The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down economies and people are facing the brunt of stress and tensity, working from home. Women, especially are getting affected more due to their disproportionate schedules altered due to work-from-home and household chores duties. This has given rise to severe mental health problems among many women.
The UK has been leading a 4-Day Week campaign to tackle the mental health issue of overwork among individuals. A report by the campion and think tank, Compass, there has been a rise of mental distress by 49% among employees, as compared to the year 2017-19. The working hours have increased significantly. Women have been facing more difficulties as they have to work and take care of their children as well.
The report focused that Britain has been facing burnouts and that women have more likely increased their working hours by 43% than the standard work time, as compared to men. But those women who have children dealt with more mental health problems last year. This stat stands at a whopping 86% of women and this is more than or equivalent to the UK’s average.
Emma Mamo, head of the workplace wellbeing at the mental health charity Mind, said that employees felt relieved when they were given the option of starting later or sharing some job roles with others. This was an encouragement for staff wellbeing which is very essential for a workplace’s productivity. “As we try and manage our lives around Covid-19, employers could take forward more measures such as working from home or different hours to suit people’s lives,” Mamo said.
The report also stated that the impending recession and mass unemployment can lead to an unprecedented mental health crisis.
The UK government formed a working time commission for the public sector. The 4 Day Week campaign aims to reduce workload pressure by encouraging individuals to work for four days a week. This way, shorter working time can lead to equal work share among all, across the economy.
Joe Ryle, a campaigner with the 4 Day Week campaign, said: “It’s extremely concerning that overall the shift to working remotely has resulted in workers doing more hours and not less. This country desperately needs a four-day working week to rebalance the economy, boost mental health and give people more time to spend doing the things they love.”
Lisa Cameron MP, SNP spokesperson for mental health, gravely specified that the report was an eye-opener and it’s really important to strive and maintain a work-life balance in the society. This will economically prove beneficial for businesses and employees alike.
“The four-day working week has emerged in recent months as a potential avenue for flexible working across the economy, which is why the Scottish government has set up a commission to explore the possibility further in Scotland.”