Given the current state of the world and how it has affected the work of millions, there has been an increasing interest in how employees can better practice self-care. And rightly so, considering how the global health crisis is creating even more obstacles to employees’ mental health. Apart from the wellbeing of their employees, businesses should be reminded that the cost of depression and anxiety translated to an annual loss of $1 trillion for the global economy in loss of productivity in 2019. And this year, it’s obvious that this problem has only gotten worse. As business owners, how can we help employees take better care of themselves and maintain a positive mindset even in the most uncertain of times?
Work-from-home is not for everyone
One of the most popular business strategies for coping with uncertainty is the boom of work-from-home or remote working setups. Many of the largest tech companies like Google and Twitter have had great success in allowing employees to work entirely from their homes. At the same time, the transition to a digital workplace has also resulted in growing concerns about how this drastic change can affect the mental health and productivity of certain employees.
While remote working is ideal for some, for others, it has translated to more difficulty when training new workers, longer lead-time for projects, and increasing difficulty during collaborative efforts. The reality is that while it’s a good set up for some, not everyone is mentally ready or equipped for remote working.
Understanding this simple fact can allow employers to better focus on their more vulnerable employees and provide them with the necessary emotional and technical support. Consult your employees and do what you can to provide them with better remote working tools. This alone can do a lot to increase their capacity for self-care.
Promote new mental health-friendly policies
Another direct way in which businesses can support their workers’ self-care is by instilling pro-mental health policies in the workplace, whether that workplace is fully or partially online.
This can be as simple as allowing employees to take mental health days off, or more direct interventions such as offering counseling options for employees who are finding it hard to adapt to the new state of the world. Instilling such policies and offering direct options also tells employees that you’re doing everything you can to sustain their roles in the company, a highly supportive stance that reinforces their value at a time of global uncertainty.
Offer financial counseling for employees
Financial health is an often, overlooked aspect of self-care. Alarmingly, there’s a lot of evidence that points to how debt, general financial problems, and economic downturns can greatly worsen mental health across the world. Free counseling can allow employees to take better control of their financial life in uncertain times by empowering them with key strategies.
Financial counseling may also allow them to develop an efficient monthly budget towards attaining long-term financial goals.
Whether in terms of debt payment, making do with what’s available, and other such concerns, free counseling can significantly decrease the mental and physiological stress that’s related to employees’ financial concerns. These are just some of the more direct ways in which you can support employee self-care. Empowering employees to take better care of themselves is not only caring, but it’s also necessary for any business that wants to stay afloat and survive the current crisis.
Article prepared by Joanne Beckett Exclusively for commuterbenefits.com