Businesses Seek to Help Staff Cope with 'COVID Blues'

  • By Song Hye-jin

    July 14, 2021 12:47

    Many businesses are trying to help staff cope with depression, anxiety and burnout caused by working from home for over a year.

    IT companies were the first to keep employees at home but also led the way in offering psychological counseling in lockdown, and now other businesses are following suit.

    Steelmaker POSCO increased the number of counselors from one to two at factories in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province and Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province and let workers at subcontractors seek their help too. Around 2,100 staff and their family members sought counseling last year, and this year the number has already surpassed 1,500.

    Other companies offer online counseling. LG Chem makes it available to 20,000 staff in 17 countries, and Lotte started it late last year.

    One reason is a dramatic increase in compensation cases filed for work-related depression, which rose 56.2 percent to 517 last year. Korea ranks at the top of the OECD in terms of the proportion of depression (36.8 percent) out of total illnesses.

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