HOW IS YOUR FREELANCE TEAM'S MENTAL HEALTH?

Many freelancers were used to working from home before COVID-19 hit. 

Does this mean that they were better equipped to cope with lockdown than others?

Not necessarily.

Sure, a lot of freelancers were more accustomed to the ins and outs of working from home rather than their office based counterparts. Saying that, we’re all aware that it hasn’t just been work related issues that many of us have struggled with over the past few months. 

Like a lot of individuals, isolation is one of the many challenges that freelancers have been experiencing lately. 

Although restrictions have eased allowing many people to reconnect with their social circles, a large cohort of people are still very wary about mixing with others. 

In many cases, these individuals are worried about getting the virus themselves or are trying to protect vulnerable family members and friends who they live with.

So while the freelancers you work with may seem upbeat and enthusiastic in emails and appear happy over Zoom, they may be experiencing real loneliness at the moment which may be taking its toll on their mental health. 

Man looking weary

Similar to isolation, monotony has been another factor affecting many people's mental health over the past few months.

I mean come on, I’m hardly the only person who feels like it’s groundhog day everyday?

People like to make time for things outside of work that provide them with a change of scene and a brief distraction from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has ensured that our day to day lives will remain fairly monotonous for the foreseeable. 

Festivals have been cancelled, and, although the Government is encouraging overseas travel, holidays abroad have been shelved by many for obvious reasons. While these are most definitely first world problems, they may be the much needed breaks freelancers take during the year. 

Likewise, heading for drinks or grabbing dinner with friends is something that would ordinarily break up the week for many. However, even as we emerge from lockdown, not everyone is comfortable partaking in these pretty normal activities. Such individuals may really be struggling with their mental health as a result. 

I realise that you might not have the same relationships with your freelancers as you do with your full time employees.However, if you’re currently working with freelancers, I implore you to check in on them every once in a while. 

Now more than ever, it’s so important to do so.

I’m not suggesting you have a big heart to heart with them. I’m simply recommending that you take a few minutes at the beginning or end of a video call or email to ask them how they are and how they've been finding the last few months.

A couple of simple, yet genuine questions and a few minutes of your time could mean a whole lot to a freelancer who hasn’t had too many people to talk to lately. 

The last few months have been tough on everybody and freelancers are no exception.

Don’t underestimate the power of a quick check in during these turbulent times.

 

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