Coronavirus has many people anxious about their personal safety and a number of people are worried about their safety at work as well as the possibility of having to miss work due to sickness. Education is a big part of managing people’s anxiety. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is at the forefront of many people’s minds and continues to be a topic that’s dominating the media. The novel (and by extension, unknown) aspect of the coronavirus is a significant contributor to the anxiety many are feeling about their personal risk. This anxiety is being increasingly felt in all environments, including workplaces – with many worrying about whether their workplace is safe. So, it’s important to manage workers’ anxiety around coronavirus and their potential risks in the workplace.

The World Health Organization, as well as local governments, are recommending everyone engage in health and safety protocols. This includes regular and thorough handwashing, and staying home and/or seeking medical attention if one is feeling sick. This worries some because staying home may not be financially feasible for many people.

So, what can workplaces do to help ensure the safety of their employees, and reduce workplace anxiety around coronavirus?

Tips to reduce workplace anxiety around coronavirus

  1. The first line of defence against anxiety is knowledge. Given the huge amount of misinformation that can exist on the internet, workplaces can serve an important role in terms of providing reliable information to employees, from trusted sources. Educate your work team on coronavirus: what it is, what the signs and symptoms are, as well as what the actual calculated risks are. Start with our article on Coronavirus and the risks to Canadians, and always use the World Health Organization as reference.
  2. Ensure employees are aware of preventative protocols and the importance of seeking medical attention if they get sick.
  3. Provide access to preventative measures within your work environment – including handwashing stations, tissues, and hand sanitizers.
  4. Be thoughtful about the need for work-related travel, and associated locations to which employees are being asked to travel to.
  5. Encourage workers to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms. Whenever possible, try to be accommodating to those who may be able to work remotely.
  6. Provide accommodations to employees to the point of undue hardship.

Stay informed of the latest Coronavirus developments by checking websites for the World Health Organization, Public Health Agency of Canada, and other relevant authorities.

Final Thoughts

If workers’ anxiety becomes unmanageable and it starts to affect their work this needs to be addressed. Consider having them read our article on Tips to Manage Anxiety about Coronavirus or seek professional support for their anxiety.

For in-office or virtual counseling therapy, see Dr. Joti Samra, R.Psych & Associates.