Stay One Step Ahead of Pandemic Burnout
Vaccines area very hot topic these days, and for good reason, Covid-19 inoculations are being administered to the general public for the first time. This is big news, and I know I sighed a big sigh of relief when the first vaccine candidates were approved for use. Don’t get me wrong, this is far, far, far from over. We have many obstacles in our way to clawing our way out of this global pandemic, but we’re finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
Although a very small number of people have been vaccinated for Covid-19 as of writing, globally we have all been dosed with something in huge quantities, stress. Similar to many vaccinees, a small amount of stress can make us stronger, however in large doses, stress can kill. It’s not just you, we’re all feeling immense levels of stress as a result of the global pandemic. An APA study has seen the first major rise of levels of stress in the general US adult population for the first time the study was began in 2007, jumping this year to an average response of 5.9 out of 10, up from 4.9. I know that I have felt far more stressed than a 5.9 out of 10 this year. Beyond this, feeling fatigued all the time is both an effect of stress, and a symptom of Covid-19, creating a stress loop that we should be very mindful of, and know when to seek help.
So, this all begs the question, how can employers modify their organizations to help employees and themselves best deal with covid-19 burnout and pandemic fatigue? As outlined by Nancy Collamer, in her Forbes article, “How To Deal With Covid-19 Burnout At Work” she lists four steps which can be taken to help mitigate levels of pandemic related stress in and around the workplace. These steps include:
- Acknowledge the problem.
Collamer notes a MetLife study which finds that many employees underestimate the seriousness of their struggles with burnout. Acknowledging the problem helps employees feel confident bringing forth their concerns and establishes that it is ok to address the problem.
- Look into employer-provided mental health benefits.
These benefits may seem costly; however they will pay off greatly especially under current circumstances. If help is made available, employees will be more likely to seek it out. If the cost associated with these options is prohibitive, investigate what community resources are available, and make them apparent to employees.
- Establishfirm work/life boundaries.
Balance is paramount to us at Get Hunted. With more and more individuals working from home, the line between being ‘on’ and ‘off’ is greatly blurred. While it may seem to be a luxury to work at home, we need time to recharge and if employees are expected to be accessible 24/7 this can be hugely detrimental.
Not only that, as Collamer points out, a recent University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study found that the pings and buzzes of smartphone alerts causes an array of unhealthy effects, so be mindful to let your staff know that it is ok to turf off their phones or put them on silent when they are not within office hours.
- Be flexible.
Be prepared to allow your staff to book their time in a flexible manner and reassess how you measure performance. Consider project completion vs. hours put in, and be accommodating to those who may have taken on extra hours of care giving due to children or dependents not being in school, or day care of babysitting options being unavailable currently.
The global pandemic will come to an end, however currently we’re all under extreme, unprecedented levels of stress. It is more important than ever to be mindful of how this is effecting yourself and those around you.