Now that we’re well into our third Movement Control Order (MCO), many people are feeling the exhaustion of having to worry about their circumstances amidst the various lockdowns. So much so, that the term ‘pandemic burnout‘ has been coined by psychologists in order to easier identify it.
The pandemic burnout is driven by fear of job losses and the blurring of work/life balance. The fear of possible retrenchments puts us in a position where we overwork ourselves so that we might keep our jobs and our livelihoods as those who have lost their jobs suffer around us.
Based on a report by Forbes, The Harvard Business Review conducted a survey on burnout and well-being under Covid-19, and here’s what they found out:
- 85% of people say that their well-beings have declined during the past year
- 62% are struggling to meet their workload while balancing work with other responsibilities
- Exhaustion and cynicism are on the rise
- Burnout levels are highest among Millennials
Some of the symptoms of pandemic burnout include inefficiency, lack of compassion for others, procrastination, inability to sleep and lack of appetite.
All solutions point to one aspect, taking time out to recharge and for Malaysians, perhaps that means taking their leaves on Fridays to extend their weekends.
Four-Day Work Weeks
Local digital and branding agency, 4 Thirteen, has implemented four-day work weeks in an effort to achieve better work-life balance!
“It’s undeniable that we Malaysians absolutely love long weekends. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if every weekend was a long weekend?”
“Well, that’s now a reality for the team at local digital and branding agency, 4 Thirteen. In an effort to achieve better work-life balance, the agency has given its employees every Friday off – that’s 52 Fridays off,” they shared.
Co-Founder and CEO of 4 Thirteen, Danny Gnaniah, also shared that the four-day work week initiative is proven to be productive and successful.
“The decision to move to a four-day work week was not easy but we knew it was the right call. While it took a bit of getting used to, we now reap the rewards and can definitively say the four-day work week, works! I’ve seen it first hand, the positive impact it has had on the team – significantly increasing morale, momentum and overall efficiency,”
“When we made this decision, we knew we wanted to take a bold stance against the crunch culture that has unfortunately become so embedded with our industry and many others as well,” he said.
4 Thirteen’s Lead Strategist, Jan Lee, added, “In the fast-paced world we live in today – especially in a branding agency, it’s truly a godsend that we can get just a little more time for ourselves. 52 Fridays off means we get 52 more days to spend with our family and friends, or to rest and relax.”
“That is invaluable time. It helps us recharge and take the next week on with a renewed spirit and momentum.”
With such positive results to show for their initiative, it only seems right that other companies try it out for themselves! This is a shining example of how to beat burnout during the pandemic and boost employee morale and productivity.
“It may seem like a daunting task, but I urge others within the industry and in fact, across the corporate landscape to join us on the journey to improve work-life balance and place greater emphasis on employee wellbeing,” Gnaniah added.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.