Wellbeing | The Employee Energy Emergency

The Employee Energy Emergency

As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue to lift, some are now enjoying the new freedoms of visiting friends and family they've only seen on video calls for the past few months. Unfortunately, the reality is that many of us in this 'new normal' are experiencing mental fatigue, for a variety of reasons.

Lifting of restrictions now doesn’t negate lockdowns' impact on our mental health. From the cancelled holidays, to the months of missed activities we had planned from casual friend meetings, to cancelled concerts and weddings, we've missed months of opportunities to mentally refresh from the stresses of both every day and workday life. These cancellations were necessary, but now many of us are feeling the after-effects of missing those natural mental relaxations. Many of us feel tired, despite a full night's sleep, and we are left wondering why we lack the energy and motivation we usually have. Do you feel the energy drain? 

Identifying Warning Signs

Unfortunately, there are often negative connotations surrounding discussing mental health. Some people simply don't feel comfortable being open about this taboo subject, so often use alternative reasons for why they may need a break, or even help. As a result, this can make it hard to identify when a person may be experiencing a drop in wellbeing, even more so in a remote working environment where you have no visual indicators that you would naturally see in an office environment. So, how can you identify signs in a virtual environment?

Essentially, it is any deviation from their norm. These indicators can range from the following and more: lack of or over-enthusiasm, withdrawal from connecting with others online, working long or unusual hours, poor timekeeping, complaining of being drained/tired or experiencing migraines. Identifying mental fatigue and energy drain is only part of the problem. The next challenge is how do you provide the correct support to your people? How can we improve self-care?

The importance of knowing your people

It is crucial to recognise that there is no 'cure-all' recipe. We are all individuals, so therefore what works for you might not work for someone else. An extrovert may benefit from visiting friends, an active person may mentally benefit from exercise, a planner may benefit from planning a holiday in the future and an introvert may benefit from space from those that they live with. Knowing the personalities within your team and having that open communication with them is extremely important. This open communication provides opportunities to discuss candidly what is draining their mental energy and potential solutions. As a result, you can work together to put methods in place to help them have that mental recharge, improving their overall wellbeing. Explore the different potential personality types in our Myers-Briggs infographic here.

One thing to note, however, is that you may be limited in the ways in which you can help them mentally recharge. Sometimes the individual needs to recognise what has to change and put that action in themselves. You can guide them, but ultimately they may need to have the drive to change. As long as you keep open communication available with potential ideas to improve wellbeing, along with the importance of self-care and mental recuperation, you will have a strong foundation to build from.

Download our 10 tips for Managers to Encourage Wellbeing Infographic here.

Be human

In short, we need to all recognise that COVID-19 has been difficult for many people, in a whole variety of ways. The key is to be understanding and open about your own challenges with mental fatigue, mental health and wellbeing. It helps others to understand that it is okay to talk about and that you understand what they are experiencing. We can always benefit from being more openly human about our challenges, whatever they may be.

This content is based on a recent webinar hosted by the CEO of Actus Software, Lucinda Carney. We constantly strive to build a better workplace for people, whether that be by providing quality software, webinars, free resources, or through our HR Uprising Podcast.Why not take a look at our upcoming webinar schedule?

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Actus Software

Actus Performance & Talent Management Software has been helping customers to dramatically improve employee productivity and enable year-round performance conversations amongst its 70,000 users worldwide. To find out more, visit www.actus.co.uk. Driven by HR Professionals, Actus is focused on helping others in the profession to rise up and make a difference to their organisations. Discover free Actus HR Resources or listen to The HR Uprising Podcast.