Emotional Health at Work: Empathetic Discussion and Sharing Grief

Taking care of your emotional well-being has always been important. But during these uncertain times, it feels more pressing than ever before.

We're still in the middle of a pandemic. Everyday, we see news of more deaths and an ever-increasing number of cases. Odds are, we all know someone who has been significantly affected by Covid-19. People have lost jobs, their physical health and even their lives. Until we're in a post-pandemic world, we're unfortunately going to keep experiencing this. Being consistently bombarded by the fear and uncertainty that's going on can take a significant toll on anyone's mental health.

However, the difference between this crisis and the other experiences we have in our personal lives that cause a strain on our mental health, is that this is a shared experience. We are not alone. We're quite literally all in this together. This fact is having the effect of changing the way that we express grief in the workplace.

Having a shared understanding of the pressure and pains of dealing with this pandemic has sparked empathy in office cultures. That empathy is something that should be encouraged and built upon. Emotional health heavily depends upon our support network. So, the ability to communicate with our co-workers is a valid opportunity to build the support you need. It's fair to say that everybody needs that support.

The difference... is that this is a shared experience. We are not alone. We're quite literally all in this together.

In earlier times, the office, for a lot of us, was separate from our home. There was a kind of "social distancing", if you will, between your personal life and your life in the workplace. Your work issues stayed at work and your personal issues stayed at home with little to no convergence between them. Now that working from home is popular, we don't have that physical separation of responsibilities. So, what we're seeing now is this very new, weird blend of a couple of the most significant aspects of our lives.

Experts say, this pandemic may change how we discuss such personal topics at work moving forward. Sally Maitlis, a professor of organizational behavior and leadership at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, says, “You can almost assume now that the majority of people are having a difficult time. That makes it easier to come forward with your own struggle.”

To engage and improve your mental health at work, have open and honest conversations about what's happening to you with your co-workers. And listen when others do the same. Not only will that improve your overall emotional well-being, it will also improve your collaboration efforts with the people who get to see you with your Zoom Shirt on everyday.

Remember to be kind and respectful to others. Stay safe. For information about "Thriving in a Post-Pandemic world". Sign up for our Webinar series: