The vast majority (94%) of employers have introduced measures to support employee wellbeing, according to research by recruitment firm Wade Macdonald and law firm Doyle Clayton.
The research, which surveyed 150 HR leaders, found that 88% of organisations favour employee assistance programmes (EAP) as a form of support, followed by 55% of employers that offer self-service platforms. In addition, 33% offer access to counselling services, 21% offer coaching, while 16% offer access to a private doctor.
The research found that three fifths (62%) of employees have experienced mental health issues since the outbreak of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
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To help support the mental wellbeing of employees on furlough, just over four-fifths (83%) of employers are using multiple channels to regularly communicate with them. The most popular methods of communication include phone calls (54%), video calls (41%), work newsletters (39%), and virtual social gatherings (32%).
Furthermore, one-third (33%) have ensured that furloughed staff are given access to training days.
The report also found that only 30% of organisations are planning on returning to the office when it is possible to do so. In addition, the vast majority (96%) of employers believe that remote working does not have a negative impact on productivity, while less than 20% of staff have requested to return to the office. Many employers (90%) stated that they would offer a choice for staff to work remotely, while 77% believe that flexible working options would become the new normal.
Chris Goulding, managing director at Wade Macdonald, said: “The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has created a host of unprecedented pressures for organisations and employees alike. While economists could have predicted the large-scale financial difficulties the world was about to witness, no one could have been prepared for the physical and mental burdens that would follow.
“The recognition of the strain the last eight months has had on internal teams has meant that a large proportion of employers are looking to seriously ramp up their support efforts indefinitely.”