The Internet and social media are full of memes, statuses, personal stories, and other commentary lamenting and marveling at the craziness of 2020. Many of these point out that we’re not even done with this chaotic year!
One of the biggest changes to normal life facing millions of Americans in 2020 is the sudden shift to remote work, as companies that can do so are avoiding large numbers of staff working on-site to slow the potential spread of COVID-19.
That same concern has led to many schools around the country avoiding in-person classes, as well, forcing some parents to juggle full-time work with part-time child supervision and teaching duties. Moreover, the economic impact of the pandemic has hit many families hard, with millions filing for unemployment.
Mental Health Challenges During These Trying Times
In this environment, mental health should be on everyone’s mind, and that includes HR professionals and managers, as well. Employees spend roughly half of their waking hours on the job, meaning mental health challenges can both stem from and negatively impact their jobs.
The concept of HR professionals and managers taking some level of responsibility or care for employees’ mental health is relatively new and was already a challenging mission for many. The fact that so much of the workforce is working remotely compounds that challenge tremendously.
We reached out to industry and mental health experts to get their take on the impact of the current environment on employee mental health, as well as potential tools and strategies companies and managers can use to be supportive in these difficult times.
Impact of Isolation
One of the biggest impacts of the pandemic for many people has been the isolation. Even those living in areas relatively untouched by the COVID-19 virus have faced precautionary restrictions on public gatherings and other forms of social interaction. Just being away from coworkers for so long can have a big impact on staff.
“When in quarantine or isolation for a long period of time—whether you’re working from home voluntarily or are involuntarily quarantined—people might start feeling down due to a lack of human interaction, or even worse, depressed,” says Ronni Zehavi, CEO of Hibob. “Humans thrive off of interaction, so experiencing negative emotions as a result of feeling lonely or confined to a. . .
Source: HR Daily Advisor