Helping Your Employees Deal with Pandemic Anxiety and Stress

The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping our medical professionals busy and most people at home. Everyone is going through a few troubles and adjustments in these uncertain times, especially the working men and women. Many employees, especially those who do not have the luxury of working online, are dealing with much pandemic stress and anxiety. Thoughts of catching the virus, possibly passing on the virus to a family member after a long shift, or even suddenly being cut off from their job are continually running through their minds.

Importance of Caring for Your Employees’ Mental Health

These thoughts and fears are, of course, normal human responses to our current situation. However, if these thoughts and fears plague an individual for too long, they might be met with some unwanted results. That is why caring for your employees’ mental health should be of the utmost importance when running a business. Recognizing and promoting your employees’ mental health benefits the workplace by reducing the number of risks and staff turnovers that may happen if an employee has poor mental health. Studies also show that supported and nurtured staff is more likely to be productive and stay working with your business longer.

Ways to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

As such, you most likely want your employees to be at the peak of their mental health and keep your business running smoothly and efficiently despite the pandemic. Here are some ways you can help your employees deal with pandemic stress and anxiety:

Communicate

Everybody knows one of the keys to running a successful business is communication, but some don’t know that it is also key to maintaining good mental health. Research shows that communication allows your employees to feel safe and at ease, thus creating openness and trust that inevitably creates a safe, healthy, and steady work environment. As a business owner, you must know how to talk to your employees about business matters and some of their personal matters. Ask them if they can handle the workload you give them or if they need a break. Or ask them how their day is going.

Provide a Break Room

It is common for workplaces to give their employees a break in between shifts, but only some provide a place to take this break. Having a place for rest separate from the working space encourages a sense of community between employees since they have a place to interact away from all the work. Perks like break rooms also influence job performances. The change of scenery allows workers to disconnect from the stress and gain new perspectives. Thus, it is always good to invest in a break room.

And if you do decide to invest in one, some useful things to add are:

  • A Sleeping Area
  • Refreshments (such as coffee, donuts, fruits, juice, etc. Keep in mind what your employees are allowed and not allowed to eat)
  • A medicine cabinet (some things to include are basic and emergency medication, a first aid kit, etc.)
  • Other relaxation aids (such as plants, humidifiers, essential oils, and even CBD oils that can relieve anxiety quickly just by inhaling them.)

Recognize your employees

Like all human beings, your employees like to be appreciated for the excellent work that they do. When you bring attention to that, they are more likely to provide you with such, thus aiding your business’s success. Receiving praise makes people happier and more comfortable, which in turn reduces some stress and anxiety. However, you must also be mindful of how you recognize them. Some employees may like being called out in front of everyone. Others prefer a simple visit to their workspace or a card or note. Keeping this in mind shows your employees that you do indeed care for them, thus impacting their mental health positively as a whole.

In summary, although the overall success of the business seems to be an essential thing to maintain during these troubled times, we mustn’t forget the physical and mental health of our employees. Without them being able to work to the best of their ability, the business wouldn’t be as successful as you want it in the first place. Thus, you must help your employees deal with the added stress and anxiety of the pandemic, not only as their boss and business owner but as a human being as well.

Evie Nasir

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