Supporting your people’s wellbeing during lockdown

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Health Assured team

22 January 2021

A study led by the University of Glasgow has found that one in ten people experienced suicidal thoughts in the first UK lockdown.

 

With 2020 now behind us and the news of vaccinations being rolled out across the UK and Ireland, there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic in 2021.    

 

But before we start to return to ‘normal life’, at the time of writing, lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing remain ever-present in our daily lives.

 

Managing wellbeing during lockdown

While lockdown restrictions are less alien to us all due to the guidelines put in place last year, the combination of the colder, darker winter months and restrictions could impact an individual’s mental health and general wellbeing more severely than in previous lockdowns.

 

To help support you and your people, we have put together a list of our top tips on how to continue to support your people’s mental health and wellbeing during these challenging times...

 

  1. Communication is key - The simplest yet most effective method of supporting workplace wellbeing during lockdown is by keeping your people in the loop regularly. Sending gentle weekly updates providing insights on any workplace changes will help your people, including those furloughed, feel included and valued.
  2. Continue to be flexible – Depending on whether your organisation is able, it’s important to try to remain flexible with work schedules. Don’t forget that some of your people may be living with a vulnerable family member or have childcare scheduling issues. Therefore, by offering a flexible schedule, you will help them balance the pressures of work and home life, and support their mental wellbeing in the process.
  3. Regular check-ins - Set up regular chats with the whole team. Even just a quick morning get-together via webchat will help your people feel connected and less isolated. Scheduling informal check-ins at the end of the week can also present the opportunity for your people voice any issues if they’re struggling.
  4. Listen - Not everyone is going to find this lockdown—and the changes that come with it—easy. Whether it's adapting to a new way of working, being isolated from loved ones or the loss of control over their usual routine, many of your people will find this time difficult. Extend a compassionate listening ear and let them know that you are all in this together.
  5. Signpost to wellbeing services - Make sure that you inform your people that Health Assured’s confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365. If they wish to discuss any mental health concerns, a listening ear is just a phone call away.

 

Remember, whether your team members have worked throughout lockdown or have been furloughed during this time, some may likely experience lasting mental health effects from the pandemic. Some may have experienced ill-health, friends and family members in distress or even a bereavement.

 

When life starts to appear more ‘normal’ and workplaces start to operate as they did before COVID, considerations should be made regarding the way people return to work. Even a simple approach such as a staggered return, where individuals are gradually phased back into the workplace over several weeks can be beneficial for your people’s mental wellbeing.

 

 

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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