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Katharine Coons

National Workplace Mental Health Specialist, Canadian Mental Health Association 

CMHA sits down to discuss the disruptions caused by the pandemic in the workplace and the resulted focus on employee’s mental health.

There is no denying the toll the pandemic has taken on individual and employee mental health. 

Workplaces around the world and across all industries have faced disruption. These disruptions brought on immense personal challenges, but organizations can use this time of disruption to rethink and redesign their workplaces. 

Many organizations have responded to the struggles their employees are facing by increasing benefits like flexibility, access to resources on mental well-being, and paid time off. Many are hosting safe and supportive conversations and education around mental health in the workplace, and some organizations have gone even further, like the Canadian Mental Health Association’s national office, which closed its doors for a week to allow employees time to rejuvenate.

We will likely continue to see disruption in the workplace, and no one can say for certain how the future of work will look. We do know that employees, now more than ever, are looking for flexibility in where, when, and how they work. 

Organizations need to realize that productivity is driven by how and why people work—not when and where they work. If we don’t care about our workers, then they won’t care about their work. 

Workplaces that successfully manage the post-pandemic environment will do so, at least in part, by making psychological health and safety a priority and putting their people first. 

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