Covid-19, physical distancing in the workplace and employees mental health: Implications and insights for organizational interventions-narrative review

Date
2021
Authors
Hamouche, Salima
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Medicinska Naklada Zagreb
Abstract
Physical distancing is one of the non-pharmaceutical measures adopted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although it appears to be effective in mitigating this spread, its implementation in workplaces may undermine employees mental health. In fact, torn between the fear of contagion and the need to maintain their jobs, employees must also comply with physical distancing measures in the workplace, which alter social interactions and set a predetermined frame and distance that guide employees behaviors within the organization while they need empathy. This situation might increase their level of stress. This paper is a narrative review that addresses the impact of physical distancing in the workplace on employees mental health. It presents the main factors that might moderate this impact and it recommends organizational interventions that can help to mitigate it. Physical distancing measures in workplaces are necessary and inevitable. Notwithstanding, they might undermine employees mental health, whence the importance to implement proper organizational actions to support employees and to facilitate their adaptation, in this unprecedented organizational change. This paper examines a relatively unexplored topic. It goes beyond examining social isolation to explore how setting a predetermined frame and distance can have an impact on employees mental health and recommends interventions that might help organizations to prevent mental health issues. © 2021 Medicinska Naklada Zagreb. All rights reserved.
Description
This review article is not available at CUD collection. The version of scholarly record of this article is published in Psychiatria Danubina (2021), available online at: https://doi.org/10.24869/psyd.2021.202
Keywords
COVID-19-occupational health, human resource management, mental health, social distancing
Citation
Hamouche, S. (2021). Covid-19, physical distancing in the workplace and employees mental health: Implications and insights for organizational interventions-narrative review. Psychiatria Danubina, 33(2), 202-208. https://doi.org/10.24869/psyd.2021.202