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These are not easy times and the events of 2020 will be taught in history classes for generations to come. Now, in 2021, even as we carry on into Quarter 2, we know there are still challenging times ahead.

Despite the obvious disruption to businesses and our personal lives, we need to press on with renewed energy and optimism drawn from lessons learned and perspectives gathered. By now, most of us are experienced at managing the pandemic, we know what must be done to keep the virus away from our most vulnerable and protect ourselves and the people around us.

There are, however, some unintended consequences beginning to emerge that employers should start considering now. The number of people who are experiencing burnout and mental health issues caused by the pandemic is increasing rapidly. It is a ticking time bomb and could potentially be the next major health crisis and will impact negatively on businesses.

Some of us find it difficult to stay positive, we are feeling worn out, and, in some cases, we are unable to cope. The pandemic has taken its toll in more ways than anyone ever expected. What’s important as a business owner or a senior manager is to keep morale high within your workforce, even when you aren’t completely up to it yourself. After a year of being on a pandemic journey, it seems we are on the home stretch with the end in sight due to the successful vaccination roll out.

They say that prevention is better than a cure, and it’s become clear there is an increasing requirement for employees to get involved in supporting their employees to maintain and preserve mental wellbeing and tackle burnout. Company owners and senior managers should try gaining meaningful insights into the health and wellbeing of their staff and provide support and guidance to promote recovery and resilience.

All of us are anxious for the pandemic to end. Uncertainty is the only thing that has been a constant in our lives since the outbreak began a year ago. When we think we know the best course of action, or what will come in the weeks or months ahead, something unforeseen happens. We now have variants of the virus that are causing concern, along with delays to an immunisation plan that was a source of so much hope only a few weeks ago.

The vaccines will get there, accelerating the end of the pandemic, but businesses need to carry on, to innovate and adapt. It is nothing short of remarkable how businesses and local communities have supported each other during the pandemic.