As we move through the beginning months of 2021 - what we had once hoped would bring the end of the pandemic - it is clear that this has dragged on way longer than any of us could've imagined.
We have, for a year now, been mourning the loss of our once normal everyday lives, that we now know to be our pre-pandemic lives. We woke up one day and had to wear masks, stay 6-feet apart from our loved ones (and everyone), move our office spaces into our homes and somehow still figure out a way to go on with our lives in the most put-together way possible.
Everything you're feeling, all the stress and anxiety of what we are living now and what comes next, has a name - the "COVID Stress Syndrome," as Forbes tells us in a recent article "The Pandemic is Creating A Tsunami Of Mental Health Problems: Here Is What You Can Do As Of Today."
It is important for employers to notice the signs and symptoms of COVID Stress Syndrome in their employees - the pandemic isn't just a few months, it has integrated into our lives for the foreseeable future and it is up to employers to shift and adapt to support their employees.
Three Ways Employers Can Support Their Employees Through The Pandemic:
1. Working from home doesn't mean sitting at a computer all day. If possible, allow for work to be mobile throughout the day - taking calls on the phone while on a walk, encouraging brainstorming on notepads away from the computer, or Forbes suggests, "A small start can be to adjust the beginning and end times of meetings, to make sure employees can have 10-15 minutes between online calls and meetings."
2. Lead by example."A CEO walking a dog during the day, speaking openly about mental health struggles or anxiety, and regularly creating opportunities for discussing these issues can go a very long way."
3. Notice when employees are struggling. An essential part of supporting employees is noticing when they are struggling - having managers and supervisors equipped with the skills to notice the signs and symptoms of COVID Stress Syndrome is vital. Forbes tells us, "Many organizations are putting out regular feelers in the form of pulse-surveys, which enables the workforce to signal issues while remaining anonymous, if the culture may otherwise penalize vulnerability or consider the difficulty of coping as a weakness."
Providing resources to employees during this challenging time is an important part of supporting employees, not just when they are struggling, but always. Now is a better time than ever to start supporting your employees mental well-being - check out Why MindWell? Why Now? to learn more about how MindWell can help you, help your employees.
- Team MindWell