The first half of 2020 has thrown up many challenges related to the mental health and well-being of employees. Many employees are battling the burnout caused by a persistent WFH (Work From Home) culture, combined with managing household chores, facing the threat of pay-cuts/ lay-offs besides the fear of deterioration in physical health.
A LinkedIn Workforce confidence index found that 42% of the remote workers in India were concerned about long hours at the job and balancing the work-home life followed by factors like financial insecurity and social isolation, all worries triggered by the pandemic.
Indian companies have now actively started reaching out to their workers in order to address the new mental health challenges posed by the pandemic.
For instance, the Bengaluru headquartered edtech firm Byjus on the eve of World Mental Health Day, 2020 announced an initiative for its employees to seek online/real-time counselling and explore wellness resources on the platform. The Let's Talk initiative focuses on prioritising as well as sensitising employees to the concept of counselling at a time when mental health concerns have escalated in the pandemic.
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Logistics firm, DHL Express, India Pvt Limited has enlisted a third-party counseling service which will be provided free of cost to all their employees.
"We also created a 'Work from Home' guide, which has a lot of tips and practices that helped them through the transition and to adjust to this change better. We are running a week-long awareness drive for our employees to mark the occasion of #WorldMentalHealthDay2020, sharing small activities to relieve stress and prioritize their mental health," Subramanian RS from DHL Express wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Marico Limited's Chief Human Resource Officer Amit Prakash said the company has teamed up with the wellness coaches to address mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and also raise awareness among its employees on the issue.
Tech firm Mphasis, according to its Chief Human Resources Officer Srikanth Karra, focussed on a hyper-personalised model to ensure that the employees’ concerns were addressed while leveraging the right technology to ensure that a social connect was maintained despite physical distancing.
"Whether it be the need for counselling to adapt to the new normal, coping mechanisms for anxiety, being mindful during remote work, training to acquire new skills, rewards and recognitions for exemplary performance in the circumstances, or additional benefits or allowances for those with special needs or requirements," he added.