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Mental Health: How companies can support homeworkers during the Lockdown

Positive mental health has become extremely important for an organisation, and the promotion of a healthy work environment impacts employees performance and work-related well-being. 

Therefore, what happens if an unexpected event breaks through the company management? After the severe acute respiratory syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak in late December spreading in every country, it has altered livelihood generating psychological consequences.

According to the WHO, mental health is the state of complete physical and social well-being. It is the realisation of an individual who, through their abilities, can cope with general stresses, proactively work, and contribute to the community. 

As a result of being a country that is widely affected by mental health issues, the Mental Health Foundation has carried out the statistical analysis of the landmark of a mental health study in the UK, revealing mixed results compared to the last year. 

The statistics showed that anxiety about the pandemic has fallen 20% from March 2020 to February 2021 (62% to 42%), while loneliness has risen by 16% accordingly.

There have been 64% of adults who have said they cope well with the stress of the pandemic compared to 73% from the previous year; not a significant change but important nonetheless.

Difference in % of mental health

Before the pandemic, remote working was undertaken generally by highly skilled workers. However, as we’ve seen through 2020 and beyond, working from home has become a routine for almost the entire UK population.  

Therefore, companies have made adjustments to employees working from home through allowances, counselling, services and perks to help their mental health. These four ways companies are actively helping employees to cope with mental wellbeing.

Parents child care support 

According to the World Health Organisation, “parents who had personally homeschooled, half (50%) said it was negatively affecting their wellbeing in January 2021 compared with 28% in April 2020”. Companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Nvidia have introduced Child Care Support for those parents who are struggling to work from home. The introduction of child care assistance along with flexible working hours can help parents balance work and kids homeschooling.

Free access to personal wellness support

By boosting free counselling sessions and coaching this may relieve employee fatigue and mental balance. For instance, helping with workload management and encouraging mental wellness through online workouts and walking can also improve mental health. Additionally, even the introduction of pet therapy sessions may lower stress and anxiety (check our dog-friendly workplace tips).

Complementary home office

Sending home-office gadgets or equipment such as chairs, desks, additional screen or laptops can help the mental adaptation of the homeworkers to the home environment. 

Remote social interaction 

Free lunches and distressed group chats through Zoom or Slack during the week. For instance, organising lunches might be another way to help employees wellness and create social interaction while they are working from home. 

It may even be better to add flexible working hours to boost productivity, so employees might be less restricted and line up their needs to busy schedules, for example.

Introducing valuable feedback 

Valuable feedback is also a worth strategy to boost employee mental-health awareness. Meeting, chat or discussion with line managers about concerns could make employees seek help against difficulties or anxiety, for instance.

Employee rewards for better mental health

Make your employees rewarded by sending unexpected gifts may boost morale and satisfaction alongside additional Learn & Development courses that could gain confidence for professional developments and mental self-consciousness.

To sum up, the change of the workload has undoubtedly pressured, decreased the level of satisfaction and affected the cornerstone of mental health at the home work-place. However, finding ways to overcome this challenge will be the stepping stone for companies to protect wellness and fulfil social responsibility. 

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