Published in Blog by Sarah Ingram on April 30th 2021
Sarah Ingram, part of the Tavistock Relationships team offering mental health support from the City Wellbeing Centre, explains why the pandemic has shone a light on the importance of employee wellbeing.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of looking after the mental health of all employees during lockdown. And as we start to emerge from restrictions, organisations need to be mindful that for some, the experience of lockdown has been shattering.
As companies begin planning when and how their employees might come back to the office, there is an opportunity to put mental health in the spotlight.
Through our work at the City Wellbeing Centre, we are working closely with City businesses to build partnerships to support the mental health of the thousands of City workers who will be returning to the office (at least part time) in the coming months.
Early research published by the CIPD in its ‘Coronavirus (Covid-19): Mental health support for employees’ report (5 January 2021), which looks into the health impacts of lockdown, includes findings of ‘fatigue, musculoskeletal conditions, poor work life balance, reduced exercise and increased alcohol consumption’2.
Early research published by the CIPD in its ‘Coronavirus (Covid-19): Mental health support for employees’ report (5 January 2021), which looks into the health impacts of lockdown, includes findings of ‘fatigue, musculoskeletal conditions, poor work life balance, reduced exercise and increased alcohol consumption’2. Many people have suffered bereavements without the chance to say goodbye and there are fears and anxiety around health, job security, returning to the workplace and finances.
During a recent webinar with the staff of a large London-based organisation, the Tavistock Relationships City Wellbeing Centre team explored people’s experiences of lockdown, and the pressure it has put on their relationships at home. There was a lot of concern around money, conflicting priorities and challenges around sharing domestic tasks.
Our experience of lockdown life has been mixed. For some, life has become more comfortable with remote working, allowing extra time for family life and exercise. While we may miss colleagues, coffees and eating out, we don’t miss the commute and the hectic pace of life. For others, struggling with a lack of space at home, and missing the social contact, the return to the office can’t come soon enough.
Just as we as individuals are grappling with the balance in this ‘wellbeing equation’, so are the organisations we work for. And companies are becoming increasingly mindful of the mental health of their employees.
The City Wellbeing Centre opened in the heart of London’s financial district during lockdown and Tavistock Relationships therapists currently offer individual and couple therapy online. And, as the lockdown eases, we are looking forward to seeing clients face-to-face. Companies can pay for sessions for their staff, or they can promote the Centre internally to their staff.
We are confident that business leaders will do the right thing by their employees. We’ve all worked together to adapt to remote working, keeping our organisations afloat through this extraordinary period of history. By offering their workers the option of counselling, employers will be recognising that employee mental health is critical to everyone’s success.