New COVID world of work—as productivity slips, companies engage mental health support

by | Jul 24, 2020 | Covid-19, Public Relations

The COVID crisis has impacted on every part of our lives, so there’s no reason to think it hasn’t affected our mental health—and these issues are manifesting in the new workplace, according to new research from B2B ratings and reviews firm Clutch. Even though most employees’ view of their future at their company remains unchanged, many say they feel less productive during the pandemic, which has prompted a majority of businesses to offer their workers mental and emotional support.

After sweeping changes to the business world as a result of COVID-19, many employees feel less productive in the COVID world—according to the data, about 4 in 10 employees (39 percent) say they feel less productive during the pandemic. As a result, companies are adjusting to this new work-from-home world to ensure that employees feel supported. Connectivity and support are important to maintaining productivity, which is why some managers are prioritizing 1:1 interactions.

“I invest time in one-on-one conversations with each of my team members at least three times a week,” said David Morneau, co-founder of micro-influencer marketing agency inBeat, in a news release. “I listen, empathize, and offer solutions. Motivated employees are always more productive.”

New COVID world of work—as productivity slips, companies engage mental health support

Mental health support leads to changes in the workday

The pandemic has taken a toll on workers. To keep employees healthy and strong, more than half of businesses (57 percent) are offering some form of mental or emotional support.

Common offerings supporting employee health include perks such as:

  • Receiving advice about remote work (23 percent)
  • Access to professional counseling or therapy (21 percent)
  • Increased paid time off or sick leave (14 percent)
  • Adjusted employee goals or metrics (13 percent)
  • Virtual social or community events (11 percent)

Demand for virtual mental health care is also rising during the pandemic. Platforms such as Ginger, which provides virtual therapy and psychiatry to workers, have seen a 50 percent increase in the number of users compared to the end of 2019.

New COVID world of work—as productivity slips, companies engage mental health support

Ty Stewart, president and chief executive officer of Simple Life Insure, is exploring sponsoring company accounts on mindfulness apps and websites, according to the release. Stewart believes mindfulness apps are particularly valuable because they are an approachable, daily resource for employees.

The workday is changing to accommodate a growing employee focus on wellness. More than one-quarter of workplaces (28 percent) now allow increased flexibility in the workday. Employees are also taking steps to improve their mental wellbeing such as:

  • Contacting friends and family more often (24 percent)
  • Exercising (24 percent)
  • Taking breaks throughout the workday (24 percent)
  • Setting boundaries on their work schedule (17 percent)
  • Eating more nutritiously (14 percent)
  • Spending more time away from digital screens (11 percent)

New COVID world of work—as productivity slips, companies engage mental health support

Employees’ future plans at work have stayed the same

Despite the massive shifts in personal and professional lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, workers’ perspectives on their employment situation hasn’t changed. Four months into the pandemic, more than one-half of employees (51 percent) say their outlook about their future at the company where they work remains unchanged.

Similarly, only about one-quarter of workers, respectively, say their outlook is less positive (25 percent) or more positive (24 percent). As the world changes around them and companies increasingly offer mental and emotional support, employees see a future at their company.

Read the full report here.

New COVID world of work—as productivity slips, companies engage mental health support

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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