A survey by Actus, one of the pioneers of performance management software in the UK, has today revealed that 34 percent of the workforce is currently suffering from ‘Lockdown Lethargy’ and have lower energy levels than normal while working from home.
84 percent of those polled claimed to suffer from fluctuating energy levels throughout the recent weeks of lockdown. Only 8 percent of those surveyed were operating with normal energy levels in this remote working environment. The survey was conducted with over 130 employees UK-wide.
This news comes as England begins to lift lockdown restrictions with some businesses opening up in response to declining cases of COVID-19. However, in line with government guidelines, the future of the office still remains unclear. With reduced capacity and significant changes required to meet the necessary safety standards, many still face the prospect of working from home for the foreseeable future.
This uncertainty is likely the reason behind fluctuating energy levels among employees. With restrictions lifted on a strictly conditional basis and the possibility of a second spike in cases still plausible, businesses will be looking for long term ways to increase the energy levels of their workforce.
“If you speak to colleagues and clients across the board, they talk about feelings of tiredness despite getting adequate sleep. COVID-19 has taken an invisible toll on energy levels and is a worrying consequence for leaders trying to motivate their staff back to ‘normal’,” commented Lucinda Carney, CEO of Actus. “And this is despite the time of year; with Autumn and Winter round the corner, energy levels are likely to continue to dip, which impacts employee wellbeing and productivity. Taking steps to boost employee energy levels will not only increase employee performance, but will also positively impact long term workforce satisfaction and retention.”
In light of this, Lucinda, a Chartered Psychologist with 20 years of Corporate HR experience and Psychology, has created a ‘5 Step Guide to Boosting Business Energy’.
The five steps include:
1. Focus on the human before discussing the task: Understanding unique employee circumstances will help to support them to be productive in the best way.
2. Enforce breaks: Encouraging shortened days or weeks and highlighting the need for breaks can really benefit the team. This provides time to recharge mentally and physically.
3. Pick up the phone: Take the opportunity to speak 1-2-1 on the phone. Messaging can be misinterpreted and lack rapport, and video calls can be exhausting for many.
4. Show appreciation: Virtual working can lead some to feel disconnected and struggle to see the bigger picture. Showing appreciation for a job well-done can really boost motivation.
5. Discuss wellbeing: Create an open dialogue around energy levels, wellbeing and sleep. Sharing truthful anecdotes of your own struggles can truly help.