The Ongoing Issue with Employee Mental Health as a result of the Global Pandemic

June 18th 2020 | Posted by phil scott

The Ongoing Issue with Employee Mental Health as a result of the Global Pandemic

The Ongoing Issue with Employee Mental Health as a result of the Global Pandemic

There is no doubt that HR managers are having to deal with a whole range of different issues during the current global pandemic.

One of the major problems that are at the forefront of HR concerns right now is employee mental health. People are experiencing different pressures as a result of working from home. These pressures are putting a strain on their mental well-being.

Pressures caused by home working

According to research conducted by the Mental Health Foundation in partnership with LinkedIn, 56% of 2,000 adults questioned said that their mental health had deteriorated since lockdown began.

Of course, these mental health pressures are not all due to working from home. Some people are suffering the stress of being furloughed on top of the worry caused by the virus itself. Long-term job security is also a major concern.

However, working from home can bring its own set of complications.  For instance, in the same survey, people said that they were working an average of 28 hours more than usual each month. Much of this is due to the fact that employees feel pressure to be more available if they are being contacted at home.

There are also additional pressures such as working out how to homeschool children and work at the same time. In order to do this successfully, many people need support from their employer and the HR department.

Providing this support means that HR professionals can help to prevent or relieve mental health issues. This support should include.

  • Making sure that employees have advice about how to protect their mental health.
  • Ensuring that business expectations fall in line with what is realistically achievable.
  • Ensuring that there is a recognised support network in place.
  • Establishing that contact and communication between managers and employees is as it should be.
  • Providing training in areas such as the use of technology when needed.

In addition to providing advice and support, HR professionals also need to consider the positives. The growth in home working is not necessarily a bad thing.

Not all bad news

Not every employee is struggling with working from home. Many people have embraced the change. They are enjoying the opportunity to work from home for several reasons including:

  • Having more time to exercise.
  • Adopting a healthier diet.
  • Being able to spend more time with family.

For people who have managed to adapt to the new way of working, and establish a routine, the experience has been largely positive.

This means that the work of HR managers, in the area of mental health, will be just as important as workplaces adapt to the post-Covid-19 world. There is a definite opportunity for many businesses to be more flexible when it comes to ways of working. This flexibility could have a positive effect on overall mental health in the workplace in the long term. This means that although there may be considerable pressures on HR professionals right now, they have the opportunity to play their part in changing workplaces for the better.

If you are an HR professional looking for the next step in your career, register with us