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EFTA - European Free Trade Association

We helped the EFTA secretariat strike the right work-life balance through a series of workshops designed to staff and managers.

I liked the way of communication of both trainers. The presentation was interesting! - Training participant

Objective

Throughout 2020 and 2021 the operation of the EFTA Secretariat was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its related mandatory requirements for organizations to implement remote working arrangements. At EFTA and its “sister” organizations, FMO and the EFTA Surveillance Authority, all meetings and events moved online, while almost all of the staff of the three organizations started working from home. To support its remotely working workforce with their efforts to improve their physical and mental health as well as wellbeing, the EFTA secretariat engaged with us to design and deliver a series of online workshops on work-life balance to its staff and managers. The goal of the training was to explore the mental, emotional and physical health implications of the pandemic, and propose diverse coping strategies and solutions at the individual, team and organizational levels.

Result

First, we consulted with HR managers based in the different headquarters of EFTA to get a thorough understanding of the specific situations and needs of staff working in the different contexts and countries. Based on these initial conversations we designed the training content for both managers and employees. Throughout the sessions, we trained almost half of the entire workforce of the three organizations and focused on skills building on time-management, work-life boundary negotiations, self-care, and how remote workers can improve their wellbeing in times of the pandemic and beyond. The workshop designed for managers sensitised them on the current challenges of their employees, their needs and the resources managers can offer to staff to safeguard their mental wellbeing while delivering on their work responsibilities.