The past six weeks have seen dramatic changes in how we do business. Social distancing, occupancy limits and reduced hours have made everyone rethink how they go about tasks we used to take for granted.

While this has been stressful, businesses have also felt the pressure. One of the first steps essential service providers took was cutting hours to give staff time to rest and recover from the stress that panic buying and the unknowns of COVID-19.

Frontline concerns

Imperial Security shared many of the same concerns for its staff, who are also on the frontlines of the crisis. Private security guards help maintain compliance with public health requirements at retail in addition to regular patrol activities. Imperial quickly implemented a COVID-19 protocol for its staff and equipped them with personal protective equipment and sanitizer.

But mental wellness is also important. This is why the Canadian Mental Health Association’s annual week dedicated to mental health, which takes place May 4-10, is more important than ever this year. In addition to the regular stress guards face on the job, physical distancing and restrictions on social events can prevent them from getting the support they need. Many are also concerned about potentially introducing the virus to their families.

Playing a part

We all have a part to play in supporting each other through this crisis and its aftermath. Providing support to workers on the job is one way. Helping staff connect with resources and, where needed, counselling is also part of what we can do.

We also encourage workers to monitor themselves for changes. Taking as little as 15 minutes each day for silent reflection and self-assessment can help staff remain grounded as well as notice any changes in their outlook. If they do, help is available.

Focusing on the positive

A period of self-assessment can also recognize what’s going right. By recognizing the good things they’ve got and cultivating gratitude, we can increase our resilience in the face of the frightening unknowns. Research at the University of California indicates people who are thankful have a more optimistic outlook than others.

Security guards know that businesses face risks. They also know that work doesn’t always end well. COVID-19 has tested all of us to be stronger and more resilient in the face of uncertainties. We’re thankful for security guards, health care workers and others who help us keep working.

This month, let’s show them our gratitude and support.