While the number of drivers has decreased significantly in times of corona, the demand for healthcare transport is almost back to pre-corona level. This leads to a high workload. Although it is uncertain whether the measures against the virus will be further tightened, it is important for employers and drivers to know how the consequences of a high workload can be limited.
According to Suzanne Aslander, an expert in the field of vitality and sustainable employability, the situation is currently dire. In the last broadcast of TaxiPro TV she said that recent research by research organization TNO has shown that 36 percent of employees from different industries experience work stress. This is the result of a chronically high workload.
In view of the severe staff shortage, it is becoming increasingly important for carriers to keep their drivers on board. The timely recognition of a high work pressure can contribute to this. Aslander explains that an employer can look out for various signals. “It can indicate short-term absenteeism that occurs regularly, but also concentration problems and emotional changes. For example, that someone becomes a bit more aggressive, cynical or sad.”
Listening Aslander calls for regular one-on-one conversations between employer and employee about work pressure. “It is important for an employer to show that they are willing to listen when there are problems.” This is a win-win situation, she explains. “Hopefully the driver will then continue to work as vitally as possible and the employer knows that at the end of the journey many expenses do not have to be incurred for an employee who is absent for a long time due to, for example, a burnout.”
Work pressure can also be prevented by ensuring that drivers see as much light as possible at the end of the tunnel during difficult periods such as these. An employer should try to offer them perspective, says Aslander. For example, it is good to take drivers into what the company is doing to get through the difficult time. “Employers are undoubtedly working very hard to find new colleagues.”
Work pressure test At the moment that prevention is no longer possible and there is therefore already a high workload, it is important that drivers themselves become aware of this. “As an employee you are often in your own bubble and in the hustle and bustle of the day. Still, it’s good to take a step back every now and then and critically ask yourself how things are really going and whether you can handle what you have on your plate.”
A So-called online work pressure test, for example from the FNV, can help with this, according to Aslander. Such a test gives a concrete picture of the current state of your workload. “A lot of people don’t take the time for this, but I recommend doing it anyway. It is often thought that things will go well, but if you complete such a test you can be quite shocked.” Now this startle response is not the purpose of the test, emphasizes Aslander, but to take action on the basis of this insight.
Micro time for yourself What the driver can do himself is to work on his or her work-life balance. “People often think of doing something for yourself for an hour or an afternoon, but I’m really talking about micro-time. Due to work pressure, your stress level is constantly high. That can lead to physical problems, concentration problems, sleeping problems and a lot of worrying.” According to Aslander, this could be prevented by regularly doing something quiet for yourself for ten minutes or fifteen minutes, such as taking a walk around the block or listening to soothing music.
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