The Wellbeing in the Workplace conference took place online on 20 January, hosted by the British Safety Council for the Being Well Together programme.

“There are two things that cause people to get ill in life. One is uncertainty – and we have bags of that – and the other is lack of control. And we don’t have much of that right now.” Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the Manchester Business School, was straight-talking and full of wry observations for the opening presentation.

Professor Cooper said that people are feeling isolated in the pandemic, over-stretching themselves to try to keep their jobs and that this is all impacting on their mental health. Emotional intelligence and social skills of managers are even more essential now than in normal times. “Pre-Covid [it would be easier] to notice someone struggling and find out what was causing the trouble. Managers need to recognise when people aren’t coping.”

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