Sad news can make one anxious, and a pandemic can undoubtedly make one’s head brim with anxiety, depression, and stress. Seven months since the nationwide lockdown began in India, and with life slowing down to a crawl, confined between the four walls of your room and the dull state of affairs all around, it is not strange to find yourself in a state of nervous tension.
Further, by bringing businesses to a halt globally, the pandemic has escalated the pressure on small and big entrepreneurs with operations shut and no alternate plans. Work-from-home is not a new thing. But somehow, we have all failed to admit that this work-from-home is not like the ones we used to have before coronavirus. This work from home is falling amid a pandemic, and there is a psychological cost attached to recapitulate working in a global health crisis. Apart from worrying about their families and loved ones’ safety, entrepreneurs and business leaders have additional stress regarding the company and the staff’s survival in times of no revenue. All of this can take a toll on their mental health.
Entrepreneurs being the founders and leaders, have huge responsibilities on their shoulders. They function as a bridge between their businesses and those who work in their organizations. From ensuring employees’ financial stability, the leadership team has to wear many hats, amongst many other things.
This crisis has also pushed business leaders to make harsh decisions like asking employees to go on unpaid leaves and introducing pay cuts and layoffs. And any employer would admit that this is one of the worst feelings as it impacts both employees’ mental health and the employers as well.
Every entrepreneur is trying to figure out how to survive. It’s incredibly challenging for people in the sectors directly affected by the crisis. Founders of the giant corporates also had to introduce pay cuts and layoff employees, even when it’s nobody’s fault that the company’s revenues are going down. Entrepreneurs have to layoff people at some point. In such unprecedented situations, decisions can be easily influenced by beliefs and biases. Therefore, people with leadership roles, irrespective of how they feel, must analyze and focus on what’s important at that point.
Whatever the entrepreneurs decide, it has to be resolved both pragmatically and sensitively. The decisions should be taken by looking at all the possible outcomes. Plus, the decisions taken need to weigh what works best for the business while ensuring the team’s well-being is your number one priority.
While the work from home culture is starting to gain momentum for corporates, it is also developing and increasing loneliness for many people. A complete change of work lifestyle involving social distancing and self-isolation tends to bring feelings of loneliness.
What the entrepreneurs can do to face the situation ?
Now that the work from home culture has become the new normal, it is the right time for the entrepreneurs to improve employee engagement. Team leaders should be empathetic to the employees’ needs of working in a new setup and environment.
Try out new things such as a virtual theme day at work or maybe start the day with a Zoom meditation session, even if it is for 5 minutes. Little things can make a huge difference at this time, and founders can lead by example.
Empoweress, an initiative by the Metropolis group, believes that there is a need to reframe thinking and perspective, especially understanding that one is not alone in this experience.
As an entrepreneur, it usually becomes challenging to differentiate your company’s failures from failures in personal lives, which can be a cause of immense stress.
“One cannot be strong all the time. It is okay to be human in a crisis. Help yourself first, then help your team. Mental health is equally important and plays a significant role in a person’s life, the same as physical health.”