We’re hearing a great deal about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace at the moment. The way many of us have changed our working methods and the structure of our working day has also impacted other aspects of our lives. For instance, business owners and managers may not be in face-to-face contact with their teams with quite the same frequency as they once were. Recognising the impact of these seismic changes and the impacts they may have on staff should not be underestimated. Investment and resources should be secured, to ensure no one slips through cracks and important indicators are left unresolved.
The nature of surveying
The nature of the surveying profession means that it is impossible to carry out large portions of your work from home. Like many affiliated to the construction industry, the work involves travelling to site and carrying out the job in-situ. Of course, much of the follow up work and assessment can be carried out in office, but the initial findings will need to be out in the field. Business owners should be aware of their teams’ situations and should ensure that the same level of contact should be retained to the levels pre-pandemic. Surveying can be a pressured environment and the stresses of the role can take their own toll. Mental wellbeing can severely impact performance levels, with the speed and accuracy of work affected, if the surveyor is suffering from wellbeing issues.
Recognising the signs
The fact that these issues should be addressed should not merely be a tick-box exercise, but should an integral part of the company offering, from the top-down. Body language and demeanour can be big giveaways on how someone is feeling. A lack of social activity and general reluctance to engage, either at home or at work, can also be a key indicator of mental wellbeing issues. If there has been a drop-off in productivity or an increased instance in poor accuracy, mistakes and absenteeism, these too could be alarm bells that need addressing. A degree of training may be required to ensure that management are willing to engage with staff on these issues and also allocate the time and resources needed to safeguard their staff and their wellbeing.
Addressing the issue
The acceptance of the importance of Health & Safety issues over the years has been led by legislation. This has resulted in some huge changes and adaptations in the way surveyors and others access and work in a construction environment. But wellbeing is just as important. A healthy body that makes good, considered decisions starts with a healthy mind – so it’s imperative to look at the whole person and their work output to decide if wellbeing is becoming an issue. Engaging and beginning the conversation is only the start however and until signs are recognised and tackled, the question of wellbeing and mental health at work will be an ongoing discussion.
At TSA, we recognise the importance of wellbeing to our members and are keen to promote the ways in which we are looking to confront this challenge. In acknowledgement of this, we have begun to run some guidance and workshops, that look to safeguard our members and educate everyone in the industry – at all levels – of the issues involved. Contact the team to find out more.