Watching the news over the last week has brought a feeling of light at the end of the tunnel and the vaccination is well under way. However, wellbeing during the pandemic has and should stay at the forefront of employers’ minds for their workforce.
We have all seen first-hand how COVID has impacted our day to day and with the national lockdown still in place, Blue Monday (17th January) came and went which is viewed to be the “most depressing day of the year” when the credit card bills from Christmas spending dropped through the door and into our email inboxes, the weather isn’t great, home schooling is in place again, and we are all told to stay at home.
How many of us are “zoomed” out or missing our daily interaction with our team members or now miss what was the drive or commute home from work when you could have some transition time from work life to for home life. Now it’s either the walk up the garden path from your garden office, a walk from the lounge/kitchen/home study – straight into family life. Never again will we moan about the drive home or being stuck on the motorway.
Our wellbeing is so important in how we cope as individuals during the Pandemic and all of the restraints upon us, ever changing guidance and rules, family stresses, home schooling, sometimes we must all wonder how much energy we have left for our selfcare as we are pulled in so many directions.
MIND have published some superb wellbeing toolkits for various sectors which we hope may be useful for you. Here is the link;
Working from home
It may also be beneficial to gauge the wellbeing of your staff currently working from home with the day to day challenges that is bringing, and we all have different coping levels and trigger points. By asking your staff to voluntarily complete the Wellness Action Plan can give you both the opportunity to have an open discussion about triggers and what help can be offered in way of supporting the employee whilst ensuring that the business needs are also met.
Here is the link:
There are also some other links that both employers and employees can access for support and self-help (we listed some in the November 2020 newsletter) and include;
Health & Safety Executive
Stress at work – Mental health conditions, work and the workplace – HSE
Keyworkers & Employees working in the office
We know from our client base that many have employees who are keyworkers and or are working at the workplace as their role(s) can’t be performed working from home. With this comes other concerns relating to the spread of the virus, risk assessments, social distancing etc.
All companies should have already carried out a thorough risk assessment and shared this with your staff. What is just as important is the ongoing review and update of risk assessments given that most were done in the middle of 2020, has your working practices in the office/work environment had to change again since then? What can employers do to alleviate some of these concerns, so that those who are having to attend work know that they are as protected as they can be, and their mental health and wellbeing is also considered.
Here is a link to the MIND toolkits, advice and support groups for keyworkers and those attending the workplace;
EAP Employee Assistance Programme
If you have an Employee Assistance Programme benefit in place for your employees via your benefit providers, it would be advantageous to share the contact details and the types of assistance that your benefit covers with your staff, so that they can take advantage of the many services offered which normally include bereavement counselling, stress management, counselling services and financial advice etc.
Training on wellbeing
Black Mountain we have a selected number of partners that we work with who can deliver wellbeing training to both business leaders, senior teams and line managers, and if required can offer confidential 1-1 support. If this is an area that you would like more information on, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us for further details.
Mental Health & Wellbeing Strategy Policy
Black Mountain also work with employers to create and develop a mental health & wellbeing strategy which will be bespoke to your own organisation. If this is an area that you would like more information on, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us for further details.