Challenges and Associated Mental Stress During COVID-19 Work Adaptation among Employees in Ireland

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Yanbing ChenCarolyn IngramVicky DowneyMark RoeAnne DrummondPenpatra SripaiboonkijClaire BuckleyElizabeth AlvarezCarla PerrottaConor Buggy

Abstract: The emergence of COVID-19 has resulted in workplace adaptations globally. This study aims to understand the challenges faced by employees during COVID-19 workplace adaptation that could cause mental health distress. Fifteen focus groups were conducted with Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and/or human resource professionals (n=60) from various occupational settings in Ireland between April and May 2021. The findings showed that stress arose from three primary sources: technostress, work-from-home adaptation, and COVID-19 longevity. Supports from organizations, such as providing timely information, Employee Assistance Programs, informal communication channels and the reinforcement of COVID-19 control measures, are discussed as the possible solutions to mitigate employees’ mental stress. This study contributes to the understanding of employees’ stress and the development of an intervention plan for alleviating the mental health impacts arising from occupational adaption due to COVID-19. The findings also have implications for workplace coping strategies during future global public health crises.

Keywords: COVID-19, fatigue, mental health, occupational health

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001355

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