A new survey shows that 71% of employers identify worker well-being as the greatest challenge posed by the remote working environment which has exploded because of the outbreak of Covid-19.

CIPD Ireland is the umbrella body for Human Resources and learning and development.

Its survey was published today - the third Monday of the new year which has become known as Blue Monday. 

Blue Monday earned its nickname in years gone by because of the dark days, the fading of Christmas celebrations and persistent wintry temperatures. 

But this year, Blue Monday is even more difficult as everyone tries to cope with the Level 5 coronavirus restrictions imposed at the end of December. 

CIPD Ireland has offered advice on how employers can work to alleviate the stress and pressure of a world where work, home and family lives are colliding in a new and challenging way.

It urges employers to allow a greater level of flexibility on the working day and to also remind everyone of the supports that are in place for them as businesses face unprecedented new realities.

CIPD also recommends that employers should remember to manage performance expectations, at all levels, adding that no-one is at their best right now. 

It also says that bosses should encourage honest and open conversations on topics of concern, stating that remote working environments may require more planning but there are no real barriers to important communication. 

Some personal check-in calls are a good idea, whether it is with the CEO, HR leader or line manager, according to the size of the business, CIPD added. 

The Director of CIPD Ireland, Mary Connaughton, says it is positive that employers are taking greater account of worker well-being.

"This Blue Monday, we're all feeling less in control of our lives, less connected socially than in other years, as well as facing challenges around parenting and staying safe," Ms Connaughton said. 

"The most important takeaway for employers is to keep the lines of communication open. Tell your team that management wants to know when something is bothering them, and there is always a way to work through a problem," she said. 

"It's a good idea to invite suggestions on how communication or support in a workplace can be improved too," she added.