07 May 2021
Let us not beat around the bush, lockdown has been tough on everyone and although there could be light at the end of the tunnel the long term impact on everyone’s health and wellbeing will only become apparent in the coming months and years.
Whilst there are many, many negatives to lockdown, far too many to mention in a blog like this; being the ‘glass half full’ person that I am, I have tried to put a positive spin on the situation and have taken time to look at the good things that have come out of lockdown.
For me, the major plus point that has come out of lockdown is that the situation has allowed me to spend more time with my young family (5year old twins). I have been able to sit down and have breakfast with them instead of grabbing something to eat and dashing to the car on the way to work as well as an evening meal together, both things that I was rarely able to do when working from the office. As a family we have used this time together to ask each other what we have planned for the day and then at the end of the day, understand if our plans have come to fruition and if they did not, what we will all do to try and make tomorrow a better day. These are just two small things that I would have missed out on if it were not for lockdown.
One area that I am aware is developing at a rate of knots because of lockdown is an ‘always on’ mindset/culture and I am sure we all have many colleagues who work in this way. An ‘always on’ mindset/culture is a term used when people struggle to separate their professional and personal lives and I suspect that this issue is high on the list of HR associates as the fear of burnout could rapidly become a reality.
Understandably businesses must walk a fine line between employees delivering excellent results due to having an ‘always on’ mindset and ‘burning out’ considering the collateral damage this could mean to colleagues and clients alike. It goes without saying that a HR associates will always have the best interests of the employee at heart.
Clearly there is no one size fits all solution to solving this issue, but consideration should be given to traditional resources such as Mental Health First Aid training for HR associates and line managers giving them the ability to identify and support early signs of the deterioration of an employee’s mental health.
There are other less traditional things that employers can look at doing and these could include company wellness days, Zoom/Team free meeting days, regular therapy sessions for employees as well as a good old company team quiz (we have not done many of these for while!!).
Regardless of the solution, burnout needs to start to move its way up an HR associates’ agenda sooner rather than later. As and when it reaches the top of your agenda, make sure you utilise the resources available through any existing employer benefit packages that you currently pay for as you may be surprised as to the additional support you already have.