Adrian Lewis, director at Active Absence says, “Before COVID-19 struck looking after the mental wellbeing of staff was moving up the corporate agenda, but now it must be a priority. The pandemic is affecting many workers who are worrying about their future, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. However employers are often unaware.
“This is can be because of the stigma about talking about mental health and employees not feeling comfortable about letting their manager know how they are feeling. This year there are additional challenges too because many people are working remotely so it can be even more difficult for managers to spot the warning signs.”
“During International Stress Awareness Week we urge employers to check that they have robust policies and systems in place to keep an eye on people’s mental wellbeing and that these are working. If not, we recommend as a matter of urgency they put these in place.
“One quick and easy solution is to use absence management technology which can help employers’ pinpoint early signs that a worker may be struggling. This technology enables managers to track absence and see if any patterns emerge that could be red flags, such as someone taking a lot of time off. It also prompts return to work interviews which can offer the ideal safe space for an employee to feel comfortable discussing any issues. Employers can then offer support if needed.
“With stress and poor mental health on the rise due to the pandemic, having a cloud-based system that can help employers support workers mental wellbeing is essential, especially since working remotely is likely to become the norm for many. This can help reduce absenteeism in the long run and ensure workers are happy, motivated and productive.”For more information on absence management software visit www.activabsence.co.uk
[i] https://isma.org.uk/isma-international-stress-awareness-week [ii] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/bulletins/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritain/23october2020#impact-on-life-and-well-being