Many Canadians lack motivation at work as pandemic drags on


Have you found yourself less productive and motivated at work? If your answer is 'yes,' you're not alone.

A recent report from Morneau Shepell found that nearly four out of 10 Canadian employees are feeling less motivated at work since the start of the pandemic.

Additionally, as we have now passed the six-month-mark of the pandemic, many Canadians are struggling with their mental health.

Based on the findings, the reason so many Canadians feel a strain on their mental health is due to concern regarding the second wave of the pandemic, impending lockdowns and continued uncertainties regarding when things may settle, and what life may look like.

“The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is well underway, with case counts rapidly increasing and many provinces seriously assessing the need to revert back to previous lockdown measures,” Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell, said in a news release.

“As we look to the coming months, it’s critical that governments and organizations recognize the risk that the impending isolation will have on Canadians’ wellbeing and take proactive action. If Canadians’ mental health and wellbeing needs are not addressed, the resilience of our country will face a significant long-term threat," he continued.

Another factor that has caused a strain on Canadians' mental health is a change in physical workplace and routine--those who recently returned to an office/job site had a lower mental health score than those who remained at their office/job site or had always worked from home.

Further, those with the lowest mental health score are employees who have had to adjust to working from home due to the pandemic, and employees who are splitting time between working from home and at the office/job site as a result of the pandemic.

This poor morale has translated to productivity as well--36 per cent of Canadian employees said they lack the necessary motivation to work, and 34 per cent said, as a result of the pandemic, they find it more difficult to focus on their job.

Moreover, some Canadians are less likely to access medical care now, compared to pre-pandemic; 29 per cent said they were less likely to seek treatment for physical ailments, while 24 per cent said they were less likely to do so for mental ailments.

“When life is disrupted, we are more likely to ignore important aspects of self-care. We might put things on hold or somehow think everything will automatically get better when things are less disrupted,” Paula Allen, senior vice president of research, analytics and innovation, for Morneau Shepell, said in the same release.

“Although Canadians are experiencing significant change in all areas of life, accessing physical and mental health support must remain a constant. Employers play a critical role in this by reinforcing the need for self-care and promoting resources such as employee assistance programs and virtual healthcare," she continued.

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