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Employee wellbeing – Just momentary hype or long-term genuine concern?

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During the pandemic, some phrases gained prominence in the corporate world — employee health, employee wellness and mental wellbeing. Organisations started launching initiatives to get their employees and their immediate family members inoculated on priority. They designed activities that prioritised employees’ physical health as well as mental wellbeing. Businesses started to sit up and take notice of the harmful repercussions of work stress on their employees’ well-being. Many introduced one-off holidays mid-week or granted extra leaves to those dealing with mental-health issues. Of course, it all sounds good and beneficial for the employees, but will the trend continue even after things return to normal? Will these conversations around employee wellbeing die out once the pandemic becomes a thing of the past?

“I believe, in many organisations, especially in the IT sector, employee health was always a top priority, and the pandemic merely gave it a push. Now, instead of being just an HR priority, it has become a business necessity, so much so that it has become a priority for the board. Board members are regularly taking updates on the vaccination drive, which have come to be a major business goal now.”

Rajesh Balaji, CHRO, Matrimony.com

These are very pertinent questions, because pandemic or no pandemic, employee health needs to remain a top priority for organisations. So, it is important to know how serious employers are when it comes to the wellbeing of their workforce. Are they all just jumping on to the bandwagon to follow something that happens to be the trend at the moment, or are they genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of their employees?

The HR leaders have mixed views. There is no doubt that the pandemic has forced all organisations to focus on employee wellbeing. “I believe, in many organisations, especially in the IT sector, employee health was always a top priority, and the pandemic merely gave it a push. Now, instead of being just an HR priority, it has become a business necessity, so much so that it has become a priority for the board. Board members are regularly taking updates on the vaccination drive, which have come to be a major business goal now,” says Rajesh Balaji, CHRO, Matrimony.com.

 

“In the Indian context, even after the pandemic gets over, organisations will always keep the employee wellbeing agenda right on top. This is because, the number of socially-responsible investors— who give major emphasis to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating of the organisation is increasing — while investing in a company. This particular metric indicates how socially responsible an organisation is. Under the ‘social’ category comes employee health and workplace safety.”

Babu Thomas, CHRO, Shalby

Babu Thomas, CHRO, Shalby, is of the opinion that in the Indian context, even after the pandemic gets over, organisations will always keep the employee wellbeing agenda right on top. This is because, the number of socially-responsible investors— who give major emphasis to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating of the organisation is increasing — while investing in a company. This particular metric indicates how socially responsible an organisation is. Under the ‘social’ category comes employee health and workplace safety. For the sake of their ESG rating, organisations will continue to take employee health and wellness seriously, even after the pandemic ends.

In fact, Thomas also shares that organisations have now realised that pandemics of this nature can hit us any time in the future. So, they will have to allocate resources for the same. “Now that companies have provided employees with health-risk coverage, they will also need resources that can be deployed — if required — in case threats to their employees’ health crop up in future,” explains Thomas.

Kinjal Chaudhary

“Within nine to 10 months, this employee wellbeing wave will subside. Employee health was not a major concern in the first wave either. It was only in the second wave that businesses experienced disruptions because every household reported a positive case. If the situation remains normal and if the third wave doesn’t turn out to be as fierce as the last one, organisations will refocus on business growth with fury.”

Kinjal Choudhary, HR consultant and former CHRO

Balaji also agrees that employee wellbeing will remain a top agenda for the HR and th organisations as a whole, at least for another two years. “No company will repeat the mistake they made post the first wave. Nobody will let down their guard this time around,” predicts Balaji.

However, Kinjal Choudhary, HR consultant and former CHRO, holds a slightly different view. He feels that within nine to 10 months, this employee wellbeing wave will subside. He strongly believes that during the lockdowns, many businesses have suffered heavy losses, and therefore, the focus will again return to business growth. “Employee health was not a major concern in the first wave either. It was only in the second wave that businesses experienced disruptions because every household reported a positive case. If the situation remains normal and if the third wave doesn’t turn out to be as fierce as the last one, organisations will refocus on business growth with fury,” mentions Choudhary.

‘Should employee wellbeing always remain on top of the priority list of organisations?’ Each and every HR leader will answer with an emphatic ‘yes’, but whether they will sincerely practise what they preach, is something we need to wait and watch.

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Source: https://www.hrkatha.com/features/employee-wellbeing-just-momentary-hype-or-long-term-genuine-concern/

HRTech

Starting from scratch? An expert guide to starting a business with no savings

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There has been a significant upturn in the number of start-up business ventures since pandemic restrictions set in across the UK last year.  

A recent study from The University of Law Business School 1 found that 854,948 independent businesses have been set up since 23rd March 2020, a significant 43% increase compared to the same period a year before (594,957).  

Although some budding entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to be able to fund their projects with their own savings, some have no option but to start completely from scratch. With this in mind, experts at ULaw Business School have put together a guide to starting a business with no savings whatsoever.  

  1. Start small and simple 

There are a number of potential upfront costs when starting a business which can put you in the red before you even get going. Paying for things such as designs, premises and services are nice to have but not always necessary at the start, so simplifying your operation from the get-go is important.  

By conducting your business predominantly online, using services such as the Cloud to store your information, free tools such as Canva to build your brand identity, and free conferencing tools such as Skype or Zoom for any meetings and networking, you’ll be able to build a support base for your company at virtually no cost. This will allow you to scale up and put more complex structures in place moving forward. 

  • Build around what you already have 

If you have a set of skills or can provide a service people want, you can start to monetise with little to no financial investment. If you’re willing to put in your own time and effort, you can adapt an idea to work around the resources you already have.  

There are many services you can provide as a business that might align with your current hobbies, such as photography or writing and editing. There is always demand and you can use the equipment you already have to expand these into paid services. Promoting your service or products on social media is a useful and free way to get your name out there, build a reputation and start building a loyal customer base. 

  • Calculate your costs and stick to a budget 

If you’re starting a new business project with no savings to fall back on, it’s important to properly plan and outline your expected costs before you do anything else.  

Having a breakdown of your potential outgoings from day one will help you set a clear budget to ensure you don’t spend beyond initially modest means. Forecasting any potential spend each month will allow you to set a target of sales you’ll need as a minimum. Doing this weekly will ensure you can keep track of your progress, which you can start to build on, and increase your spend as your product or service starts to gain traction.    

  • Run it as a side project (initially) 

There is an element of risk when starting a new business, particularly if your base level of finance is zero. One way to easily minimise this risk is to keep hold of any full or part time job you have as a means of slowly funding the project. This will likely mean more working hours to balance both projects but could pay off in the long run. 

If you can keep any non-essential costs to a minimum to begin with, any money you do put into any project will help you expand and grow once that becomes necessary. Finally, be sure to seek advice or speak to an accountant to manage any tax implications that come with self-employment alongside full-time work. 

  • Explore government support 

You don’t always have to take a leap of faith financially when starting a business. If you have no notable funds to launch your venture, there’s an array of government support schemes to help you get things off the ground.  

The government’s Business Finance Support Finder can offer entrepreneurs different methods of financial aid, whether that’s a business grant or a flexible loan you can pay back in your own time. The options can be tailored to your own circumstances to ensure you get the right amount of support to help you. Make sure you have a solid business plan in place if this is something you choose to apply for, as it will most likely be an integral part of the application. 

Marco Mongiello, Pro Vice-Chancellor, The University of Law Business School, commented: “There is no doubt that more and more people are gaining the confidence to start out on their own, with the additional time at home due to pandemic restrictions inspiring Brits to get creative and try to monetise their skills. 

“However, whilst there are plenty of success stories of businesses born in lockdown, the challenges facing new start-ups are significant, particularly for those starting out on a modest or non-existent financial foundation. 

“In an increasingly digitised world, running a business remotely at very low cost is now more common than ever and we are confident these tips will help inspire entrepreneurs that may have been apprehensive about starting a business venture with no savings to fund it.” 

To find out more about The University of Law Business School, please visit: https://www.law.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/business/  ; 

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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/starting-from-scratch-an-expert-guide-to-starting-a-business-with-no-savings/

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HRTech

30% of young workers in the UK want travel vaccinations included in their benefits packages

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Data from a recent study reveals that the UK’s company benefit schemes are ignoring younger employees, despite a huge majority placing great value on benefits. Just 16% of UK employees under 25 (Gen Z) feel that their current benefits package is suitable for them. This figure increases to 24% for aged 25-34.

The study was conducted by one of the UK’s leading wet wipe brands, Wet Ones, as part of the 2021 Employee Benefits, Health and Wellbeing Survey. It asked employees at 133 workplaces across the UK how their health and wellbeing needs and habits have changed, and whether updated benefits packages from their employers would help to support their wellbeing.

The ‘wants’ of Gen Z employees, who feel least satisfied with their benefits packages, are found to be evolving with shifting societal priorities faster than other age groups.

30% of under-25s in the UK want travel vaccinations included in their benefits packages, helping them to embrace their pent-up wanderlust as overseas travel gradually becomes easier

25% would like additional ‘health days’ holiday packages to support mental health

21% want greater flexibility on working hours, hoping that pandemic-enforced changes would lead to a working hours revolution

Many employee benefits schemes remain unchanged after the global shift to home working and a more flexible hybrid system. This has led to many company perks being unused and failing to encourage employee health, wellbeing, and productivity.

Have companies adapted to fit changing lifestyles?

The study reveals that companies are lagging behind lifestyle trends, with four out of five (81%) employees (of all ages) stating that their benefits packages are out of sync with their lifestyle.

When asked how their employers could support their physical, mental and personal wellbeing, these were the results:

70% feel the need for more flexible working hours

61% want private healthcare and dental care, and financial support with staying healthy (such as glasses, physio sessions or ergonomic office equipment)

53% would like additional ‘health days’ for personal wellbeing

How can companies better align to employee lifestyles?

To effectively support employee wellbeing, it is essential that companies realise how their employees’ lifestyles have permanently shifted. 

The way we exercise

Rather than ‘binge exercising’ at weekends, the UK workforce has enjoyed regular exercise throughout the working week since widespread working from home began. 84% say they are more physically active since moving the office to home.

The UK has become a nation of walkers: nearly three in five (56%) employees now walk more during the working week, instead of exclusively at weekends

Two in five (39%) feel their diet has improved, with people ditching takeaways and pre-packaged food in favour of healthy, home-cooked meals

A quarter (25%) of UK employees are participating in more wellness activities, such as gardening and engaging with nature

Changing exercise routines should cause companies to consider more flexible funding of equipment, instead of just offering a standard gym membership. While an increased focus on healthy diets could point towards more of an appetite for fruit and vegetable box deliveries, rather than a monthly takeaway. Wellness activities should also be incorporated to ensure both physical and mental health support is covered.

Gurinder Sagoo, HR Director for North Europe and Oceania at Wet Ones, says:

“We’re aware of the importance of ensuring people have the support and resources they need to lead both active and healthy lifestyles. The findings from this study show that an urgency to adapt employee wellbeing packages has emerged during the last year. 

“Significantly, they also demonstrate how essential it is for benefits packages to cater for everyone in the workplace, by taking into account each individual’s age, lifestyle and personal circumstances. An inclusive benefits package contributes to the whole team feeling supported in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Therefore, it is crucial that companies digest these findings and take action to improve how they nurture employee wellbeing.”

Kris Ambler, Workforce Lead at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), says:

“Lockdown loneliness and digital fatigue are among the phrases that have entered our lexicon and many employees are contending with bereavement and grief, redundancy, restructuring and job insecurity. This means that employee benefit programmes will need to be more personalised; managers will have to be more intuitive when assessing the mental wellbeing of remote workers; and financial wellbeing support will need to play a larger role within the employee benefits and occupational health mix.

“Investing in employee benefit schemes makes good economic sense and demonstrates a genuine commitment to an employer’s duty of care to their staff. Support services, including counselling, can help to identify and address problems early. They can alleviate the psychological impact of negative work situations and keep employees working effectively and productively.”

Dawn Morris, HR Adviser at Cluer HR, says:

“The right workplace support can have a hugely positive impact on employee wellbeing and mental health and is fundamental to every employer’s reward and benefits programme. It will show understanding and appreciation of current and future employees, and help to build an engaged, supported and productive workforce. Having the right benefits package can also attract new talent to the business.”

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Source: http://hrnews.co.uk/30-of-young-workers-in-the-uk-want-travel-vaccinations-included-in-their-benefits-packages/

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HRTech

Attention iPhone users: Soon it will be easier for you to switch to Android

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Apple has had a “Move to iOS” app in the Google Play store for years.

Finally, Google is planning a similar tool for those wanting to switch from iOS to Android.

Switching platforms is hard. It’s possible, but the deeper you are into an ecosystem, the harder it is to switch without that move costing you a lot of time, effort, money, and you can never fully replicate some features.

Currently, if you want to switch platforms, you first have to squirt all your iPhone data such as photos to Google Drive, and then download it all back to your new Android smartphone. It works, but you don’t get a seamless switch for things like apps.

This is about to change.

Must read: Why you need to urgently update all your iPhones, iPads, and Macs – NOW!

The eagle-eyed folks over at 9to5Google have spotted some changes to Google’s Data Restore Tool that mentions a “Switch to Android” app for iOS that transfers the data over a Wi-Fi connection between the two devices.

It’s worth bearing in mind that no switch is going to be perfect. Some apps are exclusive to certain platforms, and even where they are not, any paid apps will need to be repurchased for the new platform.

Switching from iOS to Android will also mean losing iMessage, which for many is an unacceptable loss.

Currently, there’s no “Switch to Android” app in the Apple App Store, but it might be worth keeping an eye out for it.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/attention-iphone-users-soon-it-will-be-easier-to-switch-to-android/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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HRTech

Attention iPhone users: Soon it will be easier for you to switch to Android

Published

on

Apple has had a “Move to iOS” app in the Google Play store for years.

Finally, Google is planning a similar tool for those wanting to switch from iOS to Android.

Switching platforms is hard. It’s possible, but the deeper you are into an ecosystem, the harder it is to switch without that move costing you a lot of time, effort, money, and you can never fully replicate some features.

Currently, if you want to switch platforms, you first have to squirt all your iPhone data such as photos to Google Drive, and then download it all back to your new Android smartphone. It works, but you don’t get a seamless switch for things like apps.

This is about to change.

Must read: Why you need to urgently update all your iPhones, iPads, and Macs – NOW!

The eagle-eyed folks over at 9to5Google have spotted some changes to Google’s Data Restore Tool that mentions a “Switch to Android” app for iOS that transfers the data over a Wi-Fi connection between the two devices.

It’s worth bearing in mind that no switch is going to be perfect. Some apps are exclusive to certain platforms, and even where they are not, any paid apps will need to be repurchased for the new platform.

Switching from iOS to Android will also mean losing iMessage, which for many is an unacceptable loss.

Currently, there’s no “Switch to Android” app in the Apple App Store, but it might be worth keeping an eye out for it.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/attention-iphone-users-soon-it-will-be-easier-to-switch-to-android/#ftag=RSSbaffb68

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