On Monday (14/06/21), Boris Johnson announced that the current lockdown rules would remain which could have devastating effects on employee wellbeing. These rules include no more than six inside and much of the hospitality industry still closed. The delay will hopefully allow for more work on vaccinations and see whether they are affecting the virus. With that in mind, many individuals may feel frustrated due to uncertainties about their work and social life. On the other hand, they may feel relieved and safer with COVID-19 anxieties.
Through the last year, many companies have begun to focus more strategically on their wellbeing strategies, such as rewards and recognition, to help their team through such unprecedented times. As a result of the pandemic, 42% of adults are feeling anxious or stressed. These wellbeing strategies are needed, especially in light of the lockdown extension. But what does this mean for employee wellbeing moving forward?
Fears over health affecting employee wellbeing
Unsurprisingly, COVID-19s effect on physical health is affecting employee wellbeing. Your team may be struggling with their own or family member’s health issues, which can cause prolonged problems such as Long COVID.
Although companies cannot fully eradicate these issues, making sure your people feel comfortable at work is imperative. Managers may continue to allow their employees to work from the safety of their homes. Alternatively, when returning to work, maintaining social distancing as much as possible can alleviate health fears. Remember, saying thank you for your hard work can also make sure your people feel appreciated through these difficult times and increase employee wellbeing.
Although the percentage of adults who felt stressed or anxious at work has fallen from 62% to 42% since March 2020, anxiety is still prevalent in the workplace and has astronomical effects on employee wellbeing.
When your people feel worried, they cannot focus well or feel comfortable. Therefore, they can no longer work to their fullest potential. Companies can help those in need by setting up support groups at work for emotional aid. On top of this, with the appropriate perks at work, businesses can support their teams positively.
Job security and employee wellbeing
The extension of a lockdown will inevitably prolong the furlough scheme in England. Individuals in this position may begin to dwell on what this means for their job security. Although those on the furlough scheme are not currently working, managers should treat them as a valued members of the team. Companies may not be able to offer constant information regarding security. But they can help with rising anxieties by staying in contact with their team. Providing good communication and giving as much information as possible about their return to work will help employee wellbeing through transparency and trust.
The pandemic has impacted many individuals’ financial issues. A study carried out by The Office of National Statistics found that a shocking 30% of people said their household finances had been affected by the coronavirus. Members of your team will have heightened anxiety which could negatively influence work and employee wellbeing. For example, staff may become overworked due to trying to do too much over time and therefore lack productivity.
A positive way to help your people with financial worries is with employee vouchers. Rewarding staff for their hard work this way can help them with their food shopping or other necessary amenities whilst showing your appreciation.
In summary, the extension of the lockdown is likely to harm your people and employee wellbeing. However, with the right approach to wellbeing, companies can help individuals through this difficult period. After all, the UK is seemingly moving towards an exit from COVID-19.
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