It’s an unspoken rule: companies must take care of the well-being of their employees because employees are the backbone of the company.
In the past two years, companies shifted their focus on how to take care of their employees’ well-being because of the pandemic. The work from home rule was established as companies moved away from offices amid government-mandated lockdowns. But the lockdowns set in place globally due to COVID-19 led to isolation, loneliness, and depression among workers.
According to a study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports, there is a significant link between the pandemic and psychological distress. Lack of acquaintances and friends to talk to, lack of people to communicate with through social media, lack of family time, and increased solitary eating were all factors that exacerbated this. This link between the two suggests the need for intervention.
The role of industrial-organisational psychology in a post-pandemic workplace
Industrial-organisational (I/O) psychology helps companies identify issues that employees face in our post-pandemic world. Industrial-organisational psychology evaluates the individual, group, and organisational dynamics involved in a company. As a science, industrial-organisational psychology uses research to find solutions to problems. It searches for ways to boost the well-being and performance of an organisation and its employees.
More than improving business productivity or workplace efficiency, industrial-organisational psychology sees the bigger picture and the links between workplace processes. It assesses the connections on how decisions are made, how employees and teams communicate, and how team members collaborate and interact. When given assessments on these areas, employers will be able to know where they can change systems and dynamics to nurture the growth of employees and ensure they are well-taken care of.
How to apply industrial-organisational psychology during a hybrid workplace setup
Industrial psychologists focus on studying workplace culture to determine an employee type that would fit a job description. This aspect allows them to help in recruitment. Additionally, industrial psychologists also identify missing skills in employees and develop effective training programs to help them learn what they need to.
Meanwhile, organisational psychologists focus on boosting employee satisfaction, decreasing workplace stress, and promoting work-life balance. Organisational psychologists suggest changes in processes so that employee well-being can be improved at work, which in turn creates more engaged and productive employees.
Through the combination of industrial-organisational psychology, companies can develop wellness policies that can prevent employee burnout and give more ample time for employees to rest, particularly in a hybrid setup, where the lines between work and home can get blurry.
In a post-pandemic future, companies must do what they can to adjust and adopt to the changing needs of clients, customers, and employees. Scientific processes can help organisations find much-needed solutions to significant problems.