MENTAL Health during a pandemic
MENTAL STATE OF BEING in a pandemic
With this pandemic, mental state of being is a very important topic for employees and employers alike. The reality is that both employees and employers are going to have to be very mindful of each other’s state of being.
Acas chief executive Susan Clews said: “The coronavirus lockdown has created lots of extra challenges such as a lack of social contact with work colleagues, feeling alone, trapped or struggling with childcare responsibilities. There’s also a real anxiety around the impact of the virus itself, job security concerns whilst on furlough and genuine worries around whether it is safe to physically return back to their workplace.”
Meanwhile, a survey by health insurer Aon found 79% of employers had enhanced or further promoted their employee assistance programmes since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, while 73% had offered staff flexible working hours and 87% had increased communications from senior leaders.
This clearly shows how timely and appropriate the Mental Health Awareness Week theme, KINDNESS was. Both employees and employers have to show each other kindness in order to get through these unprecedented times.Kindness will have a major positive impact on the workforce and how they cope with productivity within these current times.
Employers have the care of duty to support employees, as they continue to work from home and especially with those transitioning back to physical workplaces. They have had a heightened duty of care to all key workers that remained working throughout, with high levels of fatigue being experienced by most key workers. Therefore safeguarding employees' mental health should remain on the top of the agenda of senior management to ensure that business, organisations and the economy remain functional.
Employees, you must also look after yourselves, by assessing and reflecting on how you are really doing and always ensuring that you voice your concerns to your employers. Also know that you are not alone and employers have a duty of care for your mental health. You also have that duty of care, so find ways to rest and relax when you are not at work and also ensure that you have activities that you enjoy and make you happy.