COVID-19 has changed the workplace in more ways than one. Some companies had to shut down because their operations require human interaction, while others had to shift to remote working to keep the business afloat.
But, as the vaccines are being distributed and the health guidelines constantly change to allow the economy to reopen, workers are now experiencing “pandemic fatigue”, affecting their job performance and the workplace entirely.
What exactly is pandemic fatigue, and how can it be managed in our workplace?
What Is Pandemic Fatigue?
One’s exhaustion causes pandemic fatigue with the pandemic guidelines, which have been enforced for a long time, such as social distancing, masking and other safety standards to prevent the transmission of the virus. It is also caused by the death of a loved one from the virus and the isolation brought by social distancing and remote working.
Signs Of Pandemic Fatigue
The effects of pandemic fatigue can vary from person to person, but some of the most common signs include:
Workers are no longer interested in their work, leading to mistakes in their work and affecting their productivity.
- Increased conflicts
Since workers are stressed due to the pandemic, they have not been around their co-workers for a long time. There is a higher chance of conflicts between workers. Conflicts can even occur if one employee fails to follow the current safety standards.
- Concentration problems
Pandemic fatigue can also cause some employees to lose focus on their work and not follow safety protocols. Not only can it cause problems for the job at hand, but it can also cause accidents in the workplace.
- Mental problems
The longer pandemic fatigue is felt by an employee, the higher their risk is of mental illness.
What Can Your Company Do To Relieve Pandemic Fatigue In The Workplace?
As employers, we must help our employees deal with pandemic fatigue and ensure that they can comply with the safety standards in the process.
To help your company during this challenging time, here are some steps you can take:
Open Communication Between You And Your Employees
Having open communication between you and your employees can help your employees talk about what they are feeling. It will help them destress, and you can work together in making it easier to deal with the fatigue.
Actively Enforce Safety Standards
Since the pandemic is still ongoing, you will need to make sure that safety is a part of your current workplace culture. Be active in enforcing the protocols and give your workers incentives to follow them.
You need to understand that each employee will take time in dealing with the stress they have due to the pandemic, especially if they lost someone to the virus. Ask them about their situation and be compassionate.
What Steps Can You Take To Avoid Pandemic Fatigue Yourself?
Aside from helping your employees, you also need to allow yourself to avoid the effects of pandemic fatigue.
Here are some tips you can apply to prevent fatigue from affecting your work and your relationships with your coworkers:
Every one of us deals with stress and fatigue differently, and you need to be very patient with everyone, especially yourself. If you are patient, your colleagues will see that you are calm about the situation and reduce their stress.
Be A Source Of Confidence
Show that you are optimistic that you will all get past the pandemic together. If your colleagues see that you are confident, they will be more relaxed about the company’s future.
Reach Out To Your Workers
Like your colleagues, you will also need to tell people if you feel fatigued so they know how to help.
It is still unclear as to when the pandemic will end and change our personal and work life. After months of remote work and little interaction with others, some will find it harder to get back to their pre-pandemic lifestyle.
With positive leadership and open communication with the staff, you will be able to help your employees deal with pandemic fatigue and strengthen each other’s resolve as we brave this pandemic together.
Looking for inspiration during the pandemic? Here are some articles to lift you up:
How the Pandemic is Affecting Young People’s Career Plans
Conversation with Patty Wolters on Unemployment During Pandemic Times
Managing Your Career Development in Uncertain Times