Local Businesses Deal With Mental Health Struggles as Impacts of the COVID Pandemic Continue to be Felt

“With many businesses continuing to experience widespread disruptions, it’s important to find the opportunities amongst the chaos.”

AUTHOR: Katharine Terry

As the impacts of the COVID pandemic continue to be felt across regional Queensland, adjusting to a new way of life is proving difficult for many.

Local businesses continue to seek advice on how best to support staff through the pandemic, with concerns of the long-lasting mental health impacts the COVID-19 pandemic is having in the work force.

We’re seeing a lot of clients who, along with dealing with the pressures of COVID on their business future and finances, are also having to consider the mental health and well being of their staff in ways that they haven’t had to previously.

A lot of people continue to work from home and we’re hearing stories of isolation being a contributing factor to the mental well being of some staff. Health and safety requirements for those who are working from home is also a new and ongoing consideration for many business owners.

Changes in the business may affect people’s roles, team structures and support networks, which is causing further anxiety. Our advice to business owners is to ensure they are consulting and engaging with their staff about how to best meet their needs, which may include flexible work arrangements, additional support, or in many cases, just ensuring the lines of communication are open.

With many businesses continuing to experience widespread disruptions, it’s important to find the opportunities amongst the chaos.

My advice to local business owners is to use the disruption to plan for the post-COVID period. If you are operating reduced hours or have had to shut your business temporarily, you can use the time to update your business plan, bolster your online presence and expand your knowledge and skills in your sector.

To move forward, businesses must accept that a return to pre-COVID normal is not presently foreseeable and plan strategies to progress in the uncertain future, including the management of mental health stressors to achieve those plans.

We’re finding that planning for the future is also giving business owners and their staff a much-needed sense of control around their work life, which is vitally important in such an uncertain climate.

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