What started as a minor outbreak in a small town in China soon escalated into a global pandemic and claimed millions of lives worldwide. Undoubtedly, the events of the previous two years have been unprecedented in the modern age, where we have access to some of the most cutting-edge technology and medicine. When speaking of the effects of this pandemic, one of the most talked-about aspects is the economy. Due to disrupted supply chains and remote working, businesses globally have taken a huge hit. Still, the biggest hit has been to the employees.
Employees across all sectors, be they first-responders, remote workers, or anything in between, have taken a huge hit. And their mental and physical health has been affected immensely. As employers, it’s important to understand the pandemic’s effects on employees and accommodate them accordingly. If you’re willing to unearth and learn more about the way your worker’s health has been affected, keep reading below.
Increased risk of contracting the disease
While many industries have shifted to online work, some have proved impossible to make the transition. These industries have no choice but to ask their employees to work as they normally would, even as the pandemic continues. These employees are thus faced with a much higher risk of contracting the disease than others. Workers at increased risk include delivery workers, call center operators and healthcare workers.
Although all of these workers are highly exposed to the disease, healthcare workers are at the highest risk. These workers, be they doctors, paramedics, nursing staff or administrators, work directly with the infected and try to control the spread as well as they can. Given this reason, the healthcare sector suffered a significant blow with the increasing workforce gap at the hands of the pandemic. Now, it’s looking to fill the workforce shortage, especially in nursing. Fortunately, training and developing the existing nurse workforce to take over higher positions is serving as a workable strategy.
So, suppose you’re a nurse willing to overcome the challenges facing healthcare today. In that case, you can effortlessly do so with proper training and education. An online degree can make it much easier to complete your education and assume a nurse leader’s position. When you Complete Your MSN in Nursing Degree, you’re better prepared to protect healthcare workers risking their lives to combat the pandemic each day.
Drop-in physical health
The pandemic has changed our lifestyles entirely, and many of the previously common activities are now off-limits. Heading to the gym is one of these things, and this has had a huge impact on employee health. Additionally, with physical distancing measures being so important, most employees are working from home and leading a much more sedentary life than usual.
It’s a huge lifestyle change and can impact employees immensely. Leading a sedentary life, especially as gyms close down, can give rise to a host of health issues. These can include heart disease, obesity, bone issues, diabetes and more. However, attending virtual workouts can be a great way to stay fit even as they work from home. Additionally, catching some air and sunshine can help you stay refreshed even as you spend most of your time indoors. Taking these minor steps can go a long way in assisting employees in preserving their physical well-being.
Apart from the increased health anxiety that employees across all sectors are experiencing, employees are also more prone to experiencing general stress and anxiety. The pandemic has seen even the most bulletproof sectors see a mass recession, and millions globally have lost their jobs. Even the employees who have thus far retained their jobs experience a great deal of anxiety whenever lockdowns recommence.
Moreover, many employees have also experienced unprecedented pay cuts due to the pandemic, which has immensely altered their lifestyle. Employees have had to shift out of their homes because of not paying rent and are now living on much less. These factors lead to increased stress and anxiety, damaging employees’ lifelong career prospects.
With most industries shifting to remote work, it was initially assumed that employees would have a better work-life balance. While working online does eliminate travel times and costs and makes work more accessible, it also eliminates the boundaries between work and home. Working from home means employees are now accessible at all hours, meaning they spend more time working than before.
Working from home also has a ton of distractions, and it can be challenging for employees to work in the right frame of mind. Thus, employees have to tend to their home chores and work simultaneously, making it hard to perform well on both aspects. Over 58% of employees report increased burnout as they work from home and report that their workloads seem to have increased ever since the pandemic. Although it can be challenging to escape all distractions, employees can make a strict routine and stick to that. Additionally, employers need to recognize that just because they can reach employees at all hours doesn’t mean they should.
During such times, the situation we find ourselves in is entirely unprecedented and has led to great collective trauma. From having our lifestyles changed completely to being unable to meet our loved ones, the changes we have to deal with are immense. Moreover, there has been tremendous trauma from the direct effects of the pandemic.
Distancing is the most important way to control the spread. But it often means being isolated from your loved ones while you struggle with the disease or not being able to care for them while they’re sick. These factors have led to a sharp rise in depression and negativity amongst employees across all sectors.
The health effects of the pandemic aren’t just limited to physical health. Rather, they include a huge impact on mental health, significantly impacting overall well-being. Tackling these physical and psychological health concerns can help employees lead a healthier, happier life, whether it’s working from home or the office. So, instead of losing hope, it’s time we took matters into our hands and overcame the adversities of this time.