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From the editor: Burnt out by COVID-19? Keep calm and carry on

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September 29, 2020
By Marcel Vander Wier

There’s no other way to put it — the last six months have been a wild and exhausting journey.

The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures blew in largely without warning in March — and the storm continues to rage across the world to this day.

We have worked hard as a society to realize some new sense of normal through it all. Schools have reopened and many businesses have managed to find a way to cope through new guidelines on distancing and personal protective equipment.

Still, our top doctors and medical experts are currently warning of a second wave of COVID-19 cases this fall and the end date to this crisis continues to remain unknown.


All of this points to a sombre winter of more social distancing and isolation, until — yes — a vaccine is generated or some other solution is realized.

I’m fully aware that not all Canadians are on board with the health and safety policies put in place by this government. A quick pass through social media timelines unveils the dissent and nationwide polls confirm it.

But remember, we are only a few months removed from the army’s takeover of various long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec. This is a serious health issue and we need to treat it as such.

It’s important to remember the current emergency situation is not forever. This too shall pass, though the ramifications of this global pandemic will likely be felt for a while.

I’m not sure where you’re at, but from my vantage point, I remain impressed with the efforts of the majority of Canadians to initially flatten the curve and now further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

I have faith in the resiliency of humankind and in our country’s leaders to serve us to the best of their ability. We will get through this — and we’ll do it together. Please, let’s all do our best to keep calm and carry on.

What does the future hold for Canadian employers and organizational leaders?

The world of work is quickly changing, as this issue of Talent Canada reveals. Corporate culture, diversity, benefits, health and safety policy and retention in a remote environment all go under the microscope in the pages to come.

Our exclusive survey on what employees desire in the return to work takes centre stage, with seven in 10 of those currently working out of office revealing they are uncomfortable with a return during the pandemic.

Benefits for small and medium-sized business owners are also highlighted in this issue, with a call for plans to become more nimble to better serve workers during the pandemic.

Workers’ mental health through these times is another topic of high interest. Our virtual roundtable event — featuring some of Canada’s brightest minds in this area — is now available online. It unveils actionable strategies for managers to better assist workers by increasing resilience and avoiding burnout.

As for our nation’s leaders, they continue to have our backs. Billions have already been spent to assist displaced employees as well as cover rent for organizations in need.

The Sept. 23 speech from the throne indicates further support — no matter the cost. A broader Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended into next summer, and a transitional Canada Recovery Benefit will assist those who don’t qualify for expanded EI.

And the support won’t end there. Provincial and territorial governments will also be unveiling new plans in the coming weeks as the fall legislative season begins.

For our part, we will continue to provide timely reports on these impactful changes and provide best practices for employers.

Make sure to visit TalentCanada.ca on a daily basis to discover the most up-to-date information and news affecting Canadian workplaces.

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