How To Reduce The Pandemic’s Impact On Employees
For many of us, Covid-19 was not just a fearsome virus that ripped through our world like an angry bear on steroids, it was something that disrupted our entire way of living. We went from working in offices, surrounded by colleagues, to trapped in our homes.
For some of us, this was a blessing in disguise, we were able to take a break from the busyness that held our lives captive, but now things are different.
Covid-19 has taken a step back, and while it is still present in our lives, things have changed, we still work from home, gas prices are up, and the economy is in tatters.
The pandemic has affected us in many ways, and now we are paying more bills as we work from home with higher bills, not socializing as much, and we spend even longer staring at screens. It wasn’t all just a PCR kit, masks, and hand sanitizer, there has been more to these past years.
How Did Covid-19 Change Our Lives?
So how exactly did Covid-19 influence our lives as employees?
Well, for a start we had to start working from home, surrounded by needy family members and pets. Not only were we working but we were also homeschooling our kids, caring for family members, and doing housework.
We had more responsibilities in spite of not being able to do a lot, usual schedules didn’t work anymore, as we were always multitasking. It is not like we were scrolling through social media, we just lost our work-life balance, because now, they were one and the same.
You couldn’t just shoot off some emails and call a meeting, you can’t just have a quick chat at the desk. Communication broke down and everything became harder, especially for those who were also having to multitask at the same time as well!
Humans are born to be social animals, and when Cobid-19 struck, we were all confined into one place for work and for life, it takes a toll on mental health, and now we have to be more considerate of people’s mental health because of this.
Being stuck in one place all the time means we also spend more time looking at screens, we get eye-strain or ocular fatigue, we are working looking at screens, and then we are relaxing by looking at screens as well.
Even those team meetings on zoom add to ocular fatigue! This then becomes a distraction as it decreases our attention span.
How To Help
As an employee or business, how can you reduce these effects for your employees? Well, here are some ideas.
Be Understanding and Encourage Breaks
Empathy is key, being understood will help employees feel less stressed about having to multitask their whole lives, it will be stressful enough as it is, and being able to talk to their employer about it will help.
You should also encourage breaks. No one can sort out the kids and type up 4 emails at the same time, you’d have to be an octopus. Encourage breaks so that employees can designate certain times to certain tasks.
Flexible schedules also allow employees to get their life chores done, and work separately, so they do not intertwine. Enhancing productivity.
Use Platforms To Encourage Effective Communication
It’s not like there is a lack of social interaction platforms, zoom, slack, google teams, and more, there are so many. Encourage teams of employees to set these up. Have one chat for work-based chat, and another for socialization, why? Look just below.
Offer Social Opportunities & Mental Health Counseling
Why set up a chat for socialization? Employees were used to having close friendships with each other pre-pandemic, they connect anymore if they do not see each other or only get to speak about work-related business.
Encourage employees to engage in social activity, and be more receptive to mental health needs. Every business should have a mental health representative in the company to act as a go-to person for those struggling.
Offer eye tests to employees. It may seem like a strange company expense, but if your staff are spending all day staring at a screen and have no commute to break up the time spent on screens, it is worth it for their health.
Do not forget to listen to staff concerns, your employees will be finding life weird and difficult since the pandemic, and with the cost of living rising, employees need your help to recover from what shook us all to the core.
Business Developmeny Manager at PAS InfoCom Technologies Ltd. Experienced in project management with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry.