Post Lockdown Return To Work – Mental Health

When making return to work plans, you should consider the implications that the pandemic has had on the mental health of your employees. Many individuals are likely to feel anxious or apprehensive about coming back into the workplace.

Return to work questionnaire

Questions should include:

  • How comfortable they are returning to work
  • Their attitudes towards testing
  • Their feelings towards vaccination
  • How they are coping mentally
  • What you can do to support them
  • Comment boxes to raise any concerns

Reluctance to return to work

Some employees will be more reluctant to come back to work for a number of reasons:

  • Advised to shield
  • Live with someone vulnerable
  • Scared of catching the virus
  • Want everyone to be vaccinated
  • Want everyone to have a negative result
  • More comfortable working from home

Dealing with death

Over 100,000 people in the UK have died from COVID-19. Employees may be dealing with the loss of a loved one, making the return to work a sensitive time.

If you know of any cases like this in your business, reach out to the member of staff individually to discuss how they are feeling and how you can support them.

Top tips for employees

Feeling worried and apprehensive about going back to work is perfectly normal. Everyone’s situation is unique, but there are some general principles to staying mentally healthy as you return to work.

Talk and connect
Keep in touch with colleagues and your manager. It doesn’t have to be about work, just a quick check-in will help you feel connected.

Monitor and review
Have regular check-ins with yourself, your team and your manager to assess how you’re feeling and how you’re working.

Plan and prepare
If you haven’t been told what to expect, ask what has been done to create a safe work environment for you.

Take things one step at a time
The way we work is likely to keep changing and you will need to keep adjusting. Take each day and week at a time.

Have a return to work conversation
Book some time with your manager to raise any concerns or questions you have.

Be kind
To yourself and to others because we’re all in the same boat trying to find our own way of coping.

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