During the COVID 19 pandemic, we are living in a global crisis not seen in 100 years. Millions of people have lost their jobs this spring in a matter of weeks, and businesses and their remaining workers have been disproportionately affected.
Work was particularly challenging during the pandemic, with many people working and living at home. It is difficult for workers to adhere to schedules and control what they do, and it is even harder for remote workers to have flexible days off with managers in different parts of the world. Remote workers need to be self-motivated and time management experts, because we cannot do what others do: overlook our work and manage our time as well as possible.
Switching quickly to remote work is proving challenging for many couples with dual careers. Staying connected during the pandemic has forced most human resources managers to find creative solutions to do work remotely, but it is a particular challenge for organizations whose culture and work processes are based on personal contact. Asking couples to work from home is the ultimate stress test, especially if you add a few children and elderly parents (and a pandemic).
In the acute phase of the pandemic stressors such as social distancing, reorganisation of family life, school and business life, fear of the COVID-19 infection and loss of family members and friends took centre stage. These challenges are intertwined and often overlap, making everyday life more difficult and dangerous for people living in dire circumstances.
Add social isolation, interrupted work and family routines, cabin fever and economic instability to the list and it is understandable that our mental health suffers. The enormous scale of this global crisis – which has not been seen in 100 years – and the impact it is having have created a great deal of fear, uncertainty and fear around the world.
In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 45% of adults felt that anxiety and stress related to the coronavirus had a negative effect on their mental health. Whether you work from home or in a shelter, not to mention surviving the pandemic, chances are that your stress levels will skyrocket. Working under the watchful eye of a manager is hard enough to motivate yourself to do business, but the stress of surviving a public health crisis can prove impossible.
We are working to be a voice for companies that are dignified and responsible for their own challenges, for their concerns for their workers, and for a government policy that is balanced and justified at all times.