Running out of energy: An underestimated threat to a "people's business"?
— 10 experts shared their view
We are currently experiencing an energy crisis of a different kind - an industry-wide feeling of exhaustion, anxiety, stress, frustration, and fear. We are running out of energy. There is no doubt that the effects of the pandemic and resulting restrictions will have an adverse effect on people's wellbeing. Scientists call for action for mental health science research with regards to COVID-19. For the hospitality workforce, passionate about and specialized in social interactions, the measures of isolation have been tremendously impactful and to some extend traumatizing. The economic hardship coming with temporary and permanent closures, reduced salaries, lack of job vacancies, and a general unpredictability further exacerbate the situation. Our industry employs large numbers of people from vulnerable societal groups who are already at higher risks of mental health issues. It is about time to put the mental health fallout of COVID-19 on the sustainability agenda and kick start a dialog on the subject.
What measures could be taken to restock on energy and facilitate mental health during hardship? How can human connections be fostered and kept intact between frontline, remote, and furloughed staff? How can different companies come together and support each other? What is and has been your personal emotional journey through the last months?
Assistant Professor at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
Among others, the pandemic generated restrictions not only have increased the 'official' time we spend online, alongside with an increased administrative charge, but also intruded our private life, particularly when we consider the increasing emails and tasks received during the weekends. Since this is not regulated firmly, I would encourage companies to limit the business 'hours' even if one works remotely. Concerning the restrictions generated stress, de-socialisation, and exhaustion, one idea could be for the human resource management at the company to intelligently encourage employees to reunite outside of the business environment, for example in splendid natural settings. This way, employees would not only have the opportunity to re-socialize with colleagues, but they could also re-vitalize energies to face the current challenges. The global problem is originated from nature, and a part of the solution may also come from it.