We have neared the completion of three years since COVID-19 made its first strike. After the industrial revolution, the pattern of work culture, social behavior, psychological behavior, and lifestyle of people stepped into the first-time common interest around the periphery of the industrial civilization. This was a phenomenon that was never seen before. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted work culture, working style, social behavior, and office culture regardless of the government and corporate sectors. This is possibly the most significant shuffle in corporate culture since the industrial revolution. This time, the overhaul was magnified as the psychological legacy developed during the last industrial revolution amplified.

Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Modern Culture

The World Health Organization (WHO) globally announced the epidemic of COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30th, 2020. Novel Coronavirus forced millions of people to work from home, stay in lockdown, maintain physical distancing, pursue online education, engage in E-commerce, and conduct virtual meetings, which significantly impacted human psychological behavior and the modern lifestyle.

The working environment has drastically changed from stress, anxiety, and panic to sudden health concerns, leading to the development of a new psychosocial dogma for the health and well-being of workers. Amid the transforming changes that the modern world is witnessing, the International Labor Organization (ILO) forecasted the future corporate culture in its declaration stating, “safe and healthy working conditions fundamental to decent work.” This safeguarded the modern employee from the view of a fundamental right in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dark Side of the Pandemic on Working Class

The COVID-19 pandemic also led to the development of certain unique psychosocial traits like avoiding gathering or developing several mental disorders among frontline workers; a habit of working from home among regular corporate employees; depressional and over-exhaustive traits among essential goods and services providers who lost their business or job; and even those informal, unorganized poor workers and domestic workers who paid a considerable cost for survival.

Whereas particularly frontline workers like healthcare employees have been facing many stressful circumstances such as increased workloads, longer working hours, and getting panic of virus infection or transferring the virus to family, friends, or colleagues at working place, and even more worsen the situation is eye witnessing people losing their lives because of COVID-19. All these significantly slowly developing psychosocial risks hazards in the workplace are now reflected in employee behavior and working styles.

Therefore, employees working in offices need timely sanitization and are forced to maintain social distancing at the working site. While on the other hand, working from home was found to create additional pressure on employees of maintaining the proper balance between office tasks and family time for older and children.

Moreover, taking care of housekeeping activities to maintain hygiene with respect has become quintessential. In this way, women employees were more affected compared to men. The employees who work from home are at psychosocial risks such as experiencing isolation from the working community, and clashes of work and family time further leading to the possibility of domestic violence in the family, & ultimately influencing their job performances. To prolong the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, without proper addressing or managing the employees can cause an increase in stress levels which impacts psychological behavior come out with inadequate responses as may be mental exhaustion, nervousness, depression, tension, loss of optimistic motivation, and may even promote suicidal incidents and the chances of physical health imbalance such as indigestion, abdominal pain, loss of appetite or weight gain, weakness, cardiovascular diseases, headaches, or other health complications. Therefore, all of these may raise other challenges to cause many harmful changes in employee behavior, such as the addition of tobacco, alcohol, and drug, which reduce productivity in the workplace.

The Psychological Hazard at Workplace and Ways to Combat it

Thus, the workplace is developing a new psychosocial hazard for employees regardless of work from the office or remote working places during this COVID -19 pandemic, unless to mitigate the situation or adequately address the problem to rectify it.

Cultivator Phyto Lab Pvt. Ltd. has initiated several reforming programs to improve employees’ physical and mental health. Our responsibility is to provide excellence in the hygienic working environment, awarding for consistent working during adverse situations and time-to-time health check-ups for all employees. We organize short-time refreshments and yoga activities with healthy Ayurveda supplements for all employees. We also organize indoor festivities for employees to make more opportunities for interactions and continuous health counseling for a better lifestyle. We have home isolation facilities in our office campus or hostel for employees who have been or become COVID positive. We have provided all logistic and mental support to COVID patients per local government guidelines to our employees and even extended our services to the local community in times of crisis. That’s why feel proud in stating that Cultivator Phyto Lab is an organization that keeps employees first, their health at priority, their mental well-being at the apex, and helps everyone sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Author – Navjot Singh & Dr. Sanjoy Gupta