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How To Combat Covid Fatigue In The Workplace

Two years into the global pandemic, and everyone is tired. 

The strain of continued uncertainty and stress – at work and home - has impacted us all. The short term coping mechanisms of adrenaline and novelty have well and truly worn off.

Evidence – both anecdotal and scientific – reveals that a large percentage of the world’s workforce are burned out. For managers and leaders, that presents an extra set of challenges: 

How can you support your employees through the fog of Covid fatigue? 

What can you do to ensure your staff’s wellbeing?

While we may not be at the end of the journey yet, there are some things you can do to help your team.

In this blog, we’ll look at the effects of Covid fatigue and offer some insight into how to combat Covid fatigue in the workplace.

What Is Covid Fatigue?
Even if you’re fortunate enough never to have caught the COVID-19 virus, you’re not immune to the broader effects of the pandemic. 

Also known as behavioural fatigue, pandemic fatigue, or emergency fatigue, Covid fatigue is the term used to describe the state of exhaustion that people eventually slide into after being under stress and pressure for an extended period.

There are many contributing factors to Covid fatigue – from ongoing changes to work schedules and routines to concerns about money, work, and health.

People may be affected differently, too. Some may have trouble sleeping while others may feel anxious or depressed. It can be hard to focus or concentrate, and we may have trouble with short term memory or find it difficult to make decisions.

According to a study by Oracle Corp, 70% of the global workforce say that the last year has been the most stressful 12 months of their lives, with 78% saying their mental health has been affected.
Chances are, you’re feeling this yourself, and it’s more than likely that your staff are starting 2022 still feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, even after a break.

How To Support Your Staff

Despite the feel of fatigue in the air, there are a number of things you can do to support your staff through fatigue. They are:

Understand how your employees are feeling
Do you know how your staff are doing? Did they have a decent holiday? Are they feeling refreshed, or are they stressed and exhausted?

If you notice people being more distracted and less productive, make sure you check in with them to ask how they’re doing.

But remember that performance isn’t always an indicator of wellness, so make sure to communicate with your entire team.

Remember, what’s helpful for one person might not be impactful for another, so take time to ask your employees how you can support them.

Communicate effectively
Take time to have conscious conversations with your employees, and you’ll have a much better idea of where they’re at and what might be beneficial for them.

Uncertainty also takes a toll on mental wellbeing, so make sure that managers prioritise clear communication around safety policies, workplace requirements, and what’s expected to happen in the future.

Support work/life balance
Where possible, provide flexible hours and allow people to work from home if they prefer. Try to ensure you have enough staff so that everyone can take breaks and have their regular days off. 
Encourage your workers to set boundaries to separate work from home. Managers can model healthy behaviours by sticking to organisation-wide guidelines, such as not sending or replying to emails after hours and taking sick days or mental health days when needed.

Health and wellness initiatives
Many organisations are taking steps to integrate self-care and resilience into the organisational culture. This could be mandating employees to take personal time off, offering free counselling sessions or access to mindfulness and meditation training. 

Are You Suffering From Covid Fatigue?
Of course, it’s not just employees who are burned out and fed up. Managers, leaders, and business owners have faced – and continue to face – the same stressors as staff. 

Trying to support and motivate your team can be daunting if you are exhausted yourself. That’s why building resilience in yourself and your team is one of the most powerful ways to combat fatigue.
Start there, have compassion and empathy for yourself and your team, and you’ll be on the right track. Plus, get help with the tasks that are taxing and time consuming, like recruitment.

Outsourcing your recruitment needs can help reduce feelings of overwhelm. Here at LD Recruit, we’d love to help you out by sourcing the perfect person for your role. Reach out to us today for a quick chat about what your team needs.