Step slowly into life after lockdown

With studies showing Australians are now the most burnt-out workforce in the world, it’s time to talk about how sick leave may be a vital lifeline for staff once the pandemic restrictions disappear.

Now that Australia appears to be on the road to scrapping lockdowns for good, how do you think your team will handle the shift back?

Venturing out after a long period in lockdown can be daunting for some.Credit:Louie Douvis

With workers in Sydney and Melbourne emerging from a second year of extensive periods of
lockdown, it’s important for employers to take stock of the impact the last 18 months has had on
people’s physical and mental well-being.

For the majority, taking leave during the pandemic, whether for physical or mental wellbeing, didn’t feel like a safe option. In fact, a report from the US shows us that using leave while working from home actually increased stress levels due to fears around job security, reduced productivity and public perception among colleagues.

What we’ve been through is a real trauma, of which the true effects may not yet have been fully
realised. For those planning a return to the office, this upcoming change in gear may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Which is why it’s important for employers and managers to be prepared for what’s to come.

Burn-out is not good for you or your organisation, so book the leave you need.

The prospect of venturing out, attending an office, commuting or socialising with colleagues and
friends may be daunting. For organisations, balancing the needs of all your people and their individual circumstances should be considered as much as possible.

My advice for those feeling nervous about returning; firstly, take one step at a time. There’s no need
to rush back to your old environments, get comfortable and go to places close to you first to build your confidence.

Take some time for yourself if you need it. Burn-out is not good for you or your organisation, so book the leave you need.


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