2020 has been a whirlwind of a year to say the least. Businesses across the UK were plunged into lockdown in March, meaning companies everywhere not only saw their offices close, but in a lot of cases saw a decrease in trading, resulting in redundancies, the furloughing of employees and even job losses.
Our Small Business Monitor, a survey of 750 SMEs in the UK, saw that 8 out of 10 SMEs had had to make difficult decisions and implement strict changes to the way they operated as a result of lockdown, really showing impact lockdown had on SMEs during this time.
When lockdown was lifted in July, those lucky enough to have weathered the storm began to operate in the ‘new normal’. Offices started to fill, meetings started to take place in person (albeit with social distancing in place), and some businesses started to see trade pick up with their doors re-opening. During this period, employees across the country were able to somewhat feel a sense of normality again. Whether it was the tackling of loneliness by being able to have a socially distanced coffee with a colleague or the relief associated with seeing the business reopen its doors, the added pressures lockdown had put on employees were starting to alleviate.
Unfortunately, just as we were starting to feel the strain lift, the country was put back into lockdown at the start of November, forcing workers across England to return to their working from home routine. With a second lockdown now well underway, we cannot afford to underestimate the added stress this is putting on the workforce.
Mind, the mental health charity, said ‘Prioritising mental health has never been more critical than it is now. New mental health problems have developed as a result of the pandemic, and existing mental health problems have gotten worse’.
It is clear that these pressures are overwhelming the nation’s workers and are having a monumental impact on peoples’ mental health. With so much added stress, the spotlight moves to you, their employer. What can you do to help your workers during this time?
To help give your employees the tools they need to tackle some of the most common issues the pandemic has brought to people across the country, Thrive, the NHS-approved mental health app available through our platform, has created a series of webinars focusing on how to manage your wellbeing during lockdown.
By sharing access to these resources, you’re able to give your teams the instruments they need to not only improve their mental health in the short term, but also they equip your team with skills, techniques and practices that will allow them to better manage their mental health and wellbeing moving forwards, regardless of external stressors.
To hear more about how you can help support your employees’ wellbeing, whether it’s physical, mental, or financial, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
1. WorkLife (2020) Small Business Monitor. Available by request.
2. Mind (2020)The mental health emergency: how has the coronavirus pandemic impacted ourmental health? London: Mind. Available at: mind.org.uk
WorkLife’s Small Business Monitor is based on research carried out by 3Gem among 750 senior financial and HR decision makers in UK SME companies with 5 - 250 employees.