Mental Health: Adjusting to the “New Normal” Post-Coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken the world by surprise, impacting nearly every life across the globe in some way. Remote work, physical distancing, isolation, and other changes have coerced communities and businesses to adjust to a new sense of normalcy.
Not only has this pandemic affected our physical lives – where we work, where we travel, and how we interact with the world around us – COVID-19 has also increased levels of anxiety and stress with 45% of adults in the United States reporting a negative impact to their mental health (KFF).
Instead of trying to manage the things you can’t change, it’s important to take control of what you can change. Here are some tips for employers to help employees adjust to the “new normal.”
Modify Expectations. While business may resume as normal (or as close to normal as it is permitted), be mindful that not all individuals are going to respond the same way. Adapt the expectations to fit the reality of the situation.
Be Empathetic. You may not know how COVID-19 has impacted others. Some people may have friends, family members, or loved ones that have been impacted by COVID-19. Others may be experiencing difficulties with social isolation, mental health issues, exposure to increased health risks (i.e., those with pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19), and simply coping with the fear and uncertainty of it all. Take a little extra time to connect with your employees and lend support where and when you are able.
Develop a Routine. Whether you’re working remotely or back in the office, there are likely changes to your daily routine. Develop a new routine that works for you. Be sure to factor in time for physical fitness, social interaction, and decompression. A routine can help create and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Establish Policies and Procedures. Individuals react differently to stressful situations. It is important to establish boundaries with employees, such as consistently and clearly communicating expectations, updates on company policies and procedures, and providing helpful resources and information.
Many HR-related questions have surfaced as a result of COVID-19, including paid time off, sick leave, and personal issues. QBS, your partner PEO, can provide you a team of HR specialists that can help you navigate your new post-coronavirus normal. Contact us today to speak with an HR professional.