Industry not immune to COVID mental health crisis

The move to remote working and ongoing lockdowns across the world is taking its toll on the population and those in the insurance sector are no exception.

On the day the UK’s Vaccine Minister revealed there are 4000 mutations of the COVID virus across the world the Chartered Insurance Institute revealed six out of 10 insurance professionals suffered depression, anxiety, emotional distress or another mental health condition during the pandemic.

Keith Richards, Chief Membership Officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “With the increase of remote working, many people may feel isolated or under more pressure combining work with their personal responsibilities. We urge insurance professionals to find out what support and resources their employers offer.

“It is vital the insurance profession puts themselves in their customers shoes and consider how they would wish to be treated if they had mental ill-health. However, you can only help others if you also look after your own mental health.”

However, what is clear is that the fight against the virus and the steps taken to reduce its spread are having a serious impact on the world’s mental health.

With the announcement of every new mutation and the mounting death toll there is a rising fear of infection which is only adding to the sense of isolation.

The surveys have shown there is a growing employee reluctance to consider a return to the workplace. It is a challenge for the industry as it looks to create a new normal post the pandemic. However, the decision to allow staff to work from home for significant periods of the working week has to be tempered by the need to consider the impact such a move will have on staff wellbeing.

It is all too often said that insurance is a relationship business. There are those that say as this generation will look to the past events as pre-war or post-war, future generations will see the world as pre and post COVID.

The world post pandemic will change and the relationship between the employer and the employee is set to materially alter as technology enables new ways of working and new ways in which provider and client will distribute, access, discuss and process business.

While firms will evolve and adapt, they will need to ensure that their employees feel they are both supported and connected.

The new breed of vaccines is set to meet the physical threat of COVID-19. There is however no magic bullet for the mental health crisis that is set to last long after the final vaccine dose is administered.

The surveys have shown there is a growing employee reluctance to consider a return to the workplace. It is a challenge for the industry as it looks to create a new normal post the pandemic. However, the decision to allow staff to work from home for significant periods of the working week has to be tempered by the need to consider the impact such a move will have on staff wellbeing.

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