At present, every person is going through some level of insecurity, worry, and fear, as we have never experienced a situation like COVID-19 before. It is normal to have anxieties about your health, family or loved ones, or the upcoming year. When your mobile phone is buzzing, your boss wishes to speak to you, and your spouse wants to know what’s for dinner; well, stress is all around.
Mental health can have a dangerous impact on a business. Research has shown that about 80% of adults with depression reported problems with work, home, or social activities because of their depression. Sadly, conditions like anxiety and depression often go undetected for months or years. Unlike physical illnesses, mental health problems are more challenging to identify. How companies can take care of employee mental health in the time of Covid-19? Many have not been able to cope with an unexpected, long-drawn-out change to the Work from Home culture, Zoom fatigue has set in, causing burnouts and low productivity. One of the best ways to build a culture that helps mental health is to make sure workers experience their jobs in a meaningful and focused way. This can be achieved by giving employees autonomy and resources. If your team has support and freedom, and that you trust them to do what they should do, they will be happier at work, which will decrease the risk of mental health problems.
Generally, the employee with depression will not speak to the human resource team about work changes, but it is likely that your team member or their coworker will speak with you first. Connect with your employees online to get their warning signals, you need to prepare ahead of time and learn about depression and its symptoms. These include loss of interest, reduced energy, feelings of low self-esteem, disturbed sleep, and poor focus.
Flexible Work Schedule
Sleep problems are widespread in depression and can involve oversleeping as well as problems falling asleep. Allow a Flexible Schedule, helping an employee with a work plan is a practical accommodation and is supported by research. Research suggests that flexible work hours in reality increases productivity, loyalty to the organization, and retention.
Streamline Work Flow
Depressed employees can tell you their amount of work feels too difficult. Depression can affect mental function. Intellectual functions can also be disturbed due to a lack of sleep. A good administrator can help by breaking up large projects into smaller tasks. The advantage of giving smaller, more convenient tasks, is that it allows employees to achieve more frequent experiences of success.
Distribute Deadlines with Other Workers
Several targets can be crushing to everyone especially to those suffering from depression when they have low expectancies about their ability to deal with hectic events. Distributing deadlines with several workers as small tasks can decrease the pressure and increase satisfaction.
Give Positive Feedbacks
Individuals who are depressed can be reticent, instead of highlighting their failures, concentrate on encouraging and praising their success when employees meet targets.
Some companies provide free online mental health services for employees, several types of online mental health services are available since the COVID-19 pandemic began in January 2020. Online mental health education with communication apps like WhatsApp and WeChat have been widely used during the outbreak for employees working remotely at home. Several online resources on COVID-19 prevention, control, and mental health education have been published and free electronic copies are available.
Even though the idea of virtual workplaces has grown steadily over the years, no one was ready for a 100 percent shift to remote working so suddenly brought in by the Covid-19 pandemic. While some have succeeded to adjust to the sudden transition well, others have struggled significantly with it.
But, remember; when stress is getting the best of you, you may well hit the mat and give yoga a try. Many aspects of yoga, such as breathing exercises and meditation, can help calm your tiring mind and support in releasing stress. Given the several stress decreasing advantages of yoga, it is not surprising that yoga can be a tool in managing anxiety, panic, and fears.
Employees should be inspired to take collective breaks while they work and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with each other online, just as they did during coffee and lunch breaks in the office. Companies need to use all their resources to preserve their most valuable asset – the ‘mental health of their employees’. If employees remain in a positive mental state and good emotional health, in the coming days, the battle to regain lost ground will get the best start possible.