How to improve the work environment to comply with the NOM 035

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According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Mexico is one of the countries in Latino America with the highest rate of stress and anxiety derived from the work environment. Figures indicate that at least 75% of Mexicans suffer from burnout or work fatigue, above countries such as China with 73% and the United States with 59%.

Due to these high figures, since October 2019, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security has been implementing the first phase, out of two, of the NOM-035. It is a Mexican regulation whose purpose is to analyse, identify and prevent psychological risks in the work environment, in order to promote healthy professional environments.

This rule must be complied with in all workplaces in the country without exception, and must guarantee good working conditions for all workers.

As it is a rule that is implemented gradually, the first phase of this rule consists of complying with preventive measures, as well as identifying workers exposed to some traumatic event, through the application of questionnaires. The second phase, to be implemented from October 2020, will require full compliance with the standard which, in addition to the measures taken in the first phase, includes the design and application of internal policies to improve the working environment.

The application of questionnaires to detect people who have already been affected or are at psychological risk is one of the requirements of the standard. In addition, it is required to ensure good work conditions in both physical and psychological environment.

Therefore, we leave you with the following recommendations to improve the working environment in accordance with NOM 035:

Ensuring good working conditions to obtain a positive work environment

This point covers the basics of ensuring an appropriate physical environment for the performance of work functions such as: clean and light and airy facilities, furniture, emergency equipment, and adequate safety protocols to ensure the integrity of workers. In addition, it is important to consider providing the employee with the necessary tools to carry out their work, and which are adapted to their capacities and limitations, both physical and mental.   

Promoting training

If people are fully capable of performing the tasks of their position, they will be more efficient in the use of their time, as well as being able to do their jobs better. In the case of those who operate some type of special machinery, it will also help to prevent accidents due to improper handling.

Another advantage of constant training is that people will feel that they have the opportunity to learn more and be updated in their field.

Promoting of an environment conducive to a good working climate

One of the things that help build a proper working environment is the provision of spaces where workers can express their doubts, concerns, and complaints within their work with the confidence that they will be heard. This will help to create security so that if situations arise that threaten the integrity of the worker, such as violence, discrimination, harassment, abuse, etc., they can be heard and addressed.

Another factor that constitutes the work climate is the relationship that one has with the people within it, whether they are colleagues, bosses, subordinates, visitors, suppliers, customers. Although it is not possible for HR to control how all people get along, what we must do is promote friendly and courteous treatment and respect among all workers, regardless of their function or level of hierarchy.

Balancing workloads

This point will prevent burnout due to overloading. It is recommended to review the total workload and to distribute it equally among the people able to cover it, to provide a definition of tasks and clear responsibilities, as well as to have communication regarding expectations in terms of delivery times. Setting clear priorities will also give employees a better idea of how to manage their time, since when everything is considered a priority, it is easier to lose focus and end up either burned out or delivering less than expected.

Do you want to know how to comply with NOM 035 in a simple, reliable, and budget-friendly way?

At Erudit we want to help you taking care of your workers in these challenging times, monitoring their levels of engagement, burn out and friction (without the need of applying a single survey) and finding ways to maintain a healthy and productive team of collaborators.

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