Employee wellbeing: preparing for a possible second wave of COVID

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Health Assured team

24 September 2020

An international study has revealed that 41% of the UK population’s mental health is at risk because of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

While in Ireland, health experts warn of an increase of mental health issues, as early indications show an increase in suicide and self-harm rates.

 

At the time of writing, the UK and Ireland are bracing themselves for a possible ‘second wave’ of coronavirus cases. A number of increased restrictions are being enforced by governments, as well as a number of local lockdowns in highly infected areas.

 

Whether your teams are working from home, back in the workplace or remain furloughed, the unwelcome news of higher cases and increased restrictions will undoubtedly affect your team’s morale and possibly their performance.

 

Protecting employee wellbeing in a COVID-19 second wave

As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees, which includes ensuring that their mental health is protected during these challenging times.

 

Here, we have detailed a few suggestions on how to best support your employees’ wellbeing, in the event of a second wave of COVID...

  • Workplace health: If your workplace has reopened its doors, ensure that you are always encouraging all team members to follow the latest hygiene guidelines. Providing hand sanitising stations, surface cleaning materials and face masks are vital.
  • Education: Promote hygiene and safety best practises throughout your organisation. Whether it be displaying promotional materials reminding team members to social distance at the workplace or email reminders for remote workers to take regular screen breaks.
  • Know the symptoms: At the time of writing, there are three main symptoms of coronavirus - a new and continuous cough, a fever of above 37.8C and loss of smell or taste. Keep your team members aware of the latest information to allow them to act quickly if they recognise any of the signs and symptoms.
  • Check-in: Taking some time to check how your people feel will go a long way. Many of your team members will be concerned about the wellbeing of their loved ones, as well as their own. If possible, schedule informal one-to-ones to offer them a chance to raise any concerns they may have. This can be done virtually for those working from home or remain furloughed.
  • Promote testing: Currently, guidelines suggest that all those who believe they have COVID symptoms should be tested. To help protect the wellbeing of your people and their loved ones, encourage your teams to get tested if they show symptoms.
  • Celebrate: Don’t let good work go unnoticed. The pandemic has been an unprecedented and stressful experience for us all, so it’s important for employers and managers to highlight the great work that your teams have produced over the past weeks and months. Why not host a virtual employee of the month or a mini lockdown awards ceremony? Let’s face it, we could all benefit from some good news at the moment!
  • Keep up to date: Make sure that you obtain the latest news and guidance via reputable and official sources. This will help reduce incorrect and out-dated information spreading throughout your organisation.

 

Reported by Employee Benefits, 29% of employers are concerned about staff wellbeing during COVID-19. With the risk of a second wave looming, now is the time for employers to act proactively and ensure their team members are feeling as healthy and happy as possible.

 

 

If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

UK: 0844 892 2493

ROI: 01 886 0324

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