5 ways the post-COVID economy may impact workplace resilience

Updated: Sep 29

Post-COVID economic recoveries present new risks to the wellbeing and personal resilience of workers. In a world with more remote working, employers may struggle to spot them.

Stressed employee

The recovery of COVID-battered economies should be underway by the 2nd half of 2021. To stay ahead employers must manage the post-recession challenges to employee wellbeing. Slow-fading disruptions to life outside work will join the usual growing pains of a fast-expanding economy. And should they stick, the new norms in working life will create new risks to manage....

  1. Managing workloads in a fast-recovering economy. The confidence to hire returns slowly after a recession. Data on US manufacturing capture the increased workloads that go with this: average overtime hours jump by 10% six months into economic recoveries.

  2. The frictions of change in the rush to get ‘match-fit’. Most businesses see improving processes, cutting costs, developing new products and markets as higher priority post COVID. They will need skilled change-managers to bring staff with them.

  3. Disrupted public spaces and services. Pandemic-related challenges from beyond the workplace will encroach on working lives even as economies open. It will take time before schools, transport and other services are back to regular patterns of operation.

  4. Sickness absences and public health policy will still bite. The UK alone lost over 33 million working days to Coronavirus-related absences in the Spring of 2020. The need to protect workers and workplaces from the virus will continue even as rules on movement loosen.

  5. New workplace practices, new challenges to mental health. Employees can be reluctant to disclose mental health issues. Direct observation by others helps to identify and support those at risk. But more remote working may make behavioural changes harder to spot.

Download the full briefing here:

PolicyDepartment briefing on the 5 risks to workplace resilience in the post-COVID economy