The pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, with lockdowns and social distancing becoming the norm. Every day, harrowing figures are released relating to the status of Covid-19, as we learn how many people have been infected, admitted to hospital and died from the virus.
News channels, for more than a year, have reported almost exclusively on the virus and the social restrictions being implemented to counter the spread of Covid-19. It is enough to bring anyone’s mood down – we are living in highly stressful times and remaining focused on everyday tasks, especially work, has been difficult.
If you feel that your performance in the workplace (or simply during working hours, if you are one of the many that have moved to remote work during the pandemic), you should take solace in knowing that you are not alone. Many have reported feeling stressed and anxious during the pandemic, which has impacted their performance at work.
Why Workers Are Worrying During Covid-19
There are many reasons why employees may be feeling stressed and anxious that ultimately centre around the pandemic. Stress may be brought on by constant consumption of negative news, worrying about catching the virus (and passing it on to someone vulnerable), feeling anxious about the stability of their job and, therefore income or childcare, with schools and nurseries closing.
The reason why someone may be struggling may not be directly as a result of the virus, but due to the lockdown measures implemented to try to cut the spread. This may mean that they have been unable to see friends and family, such as their parents and grandparents, who they would have usually relied on for support in a normal world. This alone could answer much of the reason why anyone would be suffering.
Each person’s situation differs from the next, so it is impossible to say categorically how and why the pandemic has affected someone. Mental health, on the whole, has taken a kicking during lockdown with Samaritans reporting an increase in contacts throughout the pandemic.
How Employers are Helping Employees
Employers must work with their employees, particularly during mental health crises, to give them the support they need. This, of course, centres around ensuring that the business can hit its commercial targets by providing solutions so as they can attend work and maintain their responsibilities.
The truth is, though, that absenteeism and presenteeism in the workplace is a problem that is rife for numerous businesses. When workers are either not at work or are present when they are unable to focus on their work, that costs businesses money. Ultimately, that is to the detriment of the business, which means that working with their staff is in their best interest.
Businesses may work to provide solutions, such as support for parents and/or carers, and flexible working hours so as staff can continue to focus on their work without outside responsibilities getting on top of them.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
We can take solace from the fact that it appears that the end is nigh and, with the success of the vaccination programme, it should not be too much longer until the pandemic – at least domestically – is confined to the history books. That means that we can return to life as we knew it in 2019 before anyone knew about Covid.
If you have been struggling, we want you to know that you have been doing a great job and, one day very soon, this will all be over.