Long Covid may negatively impact performance at work

"Covid-19 is going to be an ongoing part of life, at least for the foreseeable future," said James Beck, Associate Professor at University of Waterloo's Psychology department.
Employees at a post office in south India amid COVID-19 pandemic. [Representational Picture]
Employees at a post office in south India amid COVID-19 pandemic. [Representational Picture]File/ANI

Toronto, June 8: Facing memory, attention and concentration problems at work post Covid infection? A new study shows individuals, who had contracted Covid-19, reported significantly more cognitive failures at work.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that contracting Covid had significant indirect effects on task performance and turnover intentions via cognitive failure. The results also indicate that beyond physical harm, Covid can also have a detrimental influence on an individual's capacity to perform at work.

"Covid-19 is going to be an ongoing part of life, at least for the foreseeable future," said James Beck, Associate Professor at University of Waterloo's Psychology department.

"It is now common for people to catch Covid-19, recover, and then return to work. Yet, in our study, people who had contracted Covid-19 reported more difficulties at work, relative to people who had never caught Covid," he added.

Beck and team collected data from a sample of 94 full-time working adults who either had or had not contracted Covid at least one month prior to the study. Both groups were matched on key demographic characteristics.

Relative to the group who had never had Covid-19, the group who had contracted Covid-19 reported more cognitive failures at work, which are defined as problems "with memory, attention, and action", Beck said.

Further, the findings showed that cognitive failures were associated with decreased self-ratings of job performance, as well as increased intentions to voluntarily leave one's current job.

"These results may have important implications for managers and organisations more broadly," Beck said.

"Individuals returning to work after contracting Covid may experience difficulties returning to their pre-Covid-19 level of performance, and accommodations may be necessary. These accommodations might include reducing workloads, extending deadlines, or providing flexible work arrangements," he suggested.

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