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Not Ready to Go Back to Work? Motivate Your Employees

The pandemic has worn all of us out. We haven't been able to hug our friends, shake hands with a business associate, go grocery shopping without worrying about coming down with the plague.

Work has been very different, too. For many of us, the desk has turned into the laundry room, or the TV room, or, in my case, the hall.

Studies show that many of us have gained weight during this stressful time -- 2 pounds a month, for some! It's been a time that's been hard to stay on-course, either professionally personally, or even athletically.

Unlike a lot of people, I decided to do something with all this extra time and decided to finish a memoir I was writing. I also decided to double my running mileage. I had to do something so I wouldn't kill my husband or my college sophomore son, who's been studying virtually for one and a half years!

But have you or your employees lost motivation to do much of anything? A new study says that the pandemic has created a host of new challenges for employers and employees.

According to,"Given the turmoil and distress during lockdowns and quarantines, employees may have trouble 'reconnecting' with their work. a new study conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

And it's not just worrying about getting the virus, being back among people you are not related to.

"Highly engaged employees tend to intrinsically enjoy their work and outperform others,” the web site quotes study author Zhenyu Yuan. "As employees are physically returning to work, they also need to be mentally prepared to reconnect."

He suggests that managers need to take concrete measures to promote workplace health and safety so that employees feel safe at work. Managers and employees are in this together, points out. So “they need to work together to promote engagement, workplace productivity, and safety. This will be critical as businesses and employees try to rebound,” Yuan notes.

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