• 37% of workers say their mental health and wellbeing has been negatively impacted during the pandemic
  • 42% of those affected said their employer did not provide them with support

Nearly four out of ten professionals have said their mental health and wellbeing has been impacted negatively during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent global survey by recruiting experts Hays.

Hays surveyed over 1,800 professionals ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October to learn more about their experiences relating to mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic and whether they had received any support from their employer.

Commenting on the results, Sandra Henke, Group Head of People & Culture at Hays, said “It is concerning that 37% of professionals feel their mental health and wellbeing has been impacted negatively during this time. Just as concerning is that 42% of those affected have said they haven’t received any support from the employer. The health and safety of all workers needs to be at the forefront for all employers and there is a duty of care to ensure their workforce receives the necessary support. This is even more important when large parts of the workforce have been working remotely and may not have been in such close contact with colleagues or managers”.

In Hong Kong, mental health slumped to a record low in 2020 according to an annual survey by the Mental Health Month Organising Committee. Scoring below 52 in the survey indicates an unsatisfactory psychological state but findings showed the average mental health index for Hongkongers this year was 45.12, lower than the 46.41 recorded in 2019. The low scores have been attributed to the combination of social controversies and the coronavirus pandemic which have had a major impact on well-being.

Addressing the rise in mental health issues from the pandemic, Sandra commented, “Across the globe many people have had to deal with very different challenges during the pandemic, ranging from trying to juggle commitments outside of their work, to feeling isolated to even dealing with the death of a loved one. Each person’s experience of the crisis has been unique to them and when the visibility of workers isn’t as great as it once was, it can be difficult for employers to identify who needs help. However, there are steps that organisations can take to ensure they are doing their upmost to protect the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. This is more than just being a duty of care issue, this is about ensuring businesses truly support people during what has been a difficult time for everyone”.

She goes on to share four ways organisations can ensure their employees’ wellbeing remains at the centre of its people strategy. 

1. Staying in contact
Sandra said, “Make sure you are continuing to have face-to-face time with your team, even if that means using video conferencing technology in place of meeting in person. It’s important to remember to make sure those communication channels are open, so employees are able to voice their concerns and anxieties, this is especially important when you aren’t seeing members of your team on a regular basis. Also, use this opportunity to not only talk about work, take the time to check in on your team members and ask questions about their experiences and how they are managing”.
2. Look out for the signs
Sandra offered this advice, “Managers must educate themselves on how to spot the signs of stress in their teams, especially during this extremely difficult time. The signs to look out for are stress or frustration with their job, emotionally distancing themselves from others, or feeling drained and lacking energy – these will be harder to spot as people are working remotely”.
3. Make yourself available
Sandra commented, “You need to let your team know that their mental health and wellbeing matters and that you are available should they need you. Being a compassionate leader will go some way to ensuring your team remain healthy and that they know they can approach you if they do have any issues. Educate yourself of the support that is available to them within your business and make sure your team knows where to go should they need it”.
4. Treat people as individuals
Sandra said, “Employees will be returning to the office, or have already done so, with different experiences and potentially different viewpoints, it’s important that leaders remember this and don’t approach the health and wellbeing of their team as a one size fits all mentality. It is now more important than ever to show empathy and work to understand how each team member has coped with the challenges and to individually support them as needed”.
As the pandemic continues there is the potential for professionals’ mental health and wellbeing to be further impacted negatively, meaning organisations must ensure they are doing their upmost to support their staff during these difficult times. 
Respondents were asked a qualifying question of whether they are currently working, and responses were collected between 31 July and 22 September on www.social.hays.com.

About Hays Hong Kong SAR

Hays Specialist Recruitment Hong Kong is the one of the leading specialist recruitment companies in Hong Kong SAR in recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people across a wide range of industries and professions.

Hays has been in Hong Kong SAR for over a decade and boasts a track record of success and growth. At Hays in Hong Kong SAR, we operate across the private and public sector, dealing in permanent, temporary and contracting positions in the following specialisms: Accountancy & Finance, Banking & Financial Services, Construction, Digital Technology, Engineering, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Information Technology, Insurance, Legal, Life Sciences, Marketing & Digital, Office Professionals, Property, Procurement, Supply Chain and Sales. Hays Hong Kong SAR has been awarded the “Best Workplace for Women™” and one of the ‘Best Workplaces™ in Greater China 2019’ by Great Place to Work®.

About Hays

Hays plc (the "Group") is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2020 the Group employed 10,400 staff operating from 266 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2020:

  • the Group reported net fees of £996.2 million and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £135.0 million
  • the Group placed around 66,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 235,000 people into temporary roles;
  • 17% of Group net fees were generated in Australia & New Zealand, 26% in Germany, 23% in United Kingdom & Ireland and 34% in Rest of World (RoW);
  • the temporary placement business represented 59% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 41% of net fees;
  • IT is the Group’s largest specialism, with 25% of net fees, while Accountancy & Finance (15%) and Construction & Property (12%), are the next largest
  • Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the UK and the USA

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