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Survey Raw Responses: Affects of Pandemic Fatigue on You and Your Staff

Mental health as it relates to social contact, job security, and understanding that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Frozen job openings placing heavier load on custodians and technicians.
Increased expressions of fear and deep concerns.  Emotional outbursts over uncontrollable realities, from normally steady individuals. We all just need a break.
The staff is holding up amazingly well. Haven’t seen too much COVID fatigue.
It’s starting to.
We are running at 1000%, and if anyone travels to a travel banned state for a getaway for any reason, mandatory 14-day quarantine is required.
Staff shortages; being quarantined, staff being at home with their kids, CSU offered early retirement and the position can’t be filled for two years. I am an essential; having to cover more areas 24/7.
Affecting both…we’re becoming complacent.  I’ve taken recent actions to reiterate expectations and need to keep ourselves and peers safe.  We quarantined the entire plumbing shop last week.
Job insecurity. Enforcing mask wearing with students that think it is a joke. It is a game to them. Older staff fears for their health and being told they are essential workers. Some staff have been out getting paid for COVID isolation and quarantine multiple times. It just does not seem fair.
Most definitely.  Most critical staff that have worked day in and day out on campus are wary of the processes and procedures, and becoming lax in following them.  Creates big conflicts with those who are just now returning or only work on campus infrequently.
Mostly from a fairness point of view. The maintenance staff is here full time when no one else comes to campus.  Why are we expendable?
We’ve done a good job of keeping staff distant and masked so our cases have been extremely low.  The fatigue is synonymous with ‘everyday COVID fatigue’ – tired of wearing masks, staying distant, etc.
It requires us to constantly remind our staff to be vigilant and that what we do is critical in keeping the students safe.
Some groups are maxed out (Custodial & EH&S) others are fine (Grounds.)
Everyone is worn out and mentally exhausted.
It’s an ongoing challenge. This is one area where we continue to discuss initiatives to support staff and students.
We must be on campus, most others have the option to work remotely even if for short periods, tough on staff to see disparity.
Becoming complacent with the pandemic adjustments we have made within the work place – restricted seating during lunch/breaks, symptom screening, staying home when not feeling well, etc.
Lower production.  Loss of contact with others leads to less family environment. Celebrating achievements, any type of celebration have all been canceled.
We are tired; short-tempered; lacking focus on anything but COVID; loss of sense of accomplishment; desire for what was instead of focusing on a non-COVID future.
Having to learn new tasks and quickly get the work done. Adjustment in shift schedules to provide daily coverage instead of weekday coverage.
It is tiring them mentally.
The daily grind, but otherwise making do.
After nine months, it is affecting us in a mental way. We constantly communicate to all our staff to take mental breaks. Think those things that are not related to COVID 19.  Enjoy their families in simple ways. Think about the good that is still in the world vs COVID 19. Keep the faith in God!
The extroverts are not getting enough interaction to maintain their energy levels. The introverts are looking forward to more opportunities to work from outside of the facility. Team building is much harder, in spite of all of the advice about how to engage your team virtually.
Stress and morale.  Our team strives on community within itself and with our customers.  Not having person-to-person opportunities is having a significant impact on mental health.  With no “end in sight” there is less hope each day.  With discipline surrounding wearing of masks, it continues to create an environment that is no longer enjoyable.
We are all tired. Constantly COVID focused. Glad to have most of the students gone early for Winter Break. A break would do us all good.
We are a small campus, so nothing yet.
Instances of not taking protocols seriously.
Essential personnel are stressed to the maximum. Our campus never closed and many staff continued to work even during the worst periods of shut downs. Administrators are suffering from Zoom fatigue and lack of any time off. Most did not have a summer break at all and many have been working 7 day weeks for much of the year.
Mask use needs reinforcement.
Everyone seems to be pushing through as best they can.  We have lost a lot of those spur of the moment great ideas that come from brainstorming or interacting in the same work environment.  Informal, but important, information exchange is not happening as easily so I worry that some may feel isolated or uninformed when compared to pre- COVID Ops.
It’s hard to stay motivated and engaged.
Working remotely is wearing thin… some of the HR rules are not ideal, mostly we are trying to think of the students.
Our housekeeping staff is probably the most fatigue affected.  Our O&M staff that handles the wastewater testing and EH&S are probably the next group that is mostly affected.  I have personally heard from our EH&S director about their group working seven (7) days straight.   We are VERY fortunate that our students have been doing the right things.
The lower tempo of on campus operations is creating a bit of boredom.
We are dealing with it, but it is beginning to get tiresome and sometimes people let their guard down.
We are tired of it.  Actually, it seems to impact at home for persons with traditional family structure more evidently than from the workplace environment.
Not significant.
It is certainly having an impact and we are working on additional reward and compensation plans to help keep morale up.
It’s going to have devesting effect on 10 to 20 times the amount of people that the COVID illness will affect.  It is destroying lives, period.
Employee burnout/pandemic fatigue and mental health are significant challenges.
Compliance to physical distancing atrophying, as is team cohesion with staff on 100% remote work. We need to attend to routine maintenance and planning which was overwhelmed by COVID response for first 3 months.
Minimally in facilities. Campus admin is a little fried.
Wearing on custodial staff.
No one is performing at their best.  Much effort and energy are diverted to the pandemic and routine work has taken a back seat. At the same time, some routine work has diminished, which helps with balance.
People are tired of it and becoming disenchanted with it.  also, the personal toll is increasing on staff.
Stress. Burnout. Overly sensitive.
It is so busy throughout the day you don’t realize you are fatigued until you leave. My staff has so much more to cover daily, that their time management skills are being drained. To help I must check in daily, where before COVID, weekly check-ins were enough.
Staff is less patient especially during stressful situations. Staff just wants to connect with their clients and walk through spaces. The synergy of work is missing. Cross pollination of ideas is very low.
Decreased stamina/motivation/patience/increased anxiety/continued challenges recruiting custodial staff.
People just want to go back to the way it was.  Not sure that will ever be the case.  Mostly we are complying with mask mandates and social distancing.
Many people wish to return to the building.
Several impacts are noticeable including lower productivity, reduced interaction between staff, and frustration with non-compliance.
Morale has dropped and there is a divide between those who are able to stay home, and those who must report to campus, since their job cannot be performed remotely.
None other than mask wearing compliance slipping and tired of working remotely.
Adjusting to different work hours to accommodate classes in tents and associated maintenance of the tents and grounds, following COVID safety protocols, and making and keeping connections with others on campus.
Although not significantly noticeable, there is more attention to care and understanding for co-workers now than before.
Everyone is tired and very grateful that our college takes a full two-week Winter Break and sends everyone home with pay.  We will have a few projects being done by outside contractors and a couple of facility managers working some during the break but the campus is virtually empty and closed which provides a nice break.  I think the inability to do some of the socializing we do especially around this time of year is difficult for our employees because it is a time we come together and thank people with special meals etc.  We all miss that and are seeking meaningful ways to do that while trying to keep everyone safe as the virus spirals out of control.
Although this has been slow, there is so much uncertainty that it becomes exhausting.  It is how much work is there and can we continue to keep them going, the ups and downs of the pandemic cycle, even politics have all played a part in the exhaustion.
Everyone is tired of it but pressing on and complying with new Governor’s restrictions.
Mostly just in complacency of mask wearing and social distancing.
Students are over it. But then are quick to use it as an excuse or rationale for why they should get to break a contract with no penalties.
Getting tired.
Moderately. Most remain in good spirits. It helps that they have remained relatively healthy.
We went through a low period but are on the rebound.  Psychological, emotional, and trust factors after a recent exposure that put 75% of Facilities trade crafts, and 100% of leadership into quarantine are still to be determined.
Depression, anxiety, fear of losing jobs, tiredness, lack of focus, etc.
Yes, I would say a small percentage: 10-20% of the staff.
Minimal impacts, but there are stressors on our workforce.
Some people more than others.
We are tired.  We try to smile through the mask, but it is time to get to a New Normal—whatever that is. I am tired of the people from other areas who can work from home that complain that they are bored and are spending their own money on their home office—when our custodians pay to come to work every day (parking, childcare etc.) plus possibly risk their health—when the work-from-home-bunch is bored and had to purchase some more paper.
All are tired; resiliency low.
It seems the staff with boots in the buildings doing the work are busy and less impacted. Management who is used to consistent and predictable work patterns are challenged with too many “what ifs” and a lack of predictability for planning.
With latest surge, trying to control fear about who has COVID, who may have it, how were they impacted, etc.
Affecting our creative thinking and ability to push projects forward.  We need to find a way to prioritize time off so individuals can recharge.
Facilities staff, who overwhelmingly are essential and on campus every day, become perplexed at the “rules and instructions” implemented by other campus leaders who remain remote.
Folks becoming complacent, especially off-campus.  Also, team fatigued from covering unusually high absenteeism.
Most of our staff has been going hard since last Spring. Other areas of the institution don’t grasp our situation as they have a very “laid back” attitude and have been working from home or getting “emergency pay” for various reasons. Most of our functions require a physical presence. When we have institution wide weekly supervisory or employee updates online, they always ask “what have people been doing with all of their spare time.” It doesn’t sit well with our staff, as we are as busy (or more so) than any of us have ever been in our many year careers.
People are becoming lax on mask and hand sanitizing protocols—anxious to get back to more normal activity.
Resistance to safe practices continues to be an issue with operations staff.
Working from home.  Home schooling. Lack of meaningful vacations. Inequities between staff who can work from home and those who can’t.  Doing more with less staff, (i.e., not rehiring for all but critical vacancies.) Job uncertainty – particularly for custodial staff as buildings are closed.
Productivity remains high even though we are working from home.  We are definitely missing the in-person interactions and collaborative nature of our work.
Morale is low and people are just wanting it to be over.
It varies.  Stress and other common mental health issues like occasional feelings of isolation.  With the winter coming maintaining an exercise routine is essential and becoming more difficult.  Those required to work in the office come and go in the dark, so solo outdoor exercise can be dangerous (i.e. like running in the dark).
Staff are getting tired of all the protocols in place to protect them. Management is tired of working from home and the lack of personal contact with each other and their staff.
Since the Physical Plant has been on campus since the start of the pandemic we have held our own and have minimal isolations or quarantines.
The campus community as a whole is exhausted by the on-going COVID challenges. Lack of real break or vacations, staff coverage due to other staff forced to quarantine/isolate, fear of catching the virus and experiencing serious illness.
Our staff has been steady – one of the few “constants” on campus.
Increasing positive cases among staff.
We are adjusting to the new norm, but in person meetings will never be replaced by virtual meetings.  Much more difficult to be an effective manager and mentor for staff.
I believe it affects some more than others. We continually communicate, provide training and 3rd party assistance as necessary to address.
Constantly reminding staff to wear face covering, especially the few non-believers.  It is policy.
Yes, we worked through three holidays to shorten the semester. It’s amazing how much we all enjoy a 3-day weekend from time to time.
Everyone is ready to get back to normal.
We are holding up relatively well, but difficult times for sure.
No issues.
The staff are worried they will have to completely shut down and have no in person classes that would result in lay-offs. They also worry how this is going to change for ever how higher education is delivered resulting in less in-person classes and having less maintenance staff in the future.
There is definitely an energy drain.  The impact is especially during the holidays as we can only provide scaled down events that normally rejuvenate the staff.
Employees are stressed.  They are frightened. It is not business as usual.  Maintenance mechanics enter spaces that are small and there is no guarantee that the students or faculty member practiced good hygiene.
Feeling fatigued otherwise we are settling into the new norm.
Staff have pulled together to support one another but the pressure is mounting from supporting students in isolations buildings and remaining constantly vigilant to keep people safe; recognizing the financial impact on staff who have tested positive or been quarantined without paid leave multiple times; layoff and furlough impacts due to severe revenue shortfalls; online fatigue for students and staff; target of frustration that things are not back to “normal”; dealing with child and eldercare at home.
Everyone is getting tired.  The fear is that the fatigue is impacting how people behave away from work.
Same as everywhere else. Mentally fatigued. So, disheartened by doing and promoting the responsible guidelines only to have some people with a total disregard for safety and prevention continually push back that the measures are not needed and the pandemic is a hoax.
We are all exhausted.
We are all tired, especially with the start/stop associated with re-opening decisions.
We are all tired and stressed.
Our custodial team is very worn out.  It has been very difficult to hire staff for these positions.  PTO has been limited and OT increased in order to meet the absolute bare minimums.
Absolutely. People do not trust the administration, the local, state and federal government.  They’ve been wrong so many times, cried wolf so many times, and are hypocritical about policy that the staff just don’t listen anymore.
Morale is down, and with recent uptick in cases, so is anxiety.
ABSOLUTELY! They are exhausted! They feel they have shouldered the majority of the burden in making campus safe with little recognition (not completely true) and no financial bonus. Many feel we have put them in harm’s way with no concern (completely NOT true.)
Not that we’ve observed.
We still do not have a full staff.  We are still struggling with procedures and policies which do not work during the pandemic. In a Union environment, it is difficult to change things for the short term. In other words, we have an increased work load without additional resources in some areas.
Ever present especially mental stress coupled with home life changes when children present. But morale remains high and focus remains on maintaining a safe and secure campus academic mission.
Everyone is doing their best, but morale is very low.  Custodial staff feel very unappreciated, articulating this frustration as they are at high risk even though all PPE and training is provided (note: it’s acknowledged Custodial staff are front line and more likely to exposed, therefore we protect more).  Maintenance staff are very frustrated by budget cut challenges and hiring freezes.  All FM staff perceive double standards of campus accountability to safety guidelines (masks, distancing, hand hygiene, etc.).  Many key positions on campus are announcing retirements at end of academic year.  FM staff have eligible for retirement are considering, but waiting on financial stability of US and local economy.  FM leadership are exhausted, many burning personal time on high frequency.  Nearly everyone is aware more budget challenges are likely.
I think I will have issues with my introverted staff returning to the office, this will likely create stress and anxiety and will need to consider some team building to ensure everyone is ready to return when we do get the go ahead.
Everyone is tired. Even after taking vacation time it doesn’t seem to help, when return to work there is this feeling of dread and stress. Absenteeism is up which causes some duties not to be covered.
Very much because of uncertainty from not knowing off possible layoffs.
Noticed that tempers have been a little short and morale is way down.
Continues to be a constant conversation.
Staff is exhausted.  Most of the staff do not “care” anymore, making face mask mandates and other measures difficult to enforce.
Those who have been essential and on campus throughout are mentally exhausted.  Constant fluidity and leadership hurdle is creating frustration and angst.
1. Diminished trust 2. Absenteeism 3. Fear and uncertainty.
No fatigue. Working thru this “flu” like pandemic.
Showing up somewhat in short tempers, and some general fatigue.
It is rough but most are managing.
Staff is flustered and stressed- Seeing more PTO usage.
Uniformly and significantly.  Everyone is tired and worn down a bit.  We are taking some time to reflect and offer some options for self-care.  William and Mary seems to be on the forefront of addressing this fatigue through their “wellness weeks” effort.
Work from home is helping.  Others are tired of distancing and mask requirements.
Tough to say
Has added heightened anxiety. Concerns with possible exposure, and testing often arise.
We are exhausted. None of us had the vacations we planned on this year, and many of us worked through the “staycation” days we took because our expertise was needed in making pandemic plans. We’re tired of having to enforce COVID precautions that should never have been politicized.
Complacency can become an issue.
It is difficult to hold back on the personal interactions that we are used to as a team and the disruption to our normal work flow.
Morale is at an all-time low.  Benefit and salary reduction are causing staff to look for other jobs and move on.
At this point our unit is handling the off-site working fairly well.  We have weekly zoom meetings and communicate daily via Teams which helps not only with coordination but in a form of social connection.
This has been mentioned numerous times in meetings.  Pandemic fatigue is real.
As expected, “fatigue” says it all.
The restrictions on travel and family gatherings over the upcoming holiday period are demoralizing for many.  Plus it is dark and cold outside!
Everyone is very tired, drained and wants to get back to campus and normal activities.  As the winter sets in, I see people getting more depressed and anxious.
Absenteeism and morale(connection with each other and the rest of campus).
We are exhausted from the continual changes and interruptions due to COVID. We continue to see a reduction in the workforce due to HR directing employees to quarantine for 14 days at the slightest indication of exposure while at the same time experiencing increased demands to clean and sanitize campus spaces. The continual interruptions due to COVID are hindering our ability to plan for needed capital projects as well.
No, we are staying strong and if the staff needs a day they receive it with support.
Probably like most everyone else, we are tired of this mess and it needs to go away!
Outlook positive because we are better off than many. Still have our jobs and the university is supportive.
The crew is feeling unappreciated which makes them feel tired.
It is — folks are trying their best. Senior Administration is stressing taking time off over our extended break.
Major budget issues as a result of reduced enrollment, and increased spending on PPE and other supplies has everyone walking on egg shells, many are worried about losing their jobs.
It’s starting to cause stress and apathy in me, my staff, and the community in general.  People are tired of living this way.
It is a slog…keeping everyone engaged and practicing personal responsibility is difficult.  We have needed to push up close to the disciplinary line to enforce basic best practices.  The unknown as it relates to budget and reconstitution to the new norm also creates a bit of angst.  At least the election is over!!!!
It is incredible, we are exhausted.  We are being asked to do so many things that are outside the normal scope of our jobs and still keep everything running and it is impossible to find new hires.
It feels like a never ending battle – and there is only bad news.  Our hearts break for the frontline health care workers who have to deal with this day in and day out.  Luckily there is some hope on the horizon with vaccines.
Loss of efficiency. Loss of procedures and standards.
It has not affected us any. We have been fortunate and have been on campus in some capacity since March 2019 and full time on campus since July 1, 2020. The small staff of 25 and myself have had 0 cases (knock on wood) and we continue to practice the 3 W’s and also keep shop overhead doors open to push air throughout.
Everyone one is tired. Productivity levels are down in many areas.  Everyone seems anxious waiting for the next bomb to drop of either a massive outbreak or layoffs.
Everybody is tired but I think they all understand what is at stake.  I think communication to the staff about what they do outside of work is just as important as what they do at work.
Keeping everyone calm and insuring better days ahead. In addition, reminding all staff that there is help out there for them to talk about what they are experiencing.
It’s brutal and it’s uneven. The overwhelming burden of new COVID requirements is falling on a handful of teams and a cadre of volunteer leaders while most of the staff at the University just get to stay home and work remote. It’s creating exhaustion and a fairness issue. More broadly, we also see that infections are up among staff not because of their activities at work but rather their choices during non-work hours. I would also attribute this to pandemic fatigue. They just don’t have the willpower to maintain the safety measures anymore.
Absenteeism is our biggest issue.
Mask wearing can be annoying. Many employees are working from home but OPP employees are mainly on site. This creates division among the departments.
Varies widely.