COVID-19 has already changed the way we do business. As we begin to look toward the future normality, with the vaccination programme in full swing, the pandemic will be deeply rooted in people's minds with ramifications felt for years to come.
Last June lockdown measures were beginning to be lifted across the country as we tentatively thought we were doing better. But those three months of lockdown had a profound impact on mental health. One in five Britons suffered either moderate or severe depressive symptoms in June 2020, almost double the level from the year prior. Compare that statistic to the size of your workforce and suddenly 20% is a startling amount.
Aviva research shows that by August 43% of employees ranked their mental health between 'very bad' and 'fair.' 52% said the boundaries between work life and home life were becoming increasingly blurred. With this comes a phenomenon known as presenteeism; employees who are sick and unable to work efficiently continue to do so despite their ailments. Mental health is a big part of that presenteeism. All of this together doesn't make for a productive worker.
Mental Health benefits from early intervention; we've looked at the data, and it shows just how businesses can offer support to individuals. Providing support during these more challenging than normal times can be paramount to ensuring your workforce's wellbeing. Which above all should be valued to prevent absence and reduced productivity. To get the most out of your employees, you must be prepared to give them the best support possible, and that is where we come in.
Predicting what is next in these uncertain times is a challenge, but being prepared for it is something we can all do. With suicides rates and mental health diagnoses up, the world must be ready to adapt. Businesses must be at the forefront of this adaptation. Dialogue needs to be opened so that the workforce feels safe and protected if they are struggling. Mental health doesn't just go away; averting your gaze doesn't mean the troubles aren't there. In the aftermath of COVID, there will be shockwaves felt keenly through the workforce. Managing these shockwaves with the correct support network and training can ensure recovery for individuals affected and the businesses they work for.
For more information on how we can help you offer your workforce the best support, click here for more information on our Mental Health First Aid Awareness course. Alternatively, click here for information on our Resilience and Personal Wellbeing Course.