Coronavirus Impact on Mental Health
How Can You Support Your Workplace
What is the coronavirus impact on mental health in the workplace? Are we supporting our staff whether working from home or on site?
Times are strange. With our current health climate, people are scared, employers are worried, and we’re seeing an impact a pandemic can have on society as a whole. We know the stress of mass panic, hoarding, media hype and a variety of other factors are playing a sometimes devastating role in the mental health of our friends and family – but let’s take a look at those individuals who may be losing work, or may be greatly impacted by a new schedule or routine.
For employees who may work in non-essential fields, employee mental health and the coronavirus impact may greatly affect their day to day lives. It may mean fewer hours, or even potential times of unemployment. If you, as an employer have done everything you can and helped perhaps by implementing work from home policies, that can also mean a drastic change in day to day routine.
We’ve put together some helpful ways to support your staff, whether it’s business as usual, moving to work from home, or you’ve had to cut back on hours, it’s important that we remember they’re our people and they may be just as worried as we are.
If you happen to be an employer that offers EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes) now may be a really good time to start circulating material and ways for your employees to access those resources. It’s proven that a high percentage of employees who feel anxiety or stress in the workplace notice a serious decline in productivity and quality of work.
Here are a few ways you can help support yourself and your staff, both through viable resources and some tips to keep anxiety levels down and hopefully help everyone process and manage these difficult times.
✓ Avoid watching news or engaging in topics and posts on social media that may fuel anxiety. It’s difficult to completely avoid the news about COVID19. But by walking away and not reading the material, you may keep from fuelling the fire.
✓ Check in frequently with your work from home employees. The feelings of isolation that may come with a stay at home order can be overwhelming. Cutting yourself off from the rest of the world can only compound anxiety. It’s important to encourage human interaction, still have voice conferences and make calls.
✓ Compile a list of EAPs, counsellors, people they can speak about their situation with, and other mental and physical health resources.
✓ Encourage them to continue with as much of their daily routine. Sudden and abrupt changes have the potential to negatively impact mental health. Even working from home, encourage your staff to get ready for work as they normally would, find a quiet place to work, and sit down ready for the day.
✓ Find streaming or video exercise and activities that you can link your folks to. Encouraging meditation, yoga, or any other means for them to get physical and get blood flowing can help ease anxiety and stress.
These are hard times for everyone. Uncertainty in the workplace, economic instability, and a real grasp that the future may be unknown can lead to both our business owners and their staff experiencing higher rates of mental distress.
It’s important to seek out and provide support to ensure we all get through this event together and succeed in coming out the other end. There are many resources out there that can help support everyone in the workplace during these scary times.
If you’re looking at ways to gain greater insight into your employees, hug can help. We’ve developed a platform to help you support your team. It offers holistic real time analysis of your employee wellbeing and smart matches products, services and benefits to employee needs. If you’d like to book a demo to see how hug can help you build a happier, healthier workplace, please submit the form below and a member of the hug team will be in touch.