As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to rage in 2021 awareness of mental health issues is rising and people are taking steps to look after not only their physical health, but their mental health as well. And business is playing its part by introducing measures to look after the wellbeing of their work-from-home teams.
Gavin Perrett, Creative Director at Identity Resource said, “With rising awareness of mental health, and the slow erosion of taboos around talking about mental health issues, people and businesses are picking up the mantle by identifying what some of those issues are and putting in place what they need to do to make positive change.”
Continuing, Mr Perrett said, “There a number of actions that people will take this year, whether to seek help or take action.”
#1 Increase in GP referrals to psychiatrists and therapists.
People with existing mental health issues, whether common or serious, will continue to seek help. Referrals and are already increasing, and it is reasonable to expect that not only will people with existing problems seek more help, but more people who have struggled during the lockdowns and no previous mental health problems will begin to seek help. Adequate funding for mental health trusts to build capacity is crucial in 2021.
#2 Increased take-up of meditation and mindfulness apps.
There is a vast resource of information and advice available to people, and a growing pool of apps- for virtually anything. Even smartwatches can be set to go off at regular periods to remind you to get up from your desk, take a break, and so on. And using an app to help you learn how to meditate, and remind you to do so are growing in popularity. Especially as people, learn the disciplines required to work from home.
#3 Remote working will become the norm.
There is no doubt that the technology to deliver remote working in terms of security, remote login, suitable broadband speeds, and so on already exists, so businesses that have been agile enough to roll out remote working for their teams are now seeing the benefits not only in cost savings on expensive offices, but on productivity and work satisfaction amongst employees. There are of course challenges with this in terms of work/life balance, learning the disciplines required, and the benefits of face-to-face meetings, but the benefits to business and employees outweigh them.
#4 Employee Mental Health will be prioritised.
As remote working becomes the norm additional support and training for staff will become normalised as the needs of staff change, and the changing face of remote business requires a different approach to managing people. A greater emphasis on personal development and resilience is likely to be the way forward to get the most from employees by helping them to become the best version of themselves.
#5 Healthy Lifestyle changes will have a raised awareness.
In our changing world, and a slower pace of life many people have been able to reflect on their lives and make decisions on how to live going forward. That includes the way people eat, exercise, and thinking about what’s important. The outdoors is the one thing that is free, good for us, and accessible to all. And with that awareness people will continue to actively and consciously make decisions about their way of life.
#6 Emphasis on compassionate leadership.
As remote working becomes more common and business moves toward it on a more permanent basis, business leaders will have to change their style to a method that seeks to engage, understand and support staff at a more developmental level to drive productivity. When people work in their own homes they are more in control of their own time. Learning how to manage this change will be a key skill for leaders in the future.