News and updates for in-the-know vintage insurance experts and those who value their talents.
Did you know that in addition to property and casualty wahves, we also provide wahves for employee benefits, accounting, and human resource positions?
The New Digital Workplace
As we approach the one-year mark of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, businesses and individuals alike have adapted to a new normal. That new normal, you may have guessed, is remote—with work, businesses, milestones and even relationships maintained virtually, using the many digital tools at our disposal. Not only are we all now accustomed to Zoom meetings, but FaceTime birthday celebrations and video-conference retirement parties have become the standard way to socialize and commemorate special occasions. It’s a brave new world.

And now, it’s become clear that that brave new world is here to stay. As reported in a January New Yorker article, global advertising and marketing agency R/GA conducted a series of internal surveys that found that not only did 30% of supervisors believe employees were actually more productive at home, but employees were envisioning remote work becoming a permanent option. The article then went on to detail how certain companies are altering their plans for physical office space going forward: smaller satellite locations versus large, centralized hubs; fewer (or no) individual desks and cubicles, to be replaced by shared, reservable workspaces; fewer enclosed, dedicated conference rooms and more generalized public spaces for collaborating.

Meanwhile, The Atlantic recently published a piece about how the meteoric rise of remote work, fueled by the pandemic, is already leading to a redistribution of talent across the country, as information workers move out of coastal metropolises and into the Sun Belt, Midwest, and Southeast cities. In fact, the article notes that venture fund Initialized released a recent survey finding that 42% of its firms believe starting a remote company is better than being headquartered anywhere, compared with just 6% thinking so last year. “What if the next Silicon Valley is nowhere—or, just as precisely, everywhere?” writes the author.
At WAHVE, we’re at the forefront of this movement. We’ve always understood the power and value in remote work—and the power and value in a diverse talent pool. Perhaps one of the only silver linings of this terrible health crisis is that many more businesses have been forced to embrace these things in a much more meaningful and impactful way. As the trend continues, I expect we’ll see many more companies instituting policies around:

·     Flextime and non-traditional work arrangements, including contract and Part-time work
·     Work/life balance benefits, such as providing ergonomic desk equipment, virtual on-demand exercise classes, childcare coverage, and more
·     Fully remote teams and remote-team management
·     Expanding the definition of “talent pool” to include all geographical l. locations and age groups

We may not know exactly what a post-Covid world will look like. But I think we can all agree that whatever shape it takes, remote work will feature prominently in it.
Sharon Emek, PhD, CIC
CEO and President, Work At Home Vintage Experts
How workers are holding up during the pandemic
At this point, it seems safe to say that working from home arrangements are here to stay. The pandemic has helped shatter long-held negative perceptions about working from home and has given millions of people who never had the opportunity to work from home the chance to “try it out.” And while many are thriving in the new work-from-home economy, it hasn’t been rainbows and unicorns for everyone.

A new global study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence of people between the ages of 22 and 74 found that the pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of 78% of the global workforce. And 85% say that mental health issues at work are bleeding into their home lives. In the United States, the number of adults experiencing depression has tripled since the outbreak began. Stress and anxiety have been on the rise too.

So, we at WAHVE were curious -- how are older workers holding up? According to the study, older age groups are less worried about mental health compared to younger counterparts. In fact, 73% of millennials (26 to 37) said they’ve had more stress at work than any year before compared to 59% of baby boomers (55 to 74).

The study doesn’t say why this may be the case, but we believe that age and experience is a benefit when it comes to navigating change in the workplace. Older workers have seen many changes during their careers and have grown the skills of adaptation and resilience. It’s the “been there, done that” advantage that helps older workers combat typical workplace stressors. On a practical level, most older workers may not feel as stressed because they haven’t had to deal with the chaos of raising and homeschooling kids while working through the pandemic.

Still, 59% isn’t a statistic that makes any of us breathe a sigh of relief. As a result of the pandemic, stress and anxiety are affecting all ages in the workplace at an unprecedented rate – and in the same Oracle and Workplace Intelligence study, 76% of people said companies should be doing more to support the mental health of their employees. One effective way is for managers to reach out to their employees to gauge their stress levels. Ask about their family circumstances, the types of stress they are experiencing, what would be helpful to lessen the stress. The company can also provide access to helpful self-service health resources such as on-demand counseling services, wellness and meditation apps, and yoga and exercise apps.

Even after the pandemic is over, it will take a few years for the stress it caused to dissipate. Mental health will continue to be a workplace challenge, and employers who can offer the best support to their employees will reap the benefits in terms of team effectiveness, organizational productivity and individual performance.

What is your company doing to help support the mental health of your employees?
WAHVE is an innovative contract talent solution that matches retiring, experienced career professionals with a company's talent needs. WAHVE bridges the gap between an employer's need for highly skilled professional talent and seasoned professionals desiring to extend their career working from home. From screening to placement, WAHVE is a comprehensive solution to qualifying, hiring, and managing experienced remote talent.
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