Kiwis suffering from ‘lockdown hangovers’

Are you working longer hours for less pay?

Kiwis suffering from ‘lockdown hangovers’

Are you working longer and longer hours? Feeling somewhat depressed and burned out? Then you may well be suffering from a lockdown hangover. According to a recent Twitter poll from recruitment agency Frog Recruitment, New Zealanders are working much more than they did pre-COVID.

The survey, which polled over 1,000 people, found that 44% are now working longer hours – with two thirds of these people not being paid for the extra time. As you might expect, this rise in unwanted work is having a serious impact on employee mental health and wellbeing.

“As much of the country is yo-yo-ing in and out of lockdowns this year, employees have had to adapt and re-adapt to an ever-changing work environment,” added Shannon Barlow, general manager of Frog Recruitment. “The pandemic has led to an increase in burnout, with people working longer hours and the working-from-home situation which often blurs the line between home life and work.

“Last year was extraordinary in many ways and while it could have been acceptable at that time to have your people work longer hours, this should not be the status quo. The main risk right now is that some employees have maintained these hours, and employers may not be aware of this, or worse, are taking for granted their overtime.”

As HR leaders, it’s incumbent on you to prevent remote working burnout. As employees work more and more, with little to no recognition, mental wellbeing takes a nosedive. Try to reach out to your people as often as you can. This doesn’t always have to take the form of an intense Zoom call or Skype meeting – it can be as simple as an email asking them if they’re okay. Remember – just because people don’t look like they’re struggling, it doesn’t mean they’re coping. 

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