"For all employees, we can say that this health crisis is also a psychological crisis", sums up Christophe Nguyen, occupational psychologist and president of the cabinet Empreinte humaine (a firm specializing in the prevention of psychosocial risks at work) who carried out, with Opinion Way, a study on the impact of the health crisis on the psychological state of employees.
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44% of respondents said they were in psychological distress, including 18% in whom this distress is high, said the study. "An alarming figure", according to Christophe Nguyen, who explains that "psychological distress brings together different symptoms such as depression and exhaustion. If this situation continues and if it is not treated, it can lead to more serious disorders such as anxiety disorders, phobias, generalized anxiety. " An observation in front of which "it is urgent to act", he adds.
"Those are the telework conditions" which can be a "risk factor"
"It is not so much telework which is a risk factor and psychological distress in itself, but the conditions of telework when they are complicated. Those who work in environments with an area of 40 m2, we have a high psychological distress rate, around 25%, the same for those who work as a couple with a child, "says Christophe Nguyen.
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The study highlights the situation of women who sometimes have to carry out telework alone, home schooling for their children and housework. Thus, one in four women is in a situation of high psychological distress with high risks of developing depression. "The psychosocial risks of French employees persist and this situation of confinement exacerbates those who were already present," analyzes Christophe Nguyen.
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According to him, the situation must lead to changes in the way of teleworking. "Today, we have an exceptional situation and it will be necessary to review the modalities of teleworking. We will have to soften the conditions, take into account the conditions in which it is practiced to succeed in the deconfinement", he explains, indicating that businesses have a role to play. If initiatives have been put in place, such as psychological listening lines, they are not sufficient, for him, "if they remain only a black box without real dialogue and preventive measures with public health programs" .