It has been a long year..
This time last year we were all eagerly looking forward to our work Christmas bash. This year, it feels like we are all limping towards Christmas, ready for some kind of a break from the shambles that is 2020.
I think it is safe to say, that many of us in the UK feel burnt out. The eternal feeling of groundhog day, mixed in with the trepidation of what is coming next is an uneasy cocktail.
Put bluntly, the worry of rising death numbers, worry about work and stability, frustration abut politics – it is very easy to say that everyone is managing more than usual.
As employers, and hiring managers, there is a responsibility to protect your team, and help shelter from Covid burnout.
However, I would argue as an individual, you have a degree of responsibility to yourself as well to make sure that you protect your own well-being.
Also, if you are job hunting, you need to ensure that you are looking after yourself…
I work for Signet, and have watched how as a business we have evolved and as we now talk about well being regularly with our clients and candidates, we also implement it into our team.
How we avoid Covid Burnout….
At Signet, I’m watching the team take daily walks with each other, or meet for a coffee in the park. I sit at the other end of the country so am unable to join in, but I see the change in demeanour when people return to the teams office, refreshed from the simple restoration of a chat and the great outdoors.
Sunlight – the greatest source of Vitamin D – get your team outdoors!
Get them exercising – again, even if it is just a walk. My relaxation is found in workouts, Nicky, the M.D at Signet, often asks me if I have been to the gym – because she knows my mood is lighter, my focus stronger and my productivity higher if I have worked up a sweat first thing.
Check in: Doesn’t need to take long, but do it.
Use video rather than phone, even for the quick chats, we have created a culture where we can now shout questions across teams as we once did across the desk. Our poor office manager, Karen, bears the brunt of this, but I secretly think she enjoys it. It mimics normal working life, why struggle with a problem in your home office, when you can sit on a call and cry out for help.
Last night, I worked late in my remote office, and got home to discover a box full of cupcakes with icing to decorate them. My kids were elated, and my diet forgotten. Half an hour of fun replaced the usual hoovering chores. Plus I had a warm feeling from my toes upwards. It isn’t hard to make people smile, but Signet are doing it repeatedly with their teams.
It is the little things that matter, like when your M.D. tells you she will miss the Christmas meal if the rule of six is in place so you can travel down from the northern lands to join in.
It is knowing that your employer is thinking about your wellbeing and planning ways to help you through the minefield of Covid-19, even though you know they feel the same burnout as you.
I wasn’t asked to write this blog, but I write a lot about how to manage a team through Covid, and thought holding up where I work as a shining example was well worth doing!
Credit to Signet for getting it right!
Long term member of the Signet Team
Less burnt out after cake…..