The Malta Independent 16 July 2020, Thursday

71% of survey respondents say COVID-related stress disrupted productivity - Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 17:30 Last update: about 2 months ago

71% of attendants to a webinar organised by The Malta Chamber today said that COVID had to a certain extent increased stress levels within their business, to the detriment of productivity.

The respondents were answering a poll which was carried out ahead of 'Question Time - Managing Stress at Work', a webinar about mental health issues at the workplace.

19% of those taking the poll went further and said that this disruption happened to a large extent, while only 10% claimed that COVID did not affect their operation in terms of stress, A statement by the Chamber of Commerce read.

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The Malta Chamber organised the webinar to raise awareness on matters of Mental Health at the workplace during COVID-19.

Welcoming guests to the webinar, Malta Chamber President Perit David Xuereb said that the during the COVID crisis, it was evident that the disruption of all normality had a large impact on businesses and their employees.

"COVID has motivated us more than ever before to look for ways and means to mitigate and operate within the restrictions imposed, and do our best to sustain and save our companies while doing our utmost to keep our workforce, amidst this reality" Perit Xuereb said.

The President noted how COVID was forcing businesses to fight liquidity issues posing a strain on the business owners, while others had to let go of their long-standing employees, some of which had become like family to them.

"In some cases, businesses also had to consider insolvency, which brings with it an emotional blow, on the wellbeing of business owners" Mr Xuereb said.

"These are extraordinary times, and though mental wellbeing should always be on the agenda, we believe that such unprecedented times have called for a voice of unison to ensure support is available, awareness is raised and everyone feels that they are not alone in these circumstances. So, it is ok, not to be ok, let us be aware of our own wellbeing and that of those around us" Perit Xuereb noted.

President Xuereb said that The Malta Chamber was taking an active role in this regard by providing its members with more knowledge and tools in favour of safer and healthier work environments.

"Mental wellbeing is known to increase productivity in the workplace. We cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy society, and this does not only refer to physical health but also to mental health. Let's all take care of each other for the benefit of our society at large" Perit Xuereb concluded.

In his address during the webinar, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Mr Chris Fearne said that he looked forward to collaborating closely with The Malta Chamber in developing a programme for mental health awareness and prevention at the work place.

The webinar was also addressed by Clinical Chair, Department of Psychiatry Dr Anton Grech, and CEO for Mental Health Services Dr Stephanie Xuereb.


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