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Supporting employees through COVID-19.

As an employer, you’re probably thinking about how to bring your employees back to work safely, and what support you'll need in place to ease the transition.

Whether working from home, being furloughed or being part of the reduced staff that you have in the office – people need reassurance that support is available to them. This time has been tough on everyone and whilst we’ve all been longing for a sense of normality, it should be remembered that staff health and wellbeing is still as important as ever.

Supporting employees through COVID-19


Here are a few ways you can offer support: 

Emotional wellbeing

Supporting emotional wellbeing can be a key factor in reducing absenteeism. Whilst preventing your employees from a common cold isn't possible, encouraging living a healthy lifestyle and providing the support for your employees to do so is, preventing them from burning out and feeling run down.

Take time each day to catch up with employees and encourage feedback. Remember to say thanks when they’ve done a good job. Be approachable so that employees will feel confident in raising concerns early and be empathetic when listening to what they have to say. Creating an environment and culture where concerns can be addressed early on can often alleviate, if not remove, the opportunity of short to long term absence. Occupational health solutions such as Management Referrals and access to counselling allow you to provide professional support when employees need it. 

Flexible working

During these uncertain times, flexible working is more important than ever to ensure you’re supporting employees as best as you can. Employees with external commitments could really benefit from flexible working. Whereas traditionally, employees have had to use 'sick days' or holiday time to attend non-work engagements during work time, a flexible approach will allow them to work around their schedule and create a better work-life balance for the future, likely reducing absenteeism and staff turnover

Occupational health services

Workplace illness and injury causes can differ depending on what industry your business is in. For example, employees in the construction industry are likely to suffer from aches and pains due to the physical strains that come with the job. A study found that in the construction industry, out of 79,000 work-related ill health cases 62% were physical injuries such as back and neck pain and bone fractures, otherwise known as musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. To support your employees both in and out of the workplace, you can arrange for occupational health professionals to visit your workplace to provide on-site risk surveillance. These visits are tailored to the needs of your organisation with the aim of identifying and advising on any health risks you may be facing on a daily basis. Not only this, other occupational health solutions are available, including insightful online questionnaires that are designed to support an employer's duty of care and ensure compliance with Health and Safety legislation.

Management Referrals

Another service available to your business is Management Referrals. These consist of a team of professionals who will liaise with absent employees to support, and potentially accelerate, their return to work. Management Referrals are a great tool as employees often find it appealing to talk to a third party from outside the company about their absence.

Download our Employee Health and Wellbeing questionnaire and find out how your employees really feel.

Health and wellbeing employee survey template