He lost his previous three concerts – as a musician, bartender, and performing arts administrator – to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the combined stress of paying the bills, caring for his children and looking for help. accumulated work.
Now that Martyn has a stable job working remotely as an executive at a music festival in Parry Sound, Ontario, he feels invigorated. But he fears he’ll burn out again once the excitement of the new job wears off.
“It’s the indefinite nature of it, the vagueness of what to expect, the continuous approach to our lives,” Martyn said, saying the nature of the pandemic was taking its toll on her life. professional.
“The hardest part is observing the effects on my children.”
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Recruitment agencies and workers say remote working standards in a pandemic era were created overnight and employers must ensure that all unhealthy work practices are eliminated as the pandemic continues. Experts say this is especially important for retention: Promoting a healthy work environment means fewer workers leave for another company or change careers altogether.
A survey by Robert Half, another major recruiting agency in Canada, found that feelings of burnout were associated with feelings of career stagnation, with 62% of respondents saying the pandemic had blocked them from advancing career growth and salary growth.
The same survey found that employers need to make sure they support their workers, otherwise they could face mass departures when the uncertainty of the pandemic subsides and people become less risk averse.
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“Staff retention really needs to be a priority,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, District President with Robert Half in Calgary.
“If employees feel like this, organizations really need to make a plan… because key staff departures can really disrupt productivity, dampen morale, and ultimately stunt company growth.”
A survey by the Canadian Center for the Company’s purpose found that 42 percent of Canadian employees say they plan to change jobs or careers in the next year.
Brian Gallant, CEO of the CCPC and former Premier of New Brunswick, said it was striking that only 4% of those people said pay was the reason they were considering a change of pace.
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The research results reveal that the pandemic has brought about a shift in the life priorities of Canadians, ”said Gallant, who said young people and women in particular care more about their mental health and their personal lives.
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“The main reason some Canadians consider a different job is the belief that their employer cares almost entirely about income or profits and does not care enough about stakeholders like employees.
Experts point out that one of the most important aspects of working from home is how close employees are to their work computers and phones at all times.
“Habits had just been built: the habits of employees to log in early and the habits of employers of their staff to be accessible at all times,” said Travis O’Rourke, president of the recruitment firm Hays Canada.
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“With the environment people were in, they don’t know how to slow down… people now feel bad for not responding at times when they would normally never even know the email arrived. “
But O’Rourke and other experts say remote working provides a perfect opportunity to provide the flexibility and focus on their personal lives that statistics show Canadians desire.
Recruitment agencies and workplace learning organizations say employers need to ensure workers take full advantage of the benefits of working from home by offering flexible hours.
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Jeremy Shaki, CEO of Lighthouse Labs, a professional development learning group, said employers need to make sure there is no shame or questioning about employees taking personal days.
“The company must constantly reaffirm that people will not be judged for taking a personal day,” Shaki said.
“At this point, thanks to COVID, it’s a very critical item that most employees are still afraid of (looks like a sign of weakness).”
While employees need space to take time for themselves, Shaki also said managers need to make sure they are able to constantly check in with their employees – something that isn’t as laid back as before when everyone was at the office together.
This is one of the things that Martyn, the festival worker, is keenly aware of both as a new employee and as a member of the management.
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“There’s no more management walking around, and you can’t just walk around the store or whatever and see how people are doing,” Martyn said.
“That kind of management approach doesn’t exist right now, and that’s how I work – I go see how people are doing, I check in with them and I have that kind of personal interaction.”
On the other hand, Shaki said companies should recognize that sometimes the problem is not actually work related. With the stress of the pandemic, there are enough issues around personal life that people need to have the space to deal with these things.
“I think there are a lot of Canadians right now who think growing and learning is what would help them, but I actually think they are dealing with the nervousness and stress of what their future is for them. reserve, and the heartache of life has changed, ”Shaki said.
“Sometimes I don’t think the best answer is to make them think about learning and growing, while still giving them some space and time to settle down.”
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