With the dawn of 2020, there was a lot of anticipation for the new decade. But the new decade brought an unprecedented situation in the form of a pandemic for which no one was prepared. We have been trying to adapt quickly to continue our lives and the businesses normally. And in this pursuit, the role of employees in the frontline has been immense.
Frontline workers are running their duties even during such tumultuous times. Most of the time, these people have prioritized the duty over their essential self-care. Our stride towards normalcy would have been more challenging had these frontline workers were not selfless.
But before we look at the ways of ensuring essential self-care, let us know who these frontline warriors are.
Who Are the Frontline Workers?
Employees in the frontline support us in our communities and provide us with essential services.
These people are :
- Health care workers (Doctors, Nurses)
- Social workers (Activists)
- Grocery store workers
- Retail employees
- Restaurant staff
- Truck drivers and delivery services
- Postal workers
- Police officers and Security Personnel
- Housekeeping staff
How has pandemic affected the Frontline employees?
Any kind of global calamity is not suitable for business. When the Spanish flu of 1918 hit the world, it was followed by ‘The Great Depression.’ Similarly, the greatest disaster of this century so far has an equally damning effect on businesses and our society. A health hazard of this magnitude has a trickling effect on everything on this planet.
Organizations worldwide are dealing with the economic slowdown. Maintaining their business and employee wellness in these tough times has become challenging. Every day, these employees struggle to focus on work. To keep themselves and their families away from the virus has become a way of life.
Below I have mentioned some of the most critical ways the pandemic has affected the employees, especially those in the front line.
Higher Risk of Contracting Covid
Those employees who are in the essential services take a considerable health risk. They are constantly putting themselves at risk of getting infected. They also put their family’s well-being at risk.
Frontline workers have to go through many hassles like frequent swap tests and covid tests to continue their work. The commitment to focus on work over their health and family is brave and commendable.
COVID brought lockdowns which had a deterrent effect on the economy. Companies everywhere looked for ways to manage their financial health. Because of that, there were massive job losses and pay cuts. In an already challenging situation, these circumstances made it worse for the employees.
Mental Health Impacts
The pandemic has drastically affected our daily social lives. Transportation is at a halt; the community parks, restaurants, and cinemas are closed. People are isolated from the outside world, and physical interaction has become the bare minimum.
Effects on Employee Skill Training
We can see a global disruption in work patterns due to COVID-19. The most affected work area is employee learning and training. Moving employees to work from home has made it impossible to provide in-person, skill-based training.
A survey conducted by Simplilearn said that 76% of respondents feel online training impacts business model plans. So Covid has made it essential for companies to look for ways to deliver skills training online, which may not be helpful in every situation.
Ways to Promote Self Care among Frontline Workers
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
– Eleanor Brownn
Promoting self-care during the pandemic is challenging. But taking individual care is the most essential and fundamental step to take care of others. It is not selfish; it is necessary. For a smooth business process, employees must prioritize their health over anything else. Following are some of the ways by which Frontline Employees can promote Self Care:-
Focus on protecting the physical health of Employees
Organizations must ensure the regular safety of their Employees. Temperature checks should be a must-do exercise for employees visiting the worksite. They must also provide proper PPE kits and masks along with a healthy work environment.
Ensure that there is no shortage of protective gear and take care of all the preventive measures. Also, encourage your employees to take timely breaks between work shifts.
Supporting mental health
A study of 1257 health care workers in China showed some very shocking results. 50.4% of participants had symptoms of depression, 44.6% had anxiety, 34.0% reported insomnia, and 71.5% reported feelings of emotional distress.
The workers in the frontline sacrifice so much from their regular life to perform their duty. It puts a lot of mental and emotional stress on their well-being. Employers have a significant role to play in reducing the effect of stress and anxiety on their employees.
- Encourage workers to take brief relaxation breaks.
- Conduct frequent wellness assessments
- Ask them if they need any financial support
- Make them connect with their family and friends
- Encourage mindfulness practices
Effective communication and resources to reach out
As the whole world is home-bound, frontline workers may find it tough to communicate, especially those staying far from family. Encourage effective communication with their friends and families regularly.
Provide proper medical advice and well-documented emergency resources to every employee. Teach every employee to look out for symptoms of infections. Ask them to reach out for help as soon as the situation seems a bit dicey.
Arrange for Inhouse-Healthcare Facilities
Keep onsite doctors, medical team, and ambulances for emergency purposes. The management should provide an explicit medical advisory across every employee wellness platform.
Encourage everyone to get Vaccinated ASAP.
Ask your employees to get vaccinated at the earliest. Assist with slot booking for the vaccine doses for them and their family. Provide them free rides to the vaccination centers and give them a day off to taper off any post-vaccination side effects.
How should we thank all the Frontline Warriors?
We all must be thankful for all the services rendered by the frontline workers in this tough period. The world would stand still without these diligent and dedicated workers. So we should find ways to acknowledge their effort as they are our heroes. Even a small thank you goes a long way to cheer up their fighting spirits.
(Photo Credit- Kutan Ural, Unsplash)
Some of the ways we can say thank you to frontline workers are-
- Using social media platforms to run hashtags in their support
- Raise a crowdfunding initiative
- Send them gifts and thank-you notes
- Putting out banners and posters thanking them
How VantageFit has helped in Selfcare during Covid Pandemic
Vantage Fit is a comprehensive corporate wellness platform dedicated to transforming workplace wellness. It is an engaging platform that is helping users to track their wellness activities. Users can create a customized profile, and based on the completion of specific fitness tasks, they will be getting rewards that they can redeem later.
In this pandemic period, Vantagefit has contributed immensely to provide uncompromising wellness services to the employees. Several weekly health challenges like steps challenge, 7 mins workout, etc., are regularly updated.
Employees can also log their daily meals, which has helped keep a tab on healthy eating patterns. The platform has received wholesome appreciation from the market, and Vantage Circle strives to help employees enjoy their physical and mental wellness journey continuously.
The vigor of the covid pandemic has been relentless. It is vital for frontline workers to ensure their well-being while helping others
Employers now have an even bigger responsibility to keep track of their employees' wellness. It is in these tough periods that the strongest of the bonds are formed. Employers have a big chance of getting the correct brand values, which will help in the post-pandemic world.
The light follows even the darkest of the night. A glorious sunny day will follow this night, but everyone has to play their role before that day arrives. Be compassionate with everyone around you, and by sticking together, we can end this treacherous journey on a better note.