The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the hospitality industry, with many closures, re-openings and restrictions affecting their economic activities. This unstable work environment, which for many resulted in joblessness or reduced income, has created significant anxiety and stress for those working in the hospitality industry.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, three areas of occupational stressors have been reported:
- Traditional hotel-work stressors
- Unstable and more demanding hotel-work-environment stressors
- Unethical hotel-labour practices.
These factors have created significant anxiety and lowered job satisfaction rates. Despite these, many hotel employees believe that quitting their job is not the best decision during times of looming economic risk. Therefore, it is important that workplaces address these stressors and follow some tips to ensure their wellbeing.
Understanding the many impacts of COVID and hospitality workers
It is expected that many people will experience a range of emotions, including:
- Agitation/ irritability
- Poor concentration
- Reduced energy
- Crying easily
- Sleep difficulties
- Loss of appetite
- Increased appetite/comfort eating
- Thoughts that life is becoming too hard
In addition to the anxieties commonly experienced during COVID, hospitality workers have additional stressors during this time. They may be feeling overwhelmed by the following stressors:
- Changes in work role and practices
- Fear about not having the skills to perform additional roles
- Fears of redundancy, redeployment or being laid off
- Financial stress from personal or household debts due to lockdown and associated reduced hours or loss of overtime
- Increased workload due to extra COVID related processes such as increased cleaning requirements
- Cost-cutting leads to a reduction in training and development opportunities
- The stress of trying to work when children are not able to attend usual childcare arrangements
- Dealing with changing work processes, and a loss of control over working routines
- Increased work-related violence, aggression, and lack of respect from members of the public
- Fear of exposure to COVID at work and bringing home the coronavirus, and infecting loved ones
- Experiencing peers being sick and in isolation
- Experiencing periods of self-isolation because of suspected COVID-19 exposure
Tips for improving your wellbeing during COVID-19
If you notice that you’re experiencing some of these symptoms, check out these tips to give you back some control and peace:
- Be compassionate to yourself and make time just for you by doing something you enjoy such as yoga/ mediation or even give yourself some time out to relax
- Schedule time for a routine that includes going to bed, getting up, and ensuring you have at least 8 hours of sleep. If you have a plan, you’ll feel more in control. Take time to track your progress with a calendar
- Research new hobbies to add to your schedule
- Make time for daily exercise and things you enjoy
- Include healthy foods in your diet
- Stay connected with family and friends – reach out and make a phone call to say hello. They are your support networks and can provide you with the support needed at times of uncertainty and isolation
- Set limits on how many times you check the news or social media updates about COVID, but balance this with keeping informed with trustworthy and reliable sources
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- Seek professional support when you need it- for many, this can be daunting, but we want to encourage you to give us a call if you want some help to improve how you’re coping during this difficult time
If you feel distressed about these challenging conditions, we encourage you to contact us to talk confidentially about what is going on for you and help you develop a plan to address these issues.
We offer a free and confidential service to help you get through this difficult time
So please give us a call on (08) 8232-3333.
Ntounis, N., Parker, C., Skinner, H., Steadman, C., & Warnaby, G. (2022). Tourism and Hospitality industry resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic: Evidence from England. Current Issues in Tourism, 25(1), 46-59.
Wong, S S. “How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Hotel Employee Stress: Employee Perceptions of Occupational Stressors and Their Consequences.” International Journal of Hospitality Management. 93: 102798. Web.
Yan, J., Kim, S., Zhang, S. X., Foo, M. D., Alvarez-Risco, A., Del-Aguila-Arcentales, S., & Yáñez, J. A. (2021). Hospitality workers’ COVID-19 risk perception and depression: A contingent model based on transactional theory of stress model. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 95, 102935.