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I don’t know how much longer I can take this

This is a call to arms from a place of high worry and concern.

“I’m on the brink.”

“I feel like I’m failing at everything – as a parent, a boss, an employee and a wife/husband.”

“I’m not sleeping.”

“I’m not sure how much longer I can do this for.”

“I don’t stop working till midnight.”

These are just some of the daily conversations I’m having with people right now.

Lockdown 3.0 is hitting people a lot harder.

The workloads within the businesses I speak to are at an all-time high because the resources that were once there to do the work are there no longer. Other reasons include businesses saying ‘yes’ to everything from a place of fear.

This is not sustainable

If we do not find a way to help people navigate this lockdown – balancing home-schooling and high workload (let alone mental health) – then we are on a steady road to a pandemic of burnout.

Just imagine, we have the joy of the vaccinations being completed and offices re-opening again – yet your team are nowhere to be seen…

Self-Reflection

This is at an all-time high.

People are questioning if the work they do is really what they want to be doing. The ever-increasing stress, overwhelm and anxiety is bringing ‘the meaning of life’ into question for a lot of people.

Is working all hours, continually trying to please your boss and dealing with difficult clients, actually worth it when you can see your kids are suffering from seeing their parents stressed? 

Children’s education is already being affected by the current environment, but what about the secondary damage that is happening to children seeing their parents grumpy, snappy and stressed?  What example is this setting them? 

The Answer

Unfortunately, I don’t have one magic answer to solve all of this. But I am going to share some thought-starters about how you can take a moment to step back and look at your business, leaders and teams and put actions in place for the next 3 months to protect the wellbeing of both themselves AND their families.

1. Values – What is your company valuing the most? As this will be impacting your people.  If you value profit first (you may not say you do, but your actions speak louder) then take a moment to re-organise your values to put compassion, joy and peace at the top.  Notice how this influences your decisions and actions, then notice how quickly you see a difference in your people.

A friend shared with me how they feel so lucky to work where they do as their company’s top value is ‘FUN’, then fame, followed by fortune.  This has kept the wellbeing of the team high and in this state the money naturally follows.  

2. Resources – I know money is tight for a lot of companies, however with the reduced hours parents can give right now (without expecting them to work into the night or them feeling like they have to), please bring in short-term resources to get through Q1. 

If you truly value your people, put help in place now – or risk losing them and their wellbeing because of the impact this is having on their family.

3. Protection – Have boundaries to protect your team.  Do not let clients take advantage or treat them badly.  Be there to back them up and have standards of what is and isn’t acceptable.  

I was devastated to hear that an employee feels that they have to put everything in writing because a client is being so unreasonable, and there is no one from senior management to support them. This is a clear demonstration of profit over people and this treatment is not sustainable. 

Companies have a responsibility to put their people first.  Your people must feel like they matter and they have your support. Without people, companies are nothing.   

Psychological safety is a must

More than ever right now, you need psychological safety in the workplace so people feel comfortable enough to say ‘they are not okay’ and can ask for help without fear of judgement and losing their jobs.

I don’t normally write a call to arms, but this is an ever increasing problem that hasn’t even reached the climax yet. We need to take control now. 

I ask you to please look again at your team. 

If you are feeling it, then they definitely are. What else could you be doing to help?  

If you are lost for an answer, ask your team what they need and do what you can – within your control – to provide it, without damaging your business. 

Be aware that the decisions you make today are going to have a big impact on whether your team chooses to stay with you in the future.

For the companies reading this that have found a way to look after their teams resourcefully in this period, I would like to ask you to share what you are doing to help others. 

Just as the whole country has had to do during these testing times: The more we stand together, the stronger we are.


Joanna is an award winning international coach who is passionate about helping people achieve success. Combining 10 years of operational experience with her behaviour expertise and leadership coaching, Joanna has worked with leading companies like Getty Images and the BBC to increase performance and results. Joanna’s approach is always people-led so if you’re interested to learn how Joanna can help you and your team, book your free discovery session with Joanna here

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