OSEA Safety Blog

Managing Job Stress During COVID-19 Outbreak

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 Brenda Griffin

Given the hour by hour changing news and updates on the coronavirus outbreak and resulting impacts to the workforce, managing job stress becomes essential. Here are a few things to implement over the coming weeks and months:

  • Cross-train employees on critical functions as people get sick or are asked to self- quarantine
  • Let staff who can work from home and encourage staying connected via online tools and the phone
  • For those who must come in because they are considered essential staff, remind them of best hygiene practices
  • Limit the number of people in meetings to maintain social distance best practice
  • Insist sick employees to stay home
  • Identify the most vulnerable staff and take steps to minimize their exposure
  • Disinfect public spaces and surfaces often
  • Review signs and symptoms of illness with employees
  • Reduce or eliminate all unnecessary travel, especially to known outbreak areas, and for vulnerable staff
  • Work with community leaders in your County and City on specific restrictions and testing needs
  • Keep focused on most critical functions of operations
  • Understand job stress will increase and encourage stress breaks (and my personal favorite of humor)
  • Use exercise and other physical means to release tension
  • Get fresh air daily and take advantage of area parks for calming natural scenes
  • Spend quiet time doing activities that bring you joy and help you to relax after hours
  • Stay in touch with friends and family – helping others is good for our overall outlook
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet
  • Take a break and take time to take a few deep breaths – this will help your body to calm down and relax
  • Just do your best and remember people will come to terms with this situation in their own way and time. Be patient. Be helpful

“In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”
– Lee Iacocca

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