5 Ways To Beat Pandemic Fatigue and Re-Energize Your Workforce
We’re all dealing with pandemic fatigue. We’ve been living with the COVID-19 pandemic for 18 months or so, and it’s taken a toll on us. When the pandemic hit us, we didn’t know how to deal with it and its effects on our mental health. To survive, we had to adapt, find a “new normal”, and embrace it until everything settled, whether we liked it or not. Nobody expected that we all would be stuck in this situation for the long haul. Did we get used to it? – maybe or maybe not. Now that things are starting to get back to a kind of normalcy, it’s odd that we are collectively struggling to find our feet. The thought of getting back to work, sharing a workspace with others has given us mixed feelings. Now, employers face a big question: how can we re-energize employees to beat the pandemic fatigue we’re all dealing with?
Here are five thoughtful ways through which you can re-define the new normal for your employees and welcome them to a fun and safe work environment.
1. Celebrate your return to the workplace
We’ve finally made it through! This is your opportunity to get creative and take that extra step to care for your employees and celebrate them. If your employees are returning to the office, mark the occasion with a little token of some kind, such as a gift card to the nearby coffee shop, company swag, even just a card or e-card, etc. Small gestures like these will help brighten their day and make them feel welcomed. You could also decorate the workplace, organize fun ice-breaker sessions or games regularly while social distancing to lighten the mood and help employees bond and reconnect with each other.
2. Make sure everyone feels safe
Re-evaluate your seating arrangements and set up protective panels wherever necessary to ensure that workstations are sufficiently spaced out to maintain social distancing. In addition to that, set up sanitization stations at every corner and stock them up with sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and wipes, gloves, and masks to help employees stay safe and regularly sanitize their equipment and surroundings easily.
Make sure to review and upgrade your office’s health and safety policies and share them with your employees in advance to assure them that you prioritize their health over anything else. It will also help them conduct themselves and know which spaces are open for use or restricted in the office.
Depending on the number of employees and office space, you could also set up a rotating work schedule to avoid crowding the workspace. If there are employees in your office who are or live with immunocompromised people, make sure to have a conversation with them to support and provide them well-sanitized cabins or meeting rooms to isolate themselves safely. You could also work out a hybrid or work from home schedule to offer them the support to set them up for success.
3. Prioritize mental wellness to beat pandemic fatigue
Since the beginning of 2020, everyone has been through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. This sudden change has not just put a strain on people’s personal lives but has also disrupted the flow in their professional life. It’s necessary for employers to acknowledge that and increase awareness and openness around mental health and provide support and resources to promote mental wellness. At any time if an employee feels overwhelmed or is struggling with the change or personal battles, provide them access to care breaks, time offs, robust health care plans/insurance, or professional help.
Make sure to train your management and human resource team to be empathetic to provide their team members the support and recognition to help them acclimatize to the change. Also, form strategies to effectively distribute work and manage work deadlines to reduce work pressure. Finally, to understand your employees’ needs or pain points, have regular conversations with them to get on the same page as them; that will help you analyze the situation better and manage stress levels.
4. Recognize your employees for their amazing work
Cultivate a workplace culture that makes employees feel seen, appreciated, and valued for all their contributions. Especially now, it can be hard for a lot of workers to feel the same sense of accomplishment and pride in their work that they once did, and sometimes a little external recognition is key to helping regain that. If you haven’t yet set up an employee recognition program or a platform, this is your time to set it up and flesh it out thoroughly. The moment you appreciate or recognize your employees or a team member in front of everyone in the organization, you are also encouraging them to be curious, have a positive outlook, and fully utilize their problem-solving skills. In a way, you are laying the foundation for building a strong, caring, and positive work culture.
5. Beat pandemic fatigue by using technology the right way
The pandemic and the accompanying switch to remote work means a lot of employees were suddenly entirely reliant on the technology they may not have used much before to communicate, collaborate, and just generally do their jobs.
Adopting new technology can be stressful at the best of times, and this was far from the best of times. In their rush to deploy technological solutions, many organizations were left with a bit of a mess. Fixing that mess and deploying a solution that works will go a long way to making employees feel like things are back to normal.
It’s also wise to set up a change management and adoption process to help employees transition from one tool to another and find value in this change. In addition to that, make sure to thoroughly document the processes and update the resources on intranet systems or tools, such as Microsoft SharePoint, so that your employees can find the guidelines and policies quickly.
Find the Right Solution for Your Organization
Whether your organization decides to return physically in-house, continue remotely, or adopt a new hybrid work environment, give your people the tools to facilitate a safe return, stay productive, and overcome business challenges as well as pandemic fatigue. By creating a robust and functional digital workspace, you can enhance the working experience and encourage employees to be productive and collaborate with each other at ease.
To find a solution that works best for your digital workspace and matches the requirements of your team, get in touch with Klarinet Solutions’ digital workplace consultant today!