Supporting the mental health of employees working from home – 2020 World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Supporting the mental health of employees working from home

The everyday routines, schedules and lives of billions of people around the world have changed dramatically as a result of COVID-19. In a collective effort to help stop the spread, many people have started working from home and are spending less time outdoors and more time at home.

It’s important that businesses stay up to date with new health and safety regulations to protect the physical health of their employees, and it’s equally important to identify ways to support employees’ mental health and well-being, especially during this uncertain time.

As a result of the unprecedented nature of this global pandemic and changes in working, employees may experience the following:

  • Increased exposure to violent or aggressive customers for frontline workers and customer service representatives.
  • Increased work demand as a result of increased customer activity.
  • Feelings of isolation due to remote working.
  • Feelings of uncertainty due to changes in working.
  • Unsuitable workspace conditions with varying lighting, temperatures and potential distractions.
  • Lack of communication on business changes and decisions.

To prevent stress as a result of COVID-19, here are a just a few things you can do to support your team:

  • Provide staff with a point of contact to discuss potential concerns and access important workplace information.
  • Check in regularly with team members and allocate time to share problems and formulate solutions.
  • Speak to team members about their feelings surrounding working from home and offer reassurance if they are experiencing feelings of fear, doubt or uncertainty.
  • Proactively support workers who may be experiencing negative emotional or psychological distress.
  • Refer workers to employee assistance programs for further help and support.

According to Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws, it is important to implement the following steps to manage risks and continue keeping employees safe:

Step 1: Identify psychosocial hazards

Step 2: Assess risks

Step 3: Control risks

Step 4: Review hazards and control measures

For more information on mental health and how you can support your team throughout this uncertain time, visit the following websites:

For everything you need to create a healthy and safe work environment visit www.winc.com.au or call 13 26 44 to speak to a specialist.

References:

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/other-resources/mental-health-and-covid-19

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/work-related-psychological-health-and-safety-systematic-approach-meeting-your-duties