India Inc steps up to protect the mental health of employees

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on April 10, 2020 Published on April 10, 2020

File photo   -  PTI

The coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown has taken a toll on the mental health of scores of people working from home. With fear and anxiety about the economic uncertainty on one side and family issues on the other, individuals working from home are undergoing mental stress and a range of behavioural issues.

Employers, however, are not taking the issue lying down. From virtual yoga and fitness sessions to stress management courses and personal connect programmes, companies cutting across industries are pulling out all the stops to keep their employees’ mind and body in good shape.

Meditation classes

Healthcare-device maker Siemens Healthineers India has rolled out a three-day meditation programme for employees during the World Health Day under which employees are guided through a process of heartfulness meditation — a mix of theory and guided virtual meditation by an expert. The first series will begin from April 14 and involves three one-hour sessions on consecutive days.

Another healthcare major, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH), said it will be launching ‘desktop yoga’ — a platform for live yoga sessions for all its employees in the coming weeks. The company has already implemented e-engagement activities like the ‘muso-magic challenge’ (virtual anthem by GSK employees) and few other creative contests. GSKCH has also launched a compulsory online programme on mental health and well-being to all its managers, which will soon extend the programme to all its employees.

As a result, the traditional brick-and-mortar yoga and wellness centres are witnessing a spike in corporate enquiries.

“We are receiving a lot of enquiries from corporates. They have started to realise that it is very important to keep their employee morale high during such tough times,” Sarvesh Shashi, Founder of yoga and wellness studio chains SARVA and Diva Yoga.

SARVA, which counts Club Mahindra, Dainik Bhaskar, Aditya Birla and Equitas Bank as some of its corporate clients, is conducting 212 live classes every day for multiple corporates as well as its regular members.

“The virus affects the respiratory system which in turn decreases the immunity. Many people sitting at home are having three major issues. Poor posture, sleep issues, stress and anxiety. So we have curated a 7-day or 14-day wellness program to address these three issues,” Shashi added.

Reaching out

Psychologists also warn that sudden feelings of isolation can lead to a host of behavioural and emotional issues including depression, agitation, anger and loneliness.

Companies have also upped their employee outreach programmes to personally connect with their employees. Every HR manager of ITC Hotels, for instance, is reaching out to a minimum of 10 employees everyday to enquire about their health and safety and that of their family members. The luxury hotel chain said it has so far reached out to more than 1,200 employees at their homes and extended necessary support.

On its part, KONE Elevator India has rolled out activities such as ‘terrific weekday quizzes’, daily routine-setting mailers, morning coffee virtual break, lunch, evening tea, ‘Friday yammer’ contest “kone superheroes” to keep its employee’s spirit and morale ‘elevated’.

Published on April 10, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.