Taking Care of Your Employees’ Mental Health During the Pandemic

In these unprecedented times, where exactly does our mental health fall? We’ve been thinking a lot about the future—our work, our business, our health, and how we’re going to survive another week of the threat that the pandemic brings. Have we ever stopped and think about what this is doing to our mental health? Sure, some of your employees were jumping for joy when you first announced that they’d have to work from home. But is that still true today?

Studies showed that the work-from-home setup is not sustainable. Even for people living alone, working at home can be detrimental to their mental health and their productivity at work. And for those with small children running around their home office? The thought of working another minute at home is starting to feel like a trauma.

How can you know that your employees are having mental health issues? What are the signs that you need to watch? Sometimes, the most healthy-looking employees on your list are the ones near the point of a breakdown.

Signs That Your Employees Have Mental Health Issues

Are your employees starting to attend your Zoom meetings with an unkempt appearance? Many people with mental health issues are finding it hard to care about how they look. They also have mood swings and erratic behavior. You’ll usually notice this with how they preside over a meeting or how they accept criticisms of their work. If they were not usually like this, you should probably reach out to them and offer help.

What Kind of Support Can You Lend Employees with Mental Health Issues?

Talk with a therapist about the possibility of offering cognitive behavioral therapy through teleconference. Once you’ve cleared the deal with a therapist who agrees to do sessions with your employees, you can start offering this type of employee perk. Many of your employees are not even noticing that their mental health is already declining. A lot more won’t even want to speak about it.

woman free of stress

It’s important for them to feel that your office—real or virtual—is a safe place where they can talk about their feelings during this pandemic. Many employers are so focused on their declining sales (and rightfully so) that they forget about their workers’ well-being. It’s one thing to be worried about your business, but it’s another thing completely to ignore what the pandemic is doing to your people.

There’s always going to be a stigma surrounding mental health, especially in the workplace. Are people with mental health issues employable? Can they be trusted with critical tasks? Use this opportunity to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health. If there’s one thing you should learn about the pandemic, people have different coping methods. Yours might work for you, but others will not feel the same.

Make an effort to reduce workplace stress. Whether real or virtual, this isn’t the time to pressure or stress your employees. It’s enough that they have to deal with a pandemic that occurs only every century or so. Don’t make it worse for them by being the boss from hell. Show empathy and compassion. Remember that the best leaders are the most compassionate.

In these trying times, it takes so much to wake up, be positive, and face another difficult day at work. You have the power in your hands to reach out and help your employees. You also have the resources to make counseling and therapy available to them. Use that power to make positive changes in their lives and ensure that they are doing well. Sometimes, it takes just one person to make people happier and mentally sound.