Covid-19 may still be appearing in our headlines but it is fair to say that it is far less prevalent in the media as it once was. Throughout 2020 and 2021 there was a worldwide response to managing a rather unprecedented situation, with a much tighter focus on managing how businesses would handle their day-to-day operations.
Health and wellbeing for staff was again, a major part of this focus. Organisations were starting to address the damaging impact that the pandemic was having towards mental health with such a change to the climate. As a result, research from ACAS showed that 36% of British employers saw their mental health support improve since the start of the pandemic.
COVID-19 – Two years on
Now, with a lot of businesses having returned to their regular practice, the impact of COVID-19 is still very much apparent, but this practice has shown that the focus on employee mental health and wellbeing has started to slip in some areas. Research from CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development) in April 2022 has shown that:
- There is less management focus on health and wellbeing compared to the first year of the pandemic due to a 5% drop in HR respondents who agreed that employee wellbeing was on senior leader’s agendas. As well as this, there was a 7% drop in respondents believing that line managers have brought into the importance of wellbeing.
- 46% of organisations surveyed showed to have employees who were experiencing or had experienced the effects of long Covid, becoming a major cause of absence across a long-term scale.
- The issue of working when ill is shown to be a problem, especially for employees working from home (81%).
Despite this, there are also very encouraging findings around the steps many businesses have taken to keep health and wellbeing a continual focus with data showing that:
- 52% of HR respondents are taking steps to address employees working when ill.
- 72% are providing new or better support for people working from home.
- 47% are encouraging more responsible use of digital technologies as well as practices such as time away from screens being acknowledged as essential.
- Many organisations have taken on a holistic approach to wellbeing, offering support towards employees for different challenges that may be faced throughout their individual lives.
The data has shown some encouraging findings, yet indicates that the focus has slipped in some areas. Employee wellbeing should never be a passing trend, it is an essential practice that must remain a high priority for any business. Things are certainly different compared to where they were two years ago, but this significant difference has ignited a need to keep standards high in order to keep all aspects of business afloat.
If you need further support with managing employee wellbeing, why not find out more about our toolkit, Edtesa Wellbeing. Utilise Edtesa Wellbeing to get essential insight into how your employees are coping through various aspects of work and use that data to adapt and improve.