Our work and home lives have become blurred since the pandemic.
This created anxiety and stress.
In response employers sought to address their employees’ mental health and wellbeing.
According to a recent article by Emma Jacobs (see reference in the comments) some companies provided a range of employee benefits. These included storytelling sessions for their children, meditation apps and payments for exercise equipment and therapists. And at the height of the pandemic some companies dictated that managers checked in with reports every 48 hours.
My coachees tell me that their leadership roles have expanded to take on much greater pastoral care. In 1:1 sessions their reports divulge that they are feeling overwhelmed and depressed, or incidents of domestic violence.
This may be reflective of the change in societal attitudes from the ‘stiff upper lip’ to much greater openness about our personal lives, especially with the prevalence of sharing on social media and the lead of younger generations.
It may also reflect a shift from Milton Friedman’s doctrine that the manager’s obligation is to maximize profits for the sole benefit of shareholders. And that businesses and managers should not concern themselves with social responsibilities.
However, some are concerned that employers are overstepping their roles as they seek to care for their employees (or maintain productivity). Some argue that it is for the individual to make decisions about their exercise and rest regimes, the food and drink they consume etc. And by nudging or paying for additional prescribed benefits companies are infantalising their employees.
What is your experience and perspective?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like to be able to set boundaries, say ‘no’ and engage differently with your colleagues contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0) 7952 068133.