket. We know that the primitive brain is negative, it will always see things from the worse possible perspective. You can see then how it becomes a vicious cycle……you worry or think negatively…..stress bucket fills…….your brain operates from the primitive mind…….which is negative……and the cycle continues on and on.
This results in employees from all levels either being anxious, angry, or depressed about the changes hybrid working is causing. It can also causes black and white thinking and a scarcity mindset.
HOW can you manage this?
- Make sure your employees all have an understanding about how their brain works and why they are feeling this way right now.
- Become aware of which part of the brain the leadership team are operating from. Is it an intellectual mind decision that all employees must return to the office due to business demands or is the primititve mind in charge resulting in black and white thinking and fear of change.
- Once an intellectual solution-focused decision has been made regarding what can be offered to employees make sure they know and understand the business reasons.
- Show strong leadership. Tell employees what is expected and the amount of time they are required to be in the office. Giving too much choice to employees with poor mental health can make them more anxious.
- Allow as much flexibility as possible regarding hybrid working.
- Bring a mental health expert in to explain to the employees why the decisions have been made regarding hybrid working. Take the blame away from the organisation.
If you would like to discuss managing hybrid working regarding mental health, please
drop me a message or an email at [email protected]
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