New support for employees ‘isolated’ by the pandemic
Amidst changing work environments, data has emerged that highlights the negative impacts of the Coronavirus crisis on the mental health of the working population.
Reviewing the behavioural traits of over 4,000 of its users, who are employed across a range of industries, wellbeing platform 87% has recognised the importance of helping staff cope with enforced isolation. Changing work patterns during lockdown are having a major impact on the workforce, with 53% saying they were worried about having to change their work routine.
The effects of the virus are stark, with 87% seeing drastic shifts in the sentiments of its users and in behavioural traits as a result of these changes. The data paints a dim view of how mental health of staff is being affected in the coming months. Most notably, the motivation of the workforce is taking a major hit, with half of users reporting feeling like they have less energy than usual as a result of isolation.
87% has noted that confidence levels have dropped significantly in a number of areas for individuals and companies alike, including in how employers are adapting. 29% of staff say that their employer is not adapting well, causing them additional unnecessary stress. Financial concerns are also prevalent, with a third of users no longer confident that they will have enough money to enjoy life at all over the next few months.
Aiming to combat these shifts, 87% has been at the forefront of delivering support to businesses and their employees since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, initially building bespoke apps for a number of key medical organisations, whose staff are fighting the virus on the frontline. These apps are scientifically designed to help users build healthy and positive mental health habits, and Air Ambulances UK, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the Royal College of Nursing are among the organisations benefitting. With over 50,000 emergency workers receiving free mental health monitoring during this time of crisis, a significant portion of Britain’s front-line emergency medicine community is getting support.
Dr Sunil Dasan, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at St George’s Hospital, London, and Chair of RCEM’s Sustainable Working Practices Committee, has noted the importance of this support amongst unprecedented times for medical staff across the country. Dr Dasan said, “The Coronavirus pandemic has meant there have been huge changes to emergency medical practices and ways of working. Staff have had to make enormous adjustments. Support is therefore needed during these times of great change, to help workers deal with the associated levels of stress in a way that doesn’t impact them negatively.
“What’s more, staff will face the challenges of continual change as the pandemic progresses. 87% is a fantastic platform that can provide advice and guidance, which can be tailored over time, and its agility allows us to track staff’s mental wellbeing, see themes emerging and give them the support they need when they need it.”
Funding from the Aviva Foundation has made it possible for 87% to offer out its services to these organisations free of charge. Kirsty Cooper, Group General Counsel and Aviva Foundation Board Member, said, “Never has there been more urgent a need to safeguard the mental health of frontline employees and we are proud to be working with 87% in its support of emergency workers across the country.”
In addition to the emergency services, 87% is offering tangible support to small enterprises and large businesses that are struggling with the pressures of the ongoing crisis. More than 80 small businesses have already been granted free access to the mental wellbeing platform and the opportunity to register is still open. 87% has also implemented a Rapid Access Programme for larger organisations, waiving its license fees for the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
One company that has recognised the importance of monitoring its staff’s mental wellbeing is M&C Saatchi Performance, the global digital media agency, which has rolled out 87% to its employees on a global basis. James Hilton, Founder and Chairman of M&C Saatchi Performance, said, “It’s estimated that around a quarter of workplace absences are due to mental ill-health, so the importance of acknowledging employees’ wellbeing, and the impact on business, cannot be overstated. 87% offers a comprehensive review of users’ wellbeing and provides a simple way of understanding and measuring our mental health. This allows our employees to monitor their happiness, satisfaction and purpose in life, empowering them to make small changes that make big differences.”
Backed by scientific research and a team of experienced psychologists, 87%’s vision is to improve employee mental wellbeing and indirectly benefit that of society in general through increased engagement and productivity. Based on findings that only 13% of adults report living with high levels of good mental health, the organisation serves to support the remaining 87%. Its services include custom content through its app, daily interactions, weekly mental fitness reports and a podcast series.
Andy Bibby, CEO of 87%, said, “The Coronavirus crisis is drastically impacting the medical sector and putting untold pressure on those tasked with keeping us healthy. We are duty-bound to offer what support we can and the generous contributions of the Aviva Foundation have facilitated the wide-spread work we have been able to undertake in the field of emergency care. But the problems extend to broader business and that’s why we are offering 87% for free to small enterprises, namely those businesses and their employees who are particularly feeling the impact of the current pandemic and whose resources are strained.”