The ‘four hour zoom call’ knackered.
That ‘drinking till 3am and having to present at 8am at the company conference’ wrecked.
The 27th December ‘you can all go home now’ tired.
And I’m not the only one…
Many of the campaigns we are planning with clients right now are focused on helping to re-energise teams. There does seem to be a perfect storm brewing – on the one hand the world is clearly desperate to make up for ‘lost time’, while the guys doing the work need an emotional break. And both requirements are perfectly valid.
From the business perspective, the epic opportunity to get back out there has led to a feeding frenzy – everything must be done yesterday, there is no time to lose. And I get that. Even the businesses that performed well during the pandemic (including us thankfully) feel like there is some urgent making up to do in terms of chasing down new business or reigniting lapsed relationships. We have had nearly two years of lost opportunity.
But for many personally, the really urgent imperative is to hit the re-set button and rest. There have been a great deal of people who have assessed their life choices post COVID and re-evaluated their priorities. Being home more, travelling less, living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle perhaps. Or just thinking life is too short for some of this bullshit.
COVID and, in the UK, furlough, has had a polarising effect on teams. For those colleagues who were furloughed, many are feeling demotivated, disenfranchised and lacking self-esteem. “Why did I get picked? I needed that 20% in salary to make life affordable” etc etc.
Those who were retained are almost certainly feeling as I do, exhausted, and possibly a little irritated at those furloughed. “It’s alright for you pal – sat on your arse taking 80% while `I’ve spent 18 months doing two jobs.”
All these very real, very dynamic pressures will inevitably take another toll on mental wellbeing – from the very top of an organisation to the bottom. People often forget that the bosses are human too and I have heard countless stories of CEO’s genuinely struggling with their own mental health while desperately try to lead and ensure the wellbeing of others.
Rather like the current fuel crisis, it appears that it is every man, woman and child for themselves in many cases. We all need to recognise that very many of us are running on empty and need some help refilling the tank.
PW – September 2021