Last week we showed you 4 alternative display types that can be used with Xibo signage for safer digital signage.
As we continue to plan for a future where businesses, shops and education settings re-open, an important consideration will be the mental wellbeing of those returning to these settings. This week we take a closer look at how digital signage can be used across industries to guide and reassure returning customers, employees and students.
The impact of Covid-19 on Mental Health
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only caused economic and physical devastation across the world, but has also created a mental health crisis. While lockdowns and quarantines are designed to protect us physically, the long term effects of the isolation on our mental health is something that is being studied closely by healthcare teams globally.
The University of London reports that in January 2021 in the UK “depression and anxiety levels [were] the worst [they’d] been since June 2020” . With around 45% of people worried about catching covid and life satisfaction continuing to deteriorate, especially for the younger generation.
More than half of the Britons (53%) taking part in a recent YouGov study say their mental health has deteriorated due to the pandemic. There are many reasons for this including increased demands at home due to caring responsibilities, concerns about finances and job security, changing workload and work location, impact of being furloughed, bereavement and anxiety related to the fear of COVID-19 itself.
As businesses look to the future where employees could return safely to the workplace, a variety of measures will need to be implemented to help employees regain an effective work-life balance and address fears about returning to work. Poor mental health at work can lead to increased staff turnover, reduced engagement and high absenteeism.
With many employees not feeling comfortable enough to speak up about their mental health, it will be vitally important to keep those returning informed of the support available to them.
Tips for using digital signage to create positive mental health messaging
Display resources and mental health awareness information
- In workplaces, healthcare areas and education settings, help reduce anxiety and stress and provide support to those returning, by clearly displaying who to contact, how to access support or Employee-Assistance-Programs (EAPs) available, if they are feeling stressed, anxious or low.
- Internal communications in the workplace done through digital signage help engage all employees on-site, including those without email or computer access. This ensures that everyone knows about the mental health resources available to them. Oerlikon is an example of a Xibo customer who recently went digital with Xibo to upgrade their internal communications from paper based to digital.
Focus on messaging which creates a safe and supportive environment
- This will be especially important for children returning to school after being home for such an extended period of time. They have come to rely on the safety of their parents, and will now need reminding that school is a safe place to be.
- Digital Signage will be effective in the entrance to welcome them in, hallways to encourage social distancing, classrooms to encourage the importance of talking about how they are feeling.
Encourage safe physical activities
- Physical activity is a powerful tool for improving mental health. Consider displaying digital signage in breakout areas within the workplace, canteens and hallways to encourage staff to take breaks, get fresh air and safely make the most of the outside where possible.
Highlight selfcare reminders
- People often need reminding to practice self care. By displaying reminders on digital signage displays in high traffic areas, such as “tips to reduce stress” or “mindfulness ideas”, self care will become more on the forefront of people’s minds and create a more positive environment.
Show the facts to reduce misinformation
- Use your digital signage to highlight important but factual information. While displaying a rolling count of daily covid cases is more likely to heighten stress levels, ensuring that your display showcases important facts and guidance from the government will reduce misinformation and anxiety.
Use calming colours and imagery suitable for your intended audience
- Consider the colour scheme and imagery you use on your digital displays depending on your audience. Tranquil images of the outdoors and nature can enhance the feeling of calm for adults.
- Blue and green tones can calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. But be aware of your audience. Colour psychology studies have shown that too much blue can make children feel low, so consider pink for children, which reduces their anxiety and lowers their blood pressure.
Next week: Small Business Signage
The pandemic has had a major impact on many businesses, especially smaller independent retailers and hospitality settings. When lockdown measures ease and customers venture out again, the message of “shop local” will still be prominent in people's minds. Next week we’ll focus on Xibo for small businesses and how you can make the most of our cost effective solutions.