Four in 10 Irish workers struggling to cope with life during pandemic

Four in 10 Irish workers struggling to cope with life during pandemic

ALMOST 40% of Irish workers are struggling to cope with life during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by market research company Spark and released by laya healthcare, surveyed over 1,000 employees across 192 companies between the period of 17 and 27 July.

It found that many are experiencing mental health struggles due to the new parameters of life set by the pandemic, while others are concerned about the threat of the virus itself.

Over 90% of respondents said that they're experiencing some level of anxiety, while over half of those said that concerns about a second wave of coronavirus cases hitting the country were the main reasons for their angst.

Just under half said they were concerned about becoming sick with the virus (46%) or friends and family becoming sick (49%).

30% of Irish workers said they've experienced loneliness and isolation, while 40% of workers admit to feeling low because they're not spending any time with work colleagues.

Despite these issues, just one in 10 admit to seeking external professional help for their mental wellbeing and almost eight in 10 workers have not taken any sick leave since March.

62% of employees have also taken fewer holidays than usual this year.

Sinead Proos, Head of Health and Wellbeing at laya healthcare said to address workers’ concerns and protect vulnerable workers companies must fully comply with health and safety guidelines.

She also said the total cost of returning employees to workplaces could be in the region of €10 billion.

"The coming months are going to be incredibly challenging. Early intervention and a culture of resilience need to be prioritised to manage people’s mental and physical wellbeing long-term - both for those working in the office and remotely," she said.

"Irish employers should ask themselves, 'is my workforce coping, and if not, do we have the right tools to support them over the coming months and years?'."