The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined ‘normal life’ for everyone, especially working professionals. And, although awareness on mental health issues is growing in the country, there is a new, disturbing news on the same.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network, has released data from a survey, which has found that 39% professionals are experiencing increased stress and anxiety due to COVID-19. More than 80% of them were never offered time off for well-being, by their employers.
The survey was based on the responses of 16,199 working professionals over the past six months (between April and September).
While tone-deaf businesses saw a spurt in employee output during this time, many decided to go the long haul with a ‘work from home’ setup. But here’s the real deal: one in three Indian professionals believe remote working has slowed down their career progression, made them feel lonely and led them to bemoan the lack of work-life balance. Add that to the uncertainty of jobs and financial instability, it has certainly wrecked the mental health of many.
The LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index, a fortnightly edition, calls attention to employers who should be acting with more empathy during these uncertain times.
Here are some numbers based on the findings from the study:
More than 60% of Indians have felt lonely at some point while working remotely and 37% of them still do.
Less than 23% of the employees were offered emotional well-being initiatives and flexible working hours during the first few months of the lockdown.
Even though many industries are trying to bounce back, more than 40% of professionals are experiencing financial instability.
COVID-19’s effects have also been disastrous for working mothers, with at least 1 in 3 putting in extra hours to afford childcare.
Around 36% of the working mothers were finding it difficult to concentrate on work as they had to tend to the children at home.
With many offices opening, 50% of the professionals are worried about exposing themselves to the virus.
They are also worried about workplace sanitation (36%), exposure to large groups of people (34%) and workplace safety guidelines (34%), all of which adds to their stress, especially because of an uncertain future of work.
Never has it been more essential to create a workplace environment where it is all right for people to take an off day by saying that they are not feeling well. Companies should themselves go through awareness programs and find out how they can offer a better working atmosphere even when they are working from home.
(Edited by Athira Nair)