Pandemic | How to eliminate employee stress around COVID-19

How to eliminate employee stress around COVID-19
Promoted by How to eliminate employee stress around COVID-19

2020 has been a difficult year. Changing circumstances at work and pressures in our personal lives have badly affected our mental wellbeing.

Research from 87%, an innovative digital platform that provides mental health assessment and support to businesses and their employees, shows how the workforce has struggled with the mental pressures of Covid-19. Since March, 87% has closely monitored changing sentiments and emotional behaviours across its thousands of users, many of whom work on the medical frontline for organisations like the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Air Ambulances UK.

During this time, users have shown diminishing mental wellbeing scores across a number of key metrics including anxiety, fatigue, isolation and stress. Anxiety scores have risen by 15% across the board while those aged 36-45 are the worst affected. Women were almost 20% more anxious than men in November. Those aged 18-25 are feeling the most isolated and this is especially prominent for women in this age range. Despite the flexibility of working from home and reduced commuting, fatigue has also increased. Across all users, half (47%) report having less energy than usual and women are reporting significantly less energy than men.

Workplace wellbeing takes a hit

Meanwhile, the most significant changes have been in wellbeing scores as a result of work stress, which dipped dramatically after March (people were feeling more stressed). They levelled off over the summer but dropped again in August to 16% lower than before the pandemic and the repercussions of this stress mean that we’re also struggling to prioritise and plan for the future. Over a third (36%) of people say it’s easy to lose sight of what matters to them most, while almost half (44%) of people are finding it difficult to know which path to follow. This is especially true for women.

Use insights to avert wellbeing disaster

While businesses introduce measures to avert such problems, like mental health first aid, regular check-ins and training on work-life balance, this data clearly shows these schemes are not enough to prevent mental illness.

87% provides businesses with a more progressive means of measuring and monitoring employee wellbeing, via clinically-led insights developed by a team of psychologists. Dr Serra Pitts, Clinical Director of 87%, explains, “These trends are indicative of a broken system that relies on reacting to issues, rather than preventing them. But with advanced technological insights into wellbeing, and measurable data, comes the power to direct appropriate interventions at the right time. Managers can correlate these insights with other important HR metrics, such as turnover and engagement, to enhance productivity and engagement. Accurate data facilitates fact-based decisions, removes the guesswork and takes mental health from being reactive to being proactive.”

A positive trend has emerged from 87% users being able to track their mental wellbeing; increased self-awareness. As people reflect on their quality of life and their feelings during the pandemic, managing difficult emotions, such as anger, frustration and uncertainty, has become a focus. Users, even those who are mentally fit, have begun to understand that they are having negative thoughts and looking for ways to address these.

Dr Pitts continues, “We need to move past the idea that mental health is only relevant to those who suffer from mental ill health. It is encouraging to see our users taking steps to learn healthy habits but this is something that we should all be doing, every day. Only with accurate assessment can we put the right measures in place to build positive mental health over time.”

Download 87%'s free Mental Wellbeing Report 2020 for analysis of the year's wellbeing trends and psychological advice for businesses and individuals on how to build positive mental health in 2021 here or click the button below.

Download the report

About 87%

Based on the principle that only 13% of adults report living with high levels of good mental health, 87% is a mental wellbeing platform whose vision is to improve employee mental wellbeing and indirectly benefit that of society in general through increased engagement and productivity. Its methodology is built on years of scientific research and uses an algorithm to evaluate thousands of data points that include behavioural activity and environmental data. From here, mental wellbeing is broken into seven distinct dimensions that reflect everyday life and a customisable app offers proven techniques to ensure users build resilience and self-awareness to get the best results.

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