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How Work Wise Week Could Revolutionise Your Workplace

May 2022

*Through 15 May - 21 May 2022, Astutis are proud to support and help spread awareness for Work Wise Week 2022*

Work Wise UK view Work Wise Week and the subsequent National Work From Home Day (20 May 2022) as platforms to promote more thoughtful and safer working practices. The charity suggests employees across the world are still adjusting to the impact of COVID-19 on their work-life. 

One of the week's biggest concerns is whether workforces are being integrated into the workplace too quickly. Work Wise UK suggest employee mental health has taken an unprecedented impact due to workplace isolation caused by COVID-19. The charity believes that empowering workplace mental wellbeing is a crucial driver to ensure wiser and more efficient working. 

Work Wise UK are not alone. Thinktanks worldwide say health and safety have taken a notable hit recently. Jason Anker MBE, one of the UK's leading speakers on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, told Astutis he believes health and safety have gone back ten years since the pandemic. 

Speaking in the Health & Safety Digest, Anker stated, "My biggest fear was that there would be people going back to work without being switched on". Companies invite Jason worldwide to discuss the importance of health and safety to their workforce. He believes after a potentially two-year layoff; some employees lack the confidence they had in the workplace before the pandemic. "People would be going back to [workplaces such as] construction sites without the mental muscle to remember how to do the job". 

"Deadlines on projects won't give any leeway to how people are working," says Jason. Concerned about the corporate bottom line, Jason concludes, "Are projects going to be pushed when people aren't mentally or physically fit at this moment in time?". 

The effect of the pandemic on everyday working practices could be much more significant than we might think. Companies across the globe claim hybrid methods of working have become embedded in their long term practice. Some employees hired in the last two years are yet to meet their colleagues. Only ever having direct contact behind a computer or laptop screen. Before the pandemic, this wasn't the widespread normality. Today the burning debate rages on whether it should become an available everyday practice.  

There can be no doubt that hybrid working offers a more flexible work-life balance. Where compromises were once taken to benefit the employer, attitudes shifting towards employee wellbeing have allowed for a re-evaluation on how to protect workplace mental health. In short, the pandemic provided a platform to investigate pre-pandemic working practices. More than two years on, mental health charities have been calling for more flexible working conditions, such as mobile/hybrid working. 

Coincidentally, these calls come simultaneously as awareness surrounding climate change is at an all-time high. Work Wise UK insists integrating flexible working practices such as hybrid working would reduce emissions brought on by the daily commute. They also argue that global inflation means rising transport costs make commuting a costly tax on employees. 

Speaking for ourselves, we take immense pride in our employee empowerment. We promote constant communication within the Astutis family to ensure a proactive atmosphere towards workplace wellbeing is standard and permanent. We continue to adopt a hybrid working environment for our staff tailored to their needs as human beings because we believe the number one priority of anyone is their mental health and wellbeing. 

Leanne Ray, HR Manager at Astutis, has said, "We believe employee wellbeing and mental health is paramount and should never be undermined or downplayed. For this reason, employee wellbeing initiatives and forums are promoted as a free and safe space to invite transparency and improvement. We will continually offer mental health training and counselling to our staff and their families to establish a unified awareness of employee wellbeing".

In the training industry, the emergence of Virtual and Online training ensured learners could continue or begin their studies amid the pandemic. At Astutis, we were proud to lead the surge into virtual and online training to minimise disruption to our individual learners and corporate partners alike. Interestingly, the shift towards Virtual and Online learning has become a long-term trend, outlasting the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic.  

Consulting with our learners has provided us with invaluable feedback on newly emerged requirements such as increased flexibility and control over their training. Our Virtual Classroom offering infuses the structure of classroom learning with the safety and flexibility of Virtual training. The format continues to innovate the health, safety and environmental training industry because it is widely regarded as one of the most learner-centric training formats to date, allowing learners to study when and where they wish. Learners can now control their class time, with newly added evening classes available for those who want them. 

We are proud to support Work Wise Week 2022 by empowering our learners and our employees as society looks to put COVID-19 in its past. 


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