Companies that create mental health holidays help employees

Pixabay

Pixabay

Angelica Tejada

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, many remote workers and students are developing several forms of mental exhaustion, as not only work and school but also personal life now revolves around looking at a screen.

Companies like Indeed.com and Cisco have given extra days off to their employees. Other companies should follow suit, or even better: invent a mental health holiday, which is what The Wall Street Journal suggests.

“Employers should invent a holiday. Don’t just offer extra vacation days, which anxious employees aren’t taking anyway. Make it a company holiday, so employees can take a break without guilt or fear,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.

General anxiety among employees has heightened as the coronavirus pandemic has placed an extra weight of insecurity and fear on their shoulders. Employers should consider this, especially since the employees are spending most of their days working.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poor mental health and stress can affect an employee’s job performance, productivity, communication with coworkers and daily functioning.

Implementing a mental health holiday would generally increase the productivity of employees since they’d be able to take the needed time off to focus on themselves and how they’re feeling.

However, extra days off are not a definite solution toward improving the mental health of employees. Thus, companies should introduce daily mental health activities to maintain employee morale.

Communication and transparency between employers and their employees are vital during a time full of uncertainty. Everyone is feeling the fatigue, some more than others, which is why it should be talked about.

Before a Zoom meeting begins or a one-on-one conversation starts, take at least five minutes to talk about how each person is feeling and what’s going on around the world.

In the case where the person would rather just focus on work, then the conversation can just be about work. What’s important is that everyone feels safe enough with each other to open up and be honest.

The CDC suggests that employers could offer free or subsidized clinical screenings or counseling for their employees.

Additionally, distributing videos and articles about mental health can spread useful information to employees on how to better take care of their mental health as they work throughout the day.

Independently, employees could stand up throughout the day, take a walk outside and declutter their surroundings to help them feel happier as they work.

Going forward after the coronavirus pandemic, companies should still consider implementing a few extra days off for employees to take care of their mental health.

Data from a survey conducted in 2019 show that nearly one in five adults in the United States lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Mental health is serious and has to be treated with the same urgency that physical health is, and with the coronavirus pandemic, even more individuals are facing a mental health battle.

Companies should roll out plans and become more active in maintaining their employee’s mental health sooner rather than later.