Thu, Oct

SME’s face mental health crisis says report

Three out of ten (29%) small businesses worry about the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the mental wellbeing of their employees as they struggle with the ‘new normal’ of returning to work after lockdown according to the ‘Small Business Monitor’, a report published by WorkLife, an employee benefits service from online money manager OpenMoney.

It said a combination of job insecurity, the demands of social distancing in the workplace and the ever-present fear of getting sick from Covid-19 have created a toxic stew of worry for bosses and workers alike.

Top of the list of worries for employers is actually keeping their staff safe from the risk of Covid-19 in the workplace, with over a third (36%) citing this as a concern.

When asked about the worries raised by their workers, a third (32%) of firms said employees were worried about their own mental wellbeing. However, employers admitted their staff had other bigger worries linked to the pandemic that contributed to stress: 42% of firms said employees fear losing their jobs; 39% said workers worry about the health of their loved ones; 38% of employers said employees worry about their personal finances; 32% said workers were concerned about the risk of contracting Covid-19 in the workplace.

Thankfully mental wellbeing is already high on the agenda for many small businesses. WorkLife’s research found that three out of ten (30%) SMEs currently offer their employees support, such as help managing their stress, while one in four (25%) want to introduce such help in the next six months.

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