COVID-19 isn’t over. But it’s fair to say that companies across Morocco are learning to live with it. From lockdowns and travel restrictions to curfew hours and vaccination drives, many businesses have returned fully or partially to the offices, are onboarding new recruits and have kick-started staff development programmes that were parked in the early days of the pandemic.
Needless to say, some professionals have struggled over the past year as the lockdown, isolation from working remotely, job insecurities and health scares took its toll. And since there’s no vaccine against mental health challenges, as a business if you want to attract top talent, you need to make sure that you have a supportive culture and wellness-first policies in place.
To help you meet those goals, Michael Page surveyed 145 job applicants in Morocco from mid-May to mid-July 2021 to find out how they have coped since the outbreak of the pandemic and how they think employers can support staff going forward.
How candidates coped with the pandemic
It’s not all doom and gloom — when asked to sum up their mood in a single word, almost nine in ten candidates responded positively. “Confident” was the most popular choice, followed by “motivated” and “hopeful”, suggesting that many professionals are putting the tough times behind them.
More than half the job applicants (53%) told us they did not experience any negative symptoms (such as feeling stressed, anxious, or frustrated, weight loss, reduced sleep, etc.) due to the Covid-19 crisis. With 22% reporting they do not work from home or remotely, 60% who are working remotely said they do not feel lonely. These results are not surprising - our survey in 2020 showed that Moroccan professionals desire a blend of remote and office-based work. More than half of our respondents expect that one of the most significant outcomes from the pandemic would be that companies will implement flexible work policies, such as opportunities to work remotely or to have flexible schedules, provide devices and so on.
So how are companies in Morocco addressing mental health at the workplace? 56% feel their manager shows empathy and understanding towards their mental health. When it comes to the level of work-life balance, 58% of candidates responded they did not see a change. However, 35% report experiencing a higher sense of pressure in the current times and 34% feeling they get less credit for their work.
In our survey, job applicants shared their top coping strategies were keeping contact with friends and loved ones (54%), exercise (50% of respondents), maintaining professional focus to increase their on-the-job efficiency (47%) and eating healthy (44%).
Building back better
With some employees feeling under pressure, what are companies doing to address mental health challenges? Most of our respondents (69%) said their current or former company does not communicate about mental health and 65% saying no actions or events are organised to take care of employees’ mental health.
These results are slightly surprising considering the level of willingness on part of candidates to talk about mental health. They were far more likely to raise the subject with family members (85% of respondents), or doctors/mental health professionals (81%). and friends (73%). This compares to 52% of candidates polled who said they felt confident to talk about their mental health with their HR department, 45% with their managers, and 44% with their colleagues, suggesting that there’s still some stigma attached to this in the workplace.
Finally, job seekers have some advice for employers on building an organisational culture that prioritises mental health. Majority of our respondents (50%) believe that companies should lean in more strongly on flexible work patterns and consider policies like banning emails and meetings during non-official working hours and 49% would like improved communication with their managers to control time and task planning. 46% would like better employee recognition prgrammes in place.
Michael Page understands the importance of finding the right match between employer and employee based not just on a competence, experience, and skills, but also in ensuring the cultural fit and working dynamic works for both parties. If you would like to talk to one of our expert consultants about how we can help you find the right talent for your organisation, or to talk about the results of our latest survey, get in touch today.
Join over 80,000 readers!
Receive free advice to help give you a competitive edge in your career.