Pandemic Burnout – Organizations Devising Better Ways to Overcome
Employees and Organizations worldwide are facing various issues due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, and one of the major issues is Employee Burnout or Pandemic Burnout. Pandemic burnout or exhaustion is caused due to excessive and prolonged stress. It is majorly causing anxiety, high blood pressure, and headaches in the workforce nowadays.
Factors like working from home, unemployment, children attending virtual classes, lack of socialization, fear of contracting the virus yourself or your loved ones, all contribute to causing excessive and prolonged stress.
WHO’s Definition of Burnout
As per the World health organization “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.
It is characterized by three dimensions: 1) feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; 2) increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and 3) a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”
Pandemic Burnout Symptoms
There are various signs of burnout that a person can identify on their own. However, it’s better to reach out to a specialist for treatment in case the symptoms get severe.
Work or Occupational burnout due to pandemics or generally can have symptoms that comprise of getting cynical at work, decreased productivity/creativity, or low concentration levels.
Physical symptoms may arise due to chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches/intestinal issues, low appetite, sudden weight changes, or changes in sleep habits.
Emotional exhaustion or emotional burnout may cause people to feel Fatigued, have low energy levels, feel drained out, or tired.
Psychological symptoms of burnout may involve a change in mood (mood swings), irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation, or decreased self-esteem.
How Organisations are coping with it?
The organizations are looking to devise ways to conquer pandemic fatigue and burnout, they are discovering cutting-edge working models, announcing bonuses, coming up with innovative technologies that aid in virtual connections among employees, empowering teams, reducing bureaucracy, and making faster decisions amid uncertainty.
Profit-Sharing and Bonus Distribution
In order to motivate and encourage employees during pandemics and imbibe positivity through perks and benefits, a few of the prominent organizations have already taken initiative; Microsoft, Facebook, Reliance Industries, and Walmart to name a few.
The verge reported that
“Microsoft is paying pandemic cash bonuses of worth $1,500 to its employees worldwide. Microsoft has over 150,000 employees. The workers below the level of the corporate vice president are eligible for the bonus. Employees of Microsoft subsidiaries like LinkedIn, GitHub, and ZeniMax are excluded. The bonus will be eligible to all the US & international employees of Microsoft Ltd.”
The spokesperson from Microsoft said, “As a symbol of our appreciation for coming together as One Microsoft during a uniquely challenging year, we are proud to recognize our employees with a one-time monetary gift”
On similar lines many organizations worldwide pay bonuses. Facebook too awarded its employees $1,000 each, whereas Amazon announced a $ 300-holiday bonus to its frontline workers.
Earlier in May 2021, RIL, Reliance Industries Limited, India, paid its employees a pandemic honorarium. While issuing a bonus letter to its employees.
RIL stated, “We continue to experience unprecedented challenges on account of Covid-19 across India. Amidst this, the safety and well-being of you and your family remain our topmost priority. Towards this, we have significantly enhanced our efforts and exerted our full energies to ensure that timely help is made available to each and every one of you.”
Similarly, In Dec 2020, Walmart announced $2.8 Billion in Total Cash Bonuses to Associates.
Also, here it is essential to note that during the COVID pandemic Microsoft donated $98+ million to nonprofit organizations in Washington. These noble actions would eventually pave the way to a healthy and harmonious workforce.
Conducting Counseling Sessions
Organizations worldwide are taking initiative to conduct consulting sessions with the specialists who interact and counsel with the workforce during these pandemic times. They guide the employees on the ways to overcome pandemic burnouts.
Most of the sessions that are being conducted by the specialist emphasize the following key points:
- Follow Covid-19 protocols
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible
- One should keep up daily routines as far as possible
- To ward off the negativity, do regular exercise/yoga/pranayam
- Maintain personal hygiene
- Avoid negative newsfeeds and allocate time for screen surfing.
- Connect with your loved one through telephone or other telecommunication methods, so as to keep the relationship enthused.
- Remain updated on the recommendations and advice from trusted specialists
- Avoid alcohol abuse.
- If the circumstances allow, be supportive and helpful to the needy.
How to Deal With Pandemic Burnout Personally?
Adapting to lifestyle changes due to Covid-19, and overcoming the fear of you or your loved ones getting infected with the virus is challenging. On a personal level, dealing with the impacts of pandemic burnout one can engage in personal development, yoga, breathing exercises, etc.
Beating pandemic burnout can be a daunting task at times but focussing on positives and diversion from negatives can bring hope. Nikki Kean, Director, The Clinical Advisor, said, “I am focusing on gratitude. I am grateful for my health, my family, my job, and the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Additionally, now that the vaccines are available worldwide, it’s recommended that one should get vaccinated. Vaccination would not prevent you from catching the virus but it would enable the body’s immune system to deal with the virus without severe complications and would reduce the mortality rate.