Hailed as heroes during the pandemic, social care workers dedicate their lives to help the old, the weak and the sick. Often forgotten and under-valued, their mental health is under strain and COVID-19 has understandably worsened the situation.
How can employers help their employees restore a healthier work-life balance?
THE STATE OF THE SOCIAL CARE WORKFORCE
A new survey by Quinyx found that health and social care workers are amongst those most likely to have their mental health negatively impacted by their job. The pandemic has made it worse: 54% of those polled said that their work had negatively impacted their mental health over the past 12 months, versus 48% before the pandemic – a 12% increase.
LOW PAY, LONG HOURS AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS
COVID-19 has seen them work longer hours and be in the spotlight, with high expectations from their employers, the nation, the government, and to an
extent, global scrutiny over which country will do “better” at handling the crisis. Added to the fear of getting sick or contaminating their loved ones,
it is easy to imagine the mental burden on those who risk their lives to help others.
Prior to the outbreak, the main reasons invoked by those who suffered poor mental health as a result of their job were low pay (42%) and man- agers’ expectations being too high (37%).
Some concerns were alleviated during the pan- demic though, with 72% of healthcare workers polled saying that they felt valued by their employ- er, versus 53% prior.
WHAT CAN EMPLOYERS DO TO IMPROVE THE SITUATION?
While increasing wages may not always be pos- sible, three areas can make a positive difference:
– Two-ways communication channels, effective and open, to monitor and engage.
– Allowing greater flexibility and control over work hours to restore a healthy balance.
– Optimised schedules to improve efficiency, reduce the overall cost of labour and help both workers and managers plan ahead.
HOW TO SUCCEED?
Using technology to improve your workers’ work-life balance and well- being is one way to stay ahead of the game. Technology can help keep your employees productive, connected and happy. A solution like Quinyx helps empower workers, while optimising communication, time manage- ment and resources. It can also ensure that employers comply with the new regulations around contact and tracing, all through a simple, user-friendly app.
* Research conducted by Censuswide in two stages: the first was conducted with 1,200 deskless workers who work an hourly schedule in the following sectors: healthcare and social assistance, retail, hospitality and tourism, shipping/distribution, transportation and warehous- ing. It took place between 11.03.2020-23.03.2020. The second was conducted with 1,205 desk- less UK workers in these same sectors.