Are your employees struggling with mental health after the lockdown delay?

employee mental health iris blog | Are your employees struggling with mental health after the lockdown delay?
By Anthony Wolny | 2nd July 2021 | 3 min read

The lockdown delay came as a blow to many people who have been stuck at home for over a year, with the novelty of remote working wearing off for some due to the extended isolation.

What started as an opportunity for more time at home and the removal of many peoples’ tiresome commutes to the office has now spiralled, bringing its own pitfalls.

Factors such as longer working hours and feelings of isolation have quickly become sore points for employees, and as contact with colleagues remains drastically scarce, it’s unsurprising that many employers are struggling to pick up on signs of strain.

In this blog, we’ve identified five indicators relating to employee mental health that you need to look out for, so you can help alleviate the burden for those struggling with remote working.

1) Visual signifiers

When spending the day alone – working from home – for many people, it doesn’t make sense to always be wearing the same formal attire that we wore to the office.

It’s so common that people are now referring to wearing a smart top with casual bottoms on video calls as the modern-day mullet – business on the top, chill on the bottom.

Wearing casual clothes or going makeup-free isn’t a sign for alarm, but if someone does appear to be tired or their surroundings don’t look positive, it might be worth asking them about their wellbeing.

2) Drop in enthusiasm

A drop in enthusiasm isn’t solely related to work as it can also impact peoples’ free time.

Especially as the pandemic has made it challenging for people to live their life to the fullest.

Is someone you work with who was previously brimming with excitement regarding each project, or what they did over the weekend suddenly quiet and distant?

Make sure you check in with people to see how they’re doing both during and outside of working hours.

If you’re worried, consider creating a virtual gathering or set up a book club – anything to get people talking or interacting will do wonders for morale.

3) Lack of communication

A breakdown in communication can happen for a number of reasons – perhaps they’re overwhelmed or disengaged.

Either way, when communication with your employees stops, that’s usually a tell-tale sign of burnout.

Keep an eye out for anyone who is avoiding calls/emails or short responses, as a lack of communication can directly relate to someone struggling.

4) Unable to switch off

As work and home are the same place, many of us are struggling to switch off.

Have you noticed someone sending emails outside of working hours? Is an employee always available, even during their lunch hour?

If an employee is working too much and not taking sufficient breaks, it can quickly lead to burnout and poor mental health, so be sure to watch out for this behaviour.

5) Issues with performance

If you’ve noticed a dip in performance, that typically can be a result of employees being overworked.

Or for some people, their issue may not directly link to work, but it’s resulting in a performance decline, for example, their life feeling like it’s on pause.

To combat this, consider offering people some added training and progression to reignite their spark – it’s amazing what learning a new skill can do for workplace motivation.

How IRIS can help

When it comes to supporting your people, having HR software that can adapt and be tailored to your needs is crucial.

Our cloud-based HR software, IRIS HR Pro, utilises a modular approach so you can mix and match different modules, ensuring you have what you need to support peoples’ mental health.

Whether you require tools for training, development, or performance, IRIS HR Pro can help.

For more information and to request a demo, click here.