The Importance of Employee Mental Health During COVID-19
Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT
Employee mental health is hard to navigate. Being professional yet appropriate, setting clear boundaries to show professionalism, commitment, and yet not becoming too personal is tough. Now with the additional stressors of COVID-19, we're taking it to a whole new level. Most people have had to adjust to working at home and finding the work/life balance with staying motivated, staying focused, and in addition to for many, taking care of their children and serving as a tutor or teacher for them yet committing to their own working hours. It's a lot, and it can be taxing. People are complex in nature, so focusing on work when they are feeling overwhelmed and struggling can possibly be the last thing they are truly able to do. Feeling well-balanced and even-keeled can lead to an increase in company morale, work productivity, and a happier work environment.
The impact of employee mental health
Employee mental health is especially important because we miss out on face-to-face interactions and the core social interactions that occur daily. This can leave one feeling isolated and alone, which can impact productivity, leading to feeling not as useful and/or productive as before.
Mental health is especially important in these times because we are dealing with safety and the unknown. People process emotions differently and may need counseling to navigate through their feelings towards this pandemic.
With a natural increase in anxiety with people's concerns with health and safety, the focus is not always in the workplace. Providing support allows them to refocus and show an appreciation for work and focus when required.
What ca n we do to stay positive and productive while working during a pandemic?
Send kids to daycare or a babysitter (if your budget and local government allow it) even if you are working from home. This will allow a quiet work environment to get things done.
Set up weekly Zoom meetings that are not work-related, with coworkers to socialize.
Stick to a routine even if you do not have to wake up as early, wake up at the same time every day, making time to get focused.
Get dressed. Getting dressed in the morning will help make the day feel like a workday. This does not mean putting on business clothes, just something other than pajamas, so it does not feel like bedtime.
Have a designated work area to keep computers and files in. Sit at this area to work, not on the couch or bed, to help stay focused and simulate an office setting.
If going into work, make sure the company is following government guidelines for COVID-19. Have a clean mask each day, have hand sanitizer, and have cleaner to wipe down work areas.
Finish work at the same time. Do not overwork just because it is there. Just because work is at home, there should still be a separation between work and home life.
If feeling overwhelmed, take a step away from work and other people. The situation and changes can be frustrating, it is essential to make time for ourselves if we need it.
If you’re still struggling and need additional support over the Coronavirus pandemic, you’re not alone. Our professional and dedicated Harrisburg PA therapists and counselors are waiting to help you available to do in-person counseling or online counseling. To schedule an appointment, please contact us at https://www.neuroandcounselingcenter.com/contact/.