How To Harness Employee Mental Health Amidst The Omicron Outbreak
Although the new strain is very contagious to health and has infected large swaths of the public, its potential to infect hospitals seems to be significantly less effective – at least so far. That’s excellent news, and it’s something to celebrate. The bad news is that Omicron may have the most significant influence on our mental health.
Mental illnesses are characterized as ailments that harm an individual’s mood, thoughts, emotions, behavior, and cognizance. Although it may be difficult for some to discuss, an estimated 54 million Americans encounter symptoms (and associated side effects) of mental illness health disorders each year.
These widespread mental health problems affect all aspects of life, from social and personal to professional and commercial. And it might be tough to know what to do if you feel someone at work may need assistance with a mental health condition. When this individual is also an employee, the situation might become much more difficult.
Here’s all you need to know about identifying and managing mental health issues among your staff. Employees’ mental well-being is directly proportional to organizational productivity. When workers are in turmoil, their job suffers. And if their job suffers, the organization takes a financial hit. According to American Psychological Association, approximately 14 million working days are missed because of poor mental health. Not only can poor mental health have a significant effect on the personnel, but it also results in wasteful costs and severe productivity loss. That is why employers must provide their employees with mental health-related services.
Some of how an employer can harness employee’s mental health amidst the outbreak are as follows:
Hire an onsite psychologist
Off-site therapy might be costly for certain employees, adding an extra two-way commute. An onsite psychologist gets paid by the employer. Having an onsite therapist means that the employees can visit the therapist at their convenience or chat during a cigarette or coffee break. An onsite psychologist can also play a role of a liaison between the employees and the employer. Also, the therapist could enhance the motivation and productivity of the employees and the organization.
Consider the unvaccinated
When it comes to working, not all employees will want or be able to get a vaccine for medical or personal reasons, which can be a problem for businesses and employers who have to deal with different laws in different places. If the workforce is good and is unvaccinated, they should work from home. All the vaccinated employees should come to their workplaces. This will reduce the level of paranoia, stress, and anxiety.
Working from home or telecommuting has made it easier to maintain social distance. Businesses are reintroducing remote working to enhance the safety of the employees. Employers might “nudge” workers to keep social space in the workplace by using behavioral economics tactics. Make sure there are a limited number of seats available in the office.
Better Ventilation System
Transmission may be reduced by increasing the volume of air circulated in a structure, which can be done via better ventilation. Many companies may increase the number of air exchanges and enhance the filtration systems on their current air-handling systems. In contrast, others can open windows to promote ventilation. There is limited evidence that UV light treatment of indoor air reduces the spread of Covid-19.
Disseminate Information About Exposures
Omicron instances are expected to occur in several organizations during the next few months. Companies should be open and honest about Covid-19 exposures while preserving the medical privacy of workers who have reported having the disease to protect their health. Covid-19 exposure should not need quarantine for personnel who have been vaccinated.
When the Omicron form was discovered, many organizations had already resumed business travel after reducing or eliminating it during the pandemic’s early stages. The variation and fast-changing international laws might increase the danger of quarantine or travel interruption.
Leaders should err on the side of caution when permitting their staff to go to regions where the danger of Covid-19 infection is severe and instead urge them to have business meetings via videoconference. Reducing travel is seen to save money and time and protect the environment. Hence, leaders are likely to keep their travel and spending budgets under control for the foreseeable future.
Disconnect from the Social Media
Fear and anxiety about health conditions like COVID may be magnified in the Information Age. Checking in with oneself, both physically and psychologically, is now more critical than ever. Disconnect from social media because you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the stream of information.
Take a vacation from social media until a media spike passes or you’re in a place where it won’t adversely affect you. This might look different for everyone. The employer must enforce policies to minimize the time spend on social media. While it is will not be lucrative, it is one of the ways to enhance the mental well-being of the employees.
Provide Mental Health Care
Amidst the Omicron outbreak, it is the ethical responsibility of the employer to take preventive and proactive measures to ensure the workers’ mental health and well-being. The payoff for providing mental healthcare to employees would result in more productive, content, and healthy staff. Providing mental health will enhance productivity, a happy and healthy team, and a successful organization.
The reimbursement of gym memberships, lunch-and-learns with stress management professionals, or even corporate meditation rooms is all example of this. It’s critical to let workers know that the business understands the toll stress has on our health and well-being and that it’s prepared to give resources to help them cope. If anything, we need to pay attention to what our workers are saying and react appropriately.
According to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review, some team members are forced to leave their positions because of poor mental health. Fifty-four percent of workers in the UK report feeling “stressed” or “very anxious” at work, according to a recent survey by healthassured.org. COVID-19-related stress and worry are having a significant impact on our team members’ mental health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most mental health experts are adjusting to the increased demand for their services. Thanks to the technology, many therapists can provide therapy while not leaving their domain. While it alleviates transportation access barriers and commuting time during high gasoline prices, teletherapy would help every employee. Are you feeling down? Walk into the HR office, reserve a time for teletherapy, and discuss your psychological issues with your tele-therapist. While long-term therapy is not for everyone, it is a critical resource during the Omicron pandemic.
There are several things an employer can do to harness the employees’ mental health. Some might argue that it is not beneficial. Still, it will help the employers mitigate high turnover, costing them a good chunk of money. Instead of investing money in seeking new employees, investing in those already employed is beneficial.