This Sunday 7th April celebrates World Health Day, a global health awareness day designed to raise awareness about physical and mental health. It calls for better mental health promotion, prevention and stigma reduction at work, in order to build stronger, fairer and more resilient workplaces.
The world has evolved tremendously during the past 50 years. Although technology has played a huge role in society’s progression, it has also changed the way people think, work and live their lives.
While the traditional workplace involved heading to a physical location typically between the hours of 9am and 5pm, today’s workplace is extremely different. Working has never been quite so competitive and flexible, while technology has significantly changed the dynamic of most workplaces.
Many employees are expected to be available around-the-clock, and with mobile phones at our fingertips, we can be easily reached by phone call, text or email with almost no excuse not to respond. Customers are also reaching out to companies more frequently than ever before, using social media to voice complaints, feedback or request help.
Taking action against poor work-life balance
While the ubiquity of technology has enabled us to work faster and more efficiently, it has also had a detrimental impact on work-life balance. Technology has eliminated natural breaks and encouraged people to work outside designated work hours, even over the weekend or when sick. Many people complain of feeling burnt out as a result of spending 40+ hours a week invested in their job, and if you are in a job that you do not enjoy, this can have serious negative implications on your mental and physical health.
Emotional stress can wear down your body’s defences, causing you to get sick more easily. Sustained tension diminishes concentration and creates exhaustion, leading to more mistakes at work and the greater chance of an accident. Poor work satisfaction also carries over into your personal life, and can lead directly to symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
If you’re in a job or working environment that you dislike, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Firstly, you should discuss the problem with your supervisor, manager or HR to determine if any changes can be made. Many scenarios – such as a poor work environment or unfulfilling role, can be addressed internally as a way to proactively improve your happiness within the workplace.
If you feel the situation is truly hopeless or that you have to change for something better, get proactive about leaving. Take stock of what is happening in your life and assess every aspect of your situation in order to be fully aware of what you might need to change. Remain professional within your current role and speak gracefully about the company in an interview. And when the time does come to leave, remain dignified, polite and courteous.
Your wellbeing is crucial, especially when it comes to your ability to thrive at work. Whether you want to alter your current position within the organisation or change jobs entirely, your options are not limited. Remember that you have the right to find a workplace that supports your wellbeing and encourages a positive work-life balance.
If you are seeking new recruitment opportunities, contact one of AP Group’s consultants today.
Flexible Recruiting on the Rise in the UK as Demand for Digital Talent Increases
28% of UK businesses are set to hire temporary or contract staff over the next 12 months, due to the impact of digitalisation on businesses and a lack of available talent.
The results, which come from the Salary Guide of a leading UK recruitment firm, found that two in five UK organisations regard digitalisation as the main evolving force in today’s workplace.
The Impact of Digitalisation on the Workplace
Digitalisation is impacting the workplace in countless ways, forcing businesses to rethink the way they are organised.
For instance, employers are introducing new working structures and monitoring employee performance in ways that have not been previously possible. The accelerating pace of automation is also changing the role of employees, transforming work content, work processes and the working environment in unimaginable ways.
As AI, automation and digitalisation infiltrate the present-day workforce, businesses are increasingly in need of employees who possess a set of skills that reflect these technological changes, including data visualisation, data management and analytics. And while ‘soft’ skills such as resilience, adaptability and critical thinking remain key characteristics of a potential hire, a third of employers state that a candidate’s technical skillset is extremely influential during the hiring process.
The Inevitable Rise of Flexible Recruiting
There is currently a notable skills shortage in the UK, particularly in the technology sector, which has an estimated 40,000-strong deficit in appropriately qualified specialists. Brexit uncertainty is also hindering UK hiring activity, causing a detrimental impact on the skilled technology talent pool.
As a result of the above, many businesses are left with no other choice but to adopt more flexible recruitment strategies. For instance, there has been an upsurge in short-term contracts, also known as ‘gigs’ which include both one-off and repeat arrangements, and this trend looks set to remain over the next 12 months.
The gig economy presents many benefits to businesses, including easy access to a wider talent pool from across the globe, who are easily accessible thanks to advances in technology and increased mobility. Many of these workers possess a diverse range of skills, thus opening up businesses to a creative and innovative new workforce.
Another benefit to recruiters is that it cuts costs, not only during the initial hiring process but in the long-term too. As freelancers typically promote themselves more heavily through new technologies (including apps and dedicated website), this makes them cheaper and easier to find online. This also presents increased flexibility to the structure of the workforce, which can be quickly and easily increased or decreased in accordance with workload demands and budgets.