Ask anyone what they think about COVID-19, and they’re bound to talk about its impact on businesses, jobs, and overall livelihoods. It’s not uncommon that many would stress about whether they’d still have a job in the coming months, given how quickly the environment is changing.

In fact, a recently-published Qualtrics research revealed out of 350 employees surveyed in Singapore, close to two-thirds (65%) felt more anxious and stressed (64%) in the current environment.

That said – with offices shutting down and most employees working from home, one point that stood out was that one-third (35%) of employees stated their mental health has improved over the last few weeks. Of these, 27% cited working from home as the main reason, while 17% indicated they had felt less stressed. At the same time, a slightly lesser few (15%) revealed being busy as a reason.

In contrast, however, 26% of employees still experienced a decline in their mental health, while 22% of those working from home felt so. Why was this the case? The top five reasons cited were:

  • Stress (25%);
  • Anxiety (22%);
  • Worry about losing jobs (19%);
  • Fatigue (7%); and
  • Working from home (6%)

[ALSO READ: How to take care of your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic: 24 tips]

How can employers, managers and co-workers help?

What’s the most important thing managers and even employees can do for their co-workers right now? It’s to ask: “Are you ok?”, says Steve Bennetts, Head of EX Strategy & Solutions at Qualtrics in APJ.

He adds: “We should be asking that question weekly, and in some instances even daily such is the rate of change we are all experiencing.”

On top of this, here are a few things employers and managers can do to improve the wellbeing of their workforce, even without being in the same room.

First and foremost, is to provide proper access important resources that will help employees get the job done smoothly (18%).

Second, is to set clear expectations of what you want from your employees in their work, as 17% had stated. This can be done through daily morning updates, or Monday-morning updates, for instance.

Third, employees also feel they would positively benefit from communications from company leadership (15%) and lastly, informal team gatherings (13%). Well, that means its time to organise some virtual team lunches, Friday catchups so everyone has a little perk-me-up!

Apart from the above, do make it a point to encourage your employees to to eat healthy, exercise regularly (here at HRO, we love sharing tips with one another) and, not to forget, to ensure they set a clear schedule and do not end up losing track of time and overworking while at home.

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