The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt beyond tragic personal loss and accompanying financial uncertainties. The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the world economy and it also poses a global mental health threat.
Doctors say long-term social isolation and uncertainty about the future may lead to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and panic attacks.
Working remotely can be difficult and isolating. Your employees may be experiencing stress and fear related to finances, job security or the well being of their family and friends.
Given the unique circumstances, this toll on mental health is natural and unavoidable. Still, there are some practices you can follow to help your staff cope better with these stresses.
What you can do as an employer
Draw up a plan
The COVID-19 crisis has thrown up unique challenges for workplaces. Lay down some ground rules that provide clarity and structure in this chaos. Prepare a COVID-19 sick leave policy. Set down rules for remote work. Educate your employees about the best prevention and hygiene practices. How are you dealing with the financial challenges? Will there be layoffs? Make a list of frequently asked questions and share the answers with your staff.
Encourage your staff to use video-conferencing tools such as Skype, RingCentral, etc, for face-to-face interactions while working remotely.
Provide your staff with regular updates about the company’s plans. Even if there are no new developments, find out and address the issues they may be facing while working remotely. No one can predict with certainty how and when this pandemic will die out. But the feeling of not being alone in this crisis may soften the blow.
This is a stressful time even for those with the hardiest of constitutions. It is even more so for people who live alone and/or are prone to stress-related sickness, anxiety and depression. Watch out for signs of strain such as sudden changes in personality or productivity. Reach out to those who may be struggling.
The government has provided a wealth of resources for COVID-19 mental health care. Apprise your staff of these materials. Share tips on self-care and managing stress. Encourage your employees to avail of the Employee Assistance Program if needed.
Need support navigating business issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Whether you are straining to sustain cash flow or update HR policies, we can help you get through this crisis. To get advice on how to maintain your business during the COVID-19 pandemic, call our experts today: 1 (888) 936-5547.