Our website uses cookies that help us and third-party partners remember you and improve your experience browsing our site. You agree to the use of all cookies or you can change your settings.

Cookie settings

We use cookies on this website to enhance your browsing experience. Necessary cookies are essential for basic website functionalities and are stored on your browser. We also use third-party cookies to analyse and improve website usage. You can opt-out of these cookies, but it may affect your browsing experience.

Are We Giving Employees the Benefits They Really Want?

Our latest eBook looks at offering the right benefits for your organisation

Download eBook

The Hidden Impacts of COVID-19 on Employee Mental Health

26 March 2020 4 min read

Employee mental health banner

Across the globe, we are experiencing unprecedented restrictions on both our personal and social lives due to coronavirus.

As a result, everyone’s eyes are currently on the virus’s immediate impact and how we can all adapt to the situation. But what will the lasting effects on the virus be? Below we look at the potential impacts and how they will influence the world we work in.


As humans, we crave interaction and personal relationships. Advances in technology have allowed a huge amount of businesses to continue day-to-day business at this difficult time. But with millions of additional people thrown into this situation, how will we deal with it?

Not only does isolation take its toll on mental health, but it can also affect employees physically. Julianne Holt-Lunstad a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Brigham University conducted a study and found that people who are more isolated and lonely show increased chronic inflammation.


Nearly 9000 annual leave days were canceled in the month of March according to the latest Edays data, indicating that employees are planning on canceling annual leave and holidays.

Graph showing cancelled holidays due to coronavirus

Source: e-days system data


Edays already support individuals to spread their annual leave throughout the year as research shows a failure to do so will result in employee burnout which has a direct relationship to mental health. Encourage your employees to take a break can reduce the risk of employee burnout.


The unknown…this is arguably the scariest element of everything that’s happening right now.

People are asking questions amidst the uncertainty such as how long will this last? How will it impact us when it’s all over?

It’s hard to say but commentators are currently stating that up to one million people could face unemployment due to COVID-19 and that it may take a while for the country to recover.

We can’t know what will worry each individual, but’s it’s highly likely that we will all fear something; loss of jobs, financial pressures, our or loved one’s health, and the shape of the ‘new normal’ post beyond these challenging times.


Individuals let off steam in different ways and whether that is a pint in your local, or daily gym sessions you won’t be doing any of that for the foreseeable. The government’s recent intervention to close these types of venues will hit people hard.

These restrictions will inevitably impact employee mental health but providing your employees with information about alternative ways to exercise and socialize will soften the blow.

How will an increase in employee mental health cases impact businesses?

Mental health problems have a significant impact on businesses by increasing absenteeism, increasing costs to deal with these issues, and negatively impacting productivity and profits. To combat this, businesses can utilize early intervention strategies to address the issues as suggested by the Health & Safety Executive.

It’s important to discuss mental health in the workplace, but it’s impossible to do without the data to identify when it’s becoming an issue. Whether it’s the individual realizing or the employer realizing, it’s important to have the tools in place to spot the issues early.

Supporting content to help deal with the impact of COVID-19

We’re keen to help every business that has been impacted by coronavirus and have listed some useful resources below for your use.

Employee engagement

Working from home policy

The benefits of remote working

Preventing employee burnout

Flexible working

Reducing presenteeism

Workplace productivity

How Edays is helping businesses work smarter, happier, and healthier through COVID-19

Download our free e-book and understand the top 5 things HR Directors are prioritizing for 2021.

Read now >


Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
March 26, 2020

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.