In this article on the effects of the pandemic on mental health in the workplace, we speak to Helen Disney of The Realization Group, Alicia Ariffin of SteelEye, Richard Crook of DASL, Anna Zanghi of Futur-o, Toby Babb of Harrington Starr, Celine Crawford of Smarkets and Chloe Barrett of Chloe Louise Wellbeing about how managers will be expected to support the mental health of staff as they return to work, as well as what skills companies will have to equip their management teams with to help them navigate the tumultuous journey ahead back to the workplace.
The Covid-19 pandemic has created mental health challenges from isolation at all levels of society. As we start to return to a sense of normality, we discuss how the workplace may look post-lockdown. Companies have faced a particular pressure, in continuing to perform and to support and underpin economic activity, whilst supporting individual employees to cope with the demands of working from home whilst home-schooling and caring for children, social isolation and uncertainty about the future. Now they face a new challenge, supporting staff in the return to the workplace, including their mental wellbeing on this journey. Previously overlooked, the mental health of staff is now recognised as being vital in ensuring the smooth continued operation of companies.
Organisations are defined by their leadership. Leadership sets the culture, tone and values which then permeate down and through the wider organisation. The strongest organisations are those with leaders who actively define the culture and values that they want to espouse to both employees and clients and take steps to ensure that these are instilled across the organisation and we are seeing many companies step up to proactively support their staff on this next step out of the pandemic.