More stress working under Covid-19
Changes to the work environment because of Covid-19 have led to an increase of burnout from stress and anxiety, a survey has found.
A study of 900 New Zealand workers by Frog Recruitment showed more than 64 per cent felt more burnt-out at work now than before lockdown.
Jane Kennelly, Frog Recruitment business relationship director, said the survey was conducted via social media and went across industries.
“It really did support what our recruiters were already hearing which is the blurring of the lines with work and home life is really taking its toll,” she said. “Some people are so invested in keeping the company they work for going they are up writing emails and working at 8pm.”
It was up to employers to notice this behaviour, she said, and make sure staff did not over-work themselves to the point of burnout.
Kennelly said recruiters had spoken to thousands of New Zealand workers since Covid-19 hit and there was a real fear of job loss.
To date, 16,000 job losses had been recorded because of Covid-19 with Air NZ the hardest hit, laying off 4000.
“People are reading about the companies laying off staff every day and they are thinking they really need to show their boss what they are made of to avoid that,” Kennelly said.
“That’s when a responsible manager needs to recognise this and act — to make sure staff are not overworking.”
Of the 900 people surveyed, many reported disrupted sleeping patterns and an increase in unhealthy eating and drinking.
One commented: “I feel I am on duty whenever I’m not asleep and on weekends as well.” Another said, “As a working parent, I find myself stealing a couple of minutes to send emails as I am getting dinner ready.”
Kennelly said there were also reports of companies that had staff working evenings and weekends without additional pay.
For the work-from-home model to be a success there needed to be a balance — something businesses should work toward in the coming months.
“We have a great opportunity right now to create the workplace of the future,” she said. “We have gone from one work style and the pendulum has swung to a completely different styled workplace — now it is time for some balance.”
Psychology expert Jane Davis from The Flourishing Institute in Christchurch said international research showed an increase in anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress due to Covid-19.