Holate runs an employee helpline dealing with clients from many different industries including finance, retail, manufacturing, haulage and charity.
With daily Government COVID-19 updates giving different directives and statements, clients were having to change and adapt very quickly to what was happening, from working from home, home-schooling obtaining medications and postponed hospital appointments to concerns about abusive relationships, isolation and housing, as well as bereavements because of the virus.
During the pandemic calls about anxiety and depression, among others, all increased.
Holate began showing clients how to organise their day, keeping a routine was vital when working from home. Holate advised people not to consume rolling news all day to mitigate their stress levels, even shopping for food became an anxiety riddled experience for some. Increased isolation through not being able to see close family/friends often made things worse.
Calls to Holate increased significantly over the past few months, including concerns about:
- Finances up 78%
- Abusive relationships up 46%
- Anxiety up 182%
- Panic attacks up 840%
- Depression up 139%
- Self-harming up 43%
- Relationship problems up 125%
Holate’s counsellors are continuing to help many employees who are continuing to struggle with the return to work, with a sharp rise in calls about anxiety and panic attacks.
The team at Holate believe lessons can be learnt from the lockdown experience and people should ask themselves a host of questions for the future, including:
- Could staff be encouraged to walk or cycle to and from work where possible?
- Would it be beneficial to staff and the business if employees work from home? Can we downsize office space?
- How often do employees need to be in the office?
- Reduction in frequency and length of meetings. What is really essential?
- Could the use of technology such as zoom or teams be beneficial and afford more flexible schedules?
- Can flexible working hours sustainable and could they be beneficial to both staff and the company?
Roy Berrington of Holate said: “Holate is continuously working with clients to help them returning to or adjusting to changes post lockdown and helping companies to work more flexibly. COVID-19 will be with us a long time and we all need to adapt to the new circumstances.”