Supporting employees’ wellbeing during the Covid-19 outbreak
With the Covid-19 outbreak forcing the UK into lockdown, millions of employees are finding themselves having to work very differently. Given all the uncertainty and fear this brings, employers can help their workforces look after their mental health and wellbeing.
Whether a key worker dealing with additional pressures, one of the millions working from home, or an employee furloughed until it’s over, adapting to life during the Covid-19 outbreak isn’t easy. Worries about the virus, uncertainties over income, and loneliness caused by social isolation can have a negative effect on mental health, potentially resulting in anxiety and depression.
Supporting employees during this difficult time is essential and the following tips can help:
Even though we’re all observing social distancing, it’s important to maintain contact with family, friends and work colleagues. Encourage employees to identify a support network that can help them through this difficult time. Setting up video conferences can ensure they feel part of a team at work, but also allow employees to catch up with one another on a less formal footing.
Get a routine
Adapting to the new normal can throw established routines completely out. Additional responsibilities such as home-schooling or shopping for an elderly relative may require adjustments, but it’s important to have some structure to the day. It doesn’t have to resemble a normal working day but something as simple as starting work at the same time and taking an hour break for lunch and some exercise can help.
It’s very easy to feel anxious and distressed reading the latest coronavirus coverage, especially when there’s so much fake news and speculation out there too. Promoting reliable sources of information such as the NHS, GOV.UK, Public Health Wales and Health Protection Scotland, can help to reduce these anxieties.
Use the opportunity
With the UK in lockdown, and many people with some extra time on their hands, it could also be a great time to learn a new skill or enjoy a favourite hobby. Learning a language, getting fit or undertaking some long-postponed DIY are all options but it could also be something like spending more quality time with the family or catching up on the box sets.
Promote mental health and wellbeing
Employers can also help employees by providing them with useful tips to safeguard their mental health and wellbeing. Breathing exercises and mindfulness can reduce stress and even simple things like opening a window, changing rooms and sitting outside can lift someone’s mood.
At Legal & General we have a number of resources to help you and your employees through these uncertain times. The My Healthy Advantage app provided by Health Assured as part of our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), provides employees with access to a range of information and interactive tools to help them improve their wellbeing. This includes information on stress management and mindfulness as well as breathing exercises.
For more information on how your employees can access the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app, visit our Employee Assistance Programme page here.