The government’s statement on March 27 that all-important employees who have not taken all of their mandatory yearly leave would be permitted to carry it over for two years is praiseworthy. This implies that employees trying to keep the nation going during this epidemic will be entitled to carry over up to four weeks of unused leave. This is good news for employees who may already need a break since it provides a glimpse of hope at the end of the tunnel.
There are still several areas that businesses must examine and prepare for when protecting employee wellness during the coronavirus crisis and ensuring a healthy, happy workforce during Covid-19.
Keep an eye out for burnout
This might be difficult for businesses to detect in a typical hectic work atmosphere. This is exacerbated even more now that practically all of our workforces are forced to work from home. Even with video conferencing, the absence of physical presence in the same workplace as another person makes this more difficult to detect.
Managers must be vigilant, and frequent communication and real check-ins with teams can assist in identifying employees who are stressed, dissatisfied, or even working while sick. While this is important for your staff’s immediate health during the coronavirus lockdown, it will also significantly aid in restoring a sense of normalcy to people’s working days and routines in the long run. When “business as usual” resumes, you want to go into your workplace surrounded by a stronger team. One who is in good health is cheerful and is driven.
It is necessary to promote the normalization of mental health and employee well-being in the workplace. If you do not already have a structure in place to address this, it is strongly suggested since it is critical for your staff to feel supported in the event of an emergency. Utilizing data to determine whether mental health issues are becoming a problem in your organization is critical for a swift resolution. Making wellness resources and an integrated virtual GP appointment system accessible to workers are just two ideas that might greatly enhance your staff’s mental health.
Now is the moment to encourage time off.
Additionally, with the large number of canceled holidays recorded in our e-days system over the last few weeks, the risk of burnout is increased. Not only will your staff be disappointed at having to reschedule time abroad with family and friends, but what will happen to your business when we all regain our freedom and travel restrictions are lifted?
Businesses should be proactive in encouraging employees to take leave during a lockdown. According to the most recent e-days data, over 9,000 holidays were canceled in March, which could create a bottleneck down the road, leaving small businesses vulnerable. While employees reserve a significant portion of their vacation time for summer and Christmas breaks, emphasizing the benefits of regular intermittent time off has never been more critical.
‘Perhaps now is the time to promote the acquisition of new skills and hobbies.’
This will be difficult at a time when many people are depressed about the lack of social activity they are experiencing during the lockdown and with restrictions in place that make the prospect of taking a day or two even less appealing than working a day. Perhaps now is the time to promote the acquisition of new skills and hobbies as an alternative to a weekend away in the sun and sea.
Businesses may now be considering scenarios in which they have retained staff and now have a workforce entitled to accumulated annual leave. As a result, businesses will have significantly fewer working days, resulting in critical understaffing. Promoting and encouraging employees to take vacations consistently throughout the year is critical. Do planning for this new government policy immediately, and urge staff to take time off during times of lesser demand.
Assist your workers in self-help
A genuine issue for everyone is effectively shutting down. While many are making a deliberate effort to adhere to traditional work hours, the absence of a commute, along with the fact that many share living spaces with flatmates, may make this seem unattainable. Individuals often fall asleep and wake up in the same place they have been working for three weeks.
With the present state of the economy, there is also the added issue that many firms need workers to go the extra mile. When many people have friends or family members who are now jobless, this additional effort needed at work is seen as a relief rather than a burden and one that cannot be taken for granted in the present economic situation.
While some over-delivery may be essential to get through this crisis, businesses should be mindful that this will not help workers or, more importantly, your organization in the long run. Providing some “additional” advantages to better enable your workers to work from home is one possibility. Contributing to the cost of a desk and chair, for example. Employees will be able to organize their day’s work in a single area of their house, which will unconsciously assist them in switching off when it’s time to “go home.”
These are just a few examples of activities that may not only benefit everyone’s mental health during a coronavirus lockdown but also contribute to a workforce that is confident in its job security.