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What You Need to Know About Mental Health and COVID-19 in the Workforce

What You Need to Know About Mental Health and COVID-19 in the Workforce

COVID19 has caused a dramatic increase in employee stress levels throughout the United States. According to a survey by Ginger, a leader in on-demand mental healthcare, the COVID crisis has caused more stress in employees than at any other time in their careers.

According to the survey

  • Approximately 88% of employees report experiencing moderate to extreme stress over the past four to six weeks. 
  • Nearly 70% of employees claim this is the most stressful time they’ve experienced in their professional career and that includes major events such as the 2008 Great Recession and September 11. 
  • Up to 43% of employees have reported becoming physically ill due to work-related stress at this time. 

Key Causes of Stress

There are several reasons why COVID-19 is increasing stress levels for employees around the country. Many common causes of stress include: 

  • Financial challenges
  • Worry about their own health or the health of family members
  • Changes to routine such as working from home, homeschooling children, etc. 
  • Changes in physical activity with the closure of gyms and fitness centers
  • Poor eating habits
  • Feelings of isolation and loneliness

How Poor Mental Health Affects the Workplace

Stress can present itself in many forms. For example, it can cause employees to be physically ill. This can result in being short-staffed during the workday. It can also cause irritability and anger, which can make team members struggle to work together and collaborate on various projects. 

One of the biggest culprits of stress is decreased productivity levels. Research shows that stress related to COVID-19 is having significant impacts on productivity levels in the workplace. According to the survey, 62% of employees report that they lose at least one hour each day due to COVID-19 stress and 32% of employees lose two or more hours. Additionally, 70% of employees report that they have noticed decreased productivity from their entire teams due to COVID-19. 

Tips to Improve Your Employee’s Mental Health

Stress affects each individual differently. While one employee may seem like they have everything under control, they could be struggling internally. It is important that measures are taken for all employees to keep them engaged, happy, and worry-free. Unfortunately, 63% of employees say that their company could do more to improve employee mental health and 22% say their company’s response to mental health during this time is non-existent.

A few ways you can improve your employee’s mental health include: 

  • Try to maintain some normalcy in your workday. 
  • Encourage frequent breaks. 
  • Avoid overworking employees. Try to maintain normal hours as much as possible. 
  • Encourage strong personal hygiene in the workplace and establish measures to ensure the work environment is clean. This will keep employees who are worried about their health feel more safe and comfortable in the office. 
  • Pay attention to the schedule. Work to catch small staffing mistakes that could cause issues if short staffed and could result in employees working longer hours than is necessary. 

If you want your company to overcome the COVID crisis, your employees’ mental health must be a concern. By implementing various measures, your employees will not only be happier and more engaged, but you will also experience increased productivity and fewer sick days among employees.