The covid-19 pandemic has set a whole new system and life habits among all societies around the world; work industries cannot escape from this new reality we all have to face. Currently, we all have had to adapt to new and different circumstances and ways of doing things that before we didn’t even know existed.
It´s well known that – historically- the construction industry shows a very high level of suicide rates and mental health challenges from their workers in many countries and right now this situation takes even more relevance than ever. In fact, 83% of construction workers have experienced a mental health issue, according to a study in 2020.
This – very much male-dominated – type of work also shows a tendency to consider mental health issues as taboo so the situation is not really attended to as it should be.
Not paying attention to this can lead to many consequences on workers in addition to demanding schedules, prolonged working hours, tight deadlines, financial issues, uncertainty, and isolation, so it’s taking a toll on the mental health of people. The new high levels of stress that the pandemic has left obviously affect the result of workers of construction projects.
During isolation, many people started to face the worries and stress of not being able to work as regularly and have the standard life rhythm. Workers in our industry felt insecure and worried about stability and fear of not having as many projects as usual.
In the construction industry as in many other industries, work development during a pandemic has changed and it gets worse when professional help is not sought. That’s why it’s always important to declare the importance of asking for help when it’s needed, not as a sign of weakness but as one of courage and self-love from someone who wants to be and feel better.
The role of companies and leaders during Covid-19 in the construction industry
This is a very challenging time to be the head of a construction team, that’s for sure. And as companies are legally called to provide some working environment standards, we see how mental health goes beyond.
Living with anxiety and stress leads to lower levels of productivity and also increases the chances to see more absences and injuries due to lack of right focusing during the workday.
In the construction industry, time is key in project development so we can´t afford to have delays with clients, who always expect us to accomplish timing and dates. So we must pay attention to employees’ concerns so we can guarantee not only time but the quality of the job.
At Carolina Custom Homes we implement some improvements on working conditions and help resources to be part of the solution.
But, how can we impact mental health in the construction industry these days?
We can start by:
- Creating internal communication activities that can help support people.
- Planning virtual events, related to personal development tools.
- Offering financial help for therapy sessions for employees.
- Providing certified information about the situation and how it affects the Company.
- Sharing information about helplines, support groups, and assistance programs.
- Raising awareness about mental health and its importance.
Also, training the leaders of every group can make a difference especially in identifying initial signs of these issues on an employee can be crucial in the detection and treatment of the case.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is still leaving marks on all of us and is a remaining active wake-up call in many senses, so industries are part of this new scenario and must be resilient to success.