…and how are your employees?
At the beginning of the lockdown period I read a great many articles warning of the perils to mental health that lay ahead, and whilst I appreciated that it might cause some distress to those people living alone or in circumstances that might not be described as comfortable, I have to admit I wasn’t too worried.
The last few weeks however have made me realise just how hard it can be.
If you are on furlough, there is the fear that work is going on without you and that maybe there won’t be the promised return to work at the end.
Funny comments about enjoying the weather, gardening and box-set binging, no longer seem so amusing, and may even appear to be barbed digs at your expense.
For those going out to work every day, there is the fear that they might bring the virus back into their homes to their loved ones.
There may even be a sense of guilt, that they are able to work whilst colleagues are on furlough.
And for those of us, still working from home, some 13 weeks later, our homes are no longer a refuge from work, instead sleep has become the only escape from our working environment.
At times like these it is therefore essential that we establish support networks, where we can own up to our fears and negative emotions. By sharing them we realise we are not alone; that whilst we are unique, our concerns are universal.
One good thing to come out of this is our ability to use technology to connect with people, wherever they are. The help you need is no longer out of reach. If you are struggling, now is a good time to speak to a mental health first aider or call your employee assistance programme. If you don’t have access to either of these simply search “hub of hope” for details of local services dedicated to promoting mental health.
Whatever day you decide to read this, today is the day to help yourself through this.
Consultant Director, Health and Safety