The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on employee wellbeing.
It appears that longer-term fatigue is a prime concern for many employers —especially as the move to hybrid working commences.
The pandemic’s impact on workers
Recent research shows that UK employees have been 62 per cent more likely to see an increase in the working hours and 42 per cent feel more emotionally drained from their work.
With workers having to adapt to new remote working conditions at the start of the pandemic, many suffered from fear and anxiety about the impact of COVID-19.
This could be responsible for many employees experiencing an increase in fatigue, that they are struggling to recover from.
Additionally, many employees have spent over a year working in conditions that are unsuitable for the remote environment.
With businesses applying the nine to five core hours and regular meetings or Zooms to the remote environment, employee fatigue has been exacerbated.
The shift out of lockdown
Some would expect that with the UK emerging from lockdown restrictions, that levels of fatigue would start easing.
However, fatigue levels are continuing to rise as employees go through the shift out of lockdown and the introduction to hybrid working.
Getting used to being back in the office and adapting to new working structures will often leave employees feeling burnt out – especially with the events of the last year on their minds too.
Employees may still feel worried about health or financial risks that COVID-19 had sprung upon us.
Notably, 27 per cent of employees have a lower level of change receptivity due to the pandemic, a recent survey suggests. This is evidence of the long journey businesses have ahead of them when it comes to tackling workplace fatigue.
Preventing employee fatigue
Employers must act cautiously to ensure that employee fatigue is not a problem that outlasts the pandemic.
Businesses and HR teams ought to seek advice in leading the creation of the hybrid model. That means adopting flexible approaches whilst reducing digital distractions and addressing the always-on mindset.
For example, some employers may want to consider removing the office-centric processes that has no value to the hybrid working model. This could be small things like physical office meetings. Despite digital communication tools growing over the years, so have the use of physical meetings.
These can be reduced to avoid pressurised or overwhelming environments for employees, especially as staff can communicate efficiently through digital platforms now.
Another crucial factor that employees ought to consider is improving employee life experiences. Building a connection with employees and helping them with organisation can make a positive impact on their personal lives.
Those employees who feel cared for tend to be happier, more productive and less prone to fatigue.
A final option to think about is creating a hybrid work mindset and training employees on how to operate within these parameters. Employees should not be left to manage their own workloads and mental capacity alone, as the line between home and working lives becomes increasingly blurred.
At HR Caddy, we understand that Human Resource Management, especially regarding new post-COVID working models, is an area that many businesses find a headache, a minefield and incredibly time consuming.
For more help or advice on preventing employee fatigue, please contact us today.