5 ways COVID-19 impacted Workplace Mental Health

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Mental health has become an urgent priority for companies as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The uncertainty and stress created by the pandemic, and increased isolation due to large-scale remote working, have put pressure on workforce’s mental wellbeing. The global cost of mental-ill health through lost productivity, absences, and staff turnover is estimated to be around $2.5 trillion annually.

Recent research has found that about half of working adults globally felt their mental health impacted by the global crisis with the following main challenges:

  1. COVID-19 prompted about 30% of employed adults to take a leave of absence
  2. 56% experienced increased anxiety around job security
  3. 55% found changes in work routines and organization stressful
  4. Almost half of all surveyed felt lonely or isolated when working from home
  5. More than 40% said their productivity fell and it was hard to get work done at home

Prior to the pandemic, mental health was already a global crisis with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting that almost 1 billion people globally had a mental health disorder, and that depression was already projected to become the leading cause of disease burden globally by 2030.

According to the WHO, mental health services have experienced substantial disruptions in 130 countries during the pandemic. There is also mounting evidence that mental health problems have become more common since the pandemic began.

In this line, If we translate these stats to your workplace…

  1. 30% of your team is taking asbence leave?
  2. 56% of your team is experiencing anxiety?
  3. 55% of your team is finding work routines stressful?
  4. 50% of your colleagues are feeling lonely or isolated working from home?
  5. 40% of your team is feeling their productivity fell?

How would you know?

It’s necessary that we highlight the importance of having conversations around mental health. Having a conversation sounds simple enough, so why are we not having them? We see all too often the conversations that really matter just don’t happen. They feel too difficult. Too shameful. Too scary.

Data-driven conversations could be the stepping stone to build a psychological safety environment that effectively improve mental health at work. Learn more here.


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