Blog | Protecting our colleagues’ wellbeing during lockdown and beyond

12 May 2020

As the UK enters another week of lockdown, the impact that COVID-19 has had on our society is clear for all to see. From the heart-breaking number of victims to the blow to our economy, the virus has dramatically changed the face of our nation in the space of just a few months.

As much of the country remains at a standstill, many people are finding it harder than ever to stay positive. The knock-on effect of not being able to see friends and family, and major changes at work, are having a serious impact on our nation’s mental health.

Over the past few months, many of my colleagues at Facilicom have had their world turned upside down. From those that are working on the frontline delivering vital cleaning and security services, to those that are working remotely or have sadly been furloughed, as client sites temporarily close. The impact of this pandemic has been felt by all, across the business.

As an employer that has always placed the wellbeing of our colleagues at the heart of our business, we are incredibly aware that the circumstances we find ourselves in are bound to affect morale.

Our operatives who are still based onsite are having to put their own concerns to one side to deliver the task at hand. Those working from home are isolated, missing the social interaction usually associated with their employment. And those that have been furloughed are worried about their job security and income. Anxiety levels are at an all-time high for many, which is why, at such a time of crisis, we are trying to take extra care of our colleagues.

Our Employee Assistance Programme has been in place for many years, offering our colleagues 24/7 access to a trusted, compassionate health and wellbeing counselling service. We know that this service can really make a difference to those that are struggling, either with workplace stress or pressures at home, and we are urging all of our teams to take full advantage of this provision during these difficult times.

Our ‘mental health first-aiders’ are keeping in touch with our colleagues that have been furloughed, contacting them once a week to ensure they still feel part of the company. We’re checking how they are coping and discussing ways we can support them, from offering reassurance about their position to motivating them to support their local community through volunteering.

We have also tried to ease the financial burden that furlough brings, by trying to bridge the gap between the 80% government funding and their usual wage. We do not underestimate the impact that losing 20% income overnight can have, which is why we have put provisions in place to ensure that where possible, almost all of our furloughed colleagues still receive 100% pay whilst on this leave of absence.

We firmly believe that our people are our prime asset which is why we have always heavily invested in their health and happiness. And that isn’t about to change anytime soon. Despite COVID-19, our responsibilities as an employer remain the same and we owe it to our teams to help them navigate through these challenging times.