Is Long Covid affecting your career as an accountant?

We know that many accountants have been unfortunate enough to contract COVID-19 over the last eighteen months and some of those will have gone on to suffer with the symptoms of Long COVID.

What is Long COVID?

Long COVID is used to describe signs and symptoms that last for longer than 4 weeks after getting COVID-19.

The most common symptoms that might suggest an accountant was suffering with Long COVID post infection would be:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration (“brain fog”)
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

It’s quite a long list and there’s unfortunately plenty of other symptoms that are less frequent!

Eighteen months on from the initial lockdown of 2020, the impact of Long COVID is now commonly felt in the workplace. If you’re an accountant who is suffering with Long COVID then we’ve prepared some ideas about how you can look after yourself at work.

Speak to your employer – because they can’t help if they don’t know!

If your manager isn’t already aware of what Long COVID looks and feels like, then point them in the direction of the NHS website so that they can learn a little more. For instance they might not know that the symptoms of Long COVID can disappear and then return again making it difficult for the sufferer to judge how well they are recovering.

And then discuss with them the way that Long COVID is impacting your day to day health. If you’re really struggling with physical symptoms then you may need some time off work to manage these. If the symptoms relate more to brain fog, anxiety and depression then again, time off may be in order but so might taking some time to explore counselling or therapy.

You can request that your employer makes reasonable adjustments to allow you to recover from Long COVID and they might involve more flexible working practices which allow you to complete more of your work on days when you are feeling well and less when you’re struggling. Or time off to attend appointments.

Request an Occupational Health Referral and make use of any employee value benefits you might have.

If your contract entitles you to any private benefits then now is the time to make use of them! Some larger firms have occupational health services in house that might allow you to find alternative ways to manage your Long COVID and work. Some employers offer their staff private health schemes with access to or discounts on a variety of medical and counselling services – these are all part of your benefits package so be sure to make use of them!

If you can’t access services like this then consider making use of fitforwork.org. Fit for Work is a government funded service that offers free expert and impartial work related health advice. You can contact them on 0800 0326235.

Unfortunately the impact of Long COVID is still relatively new and there hasn’t been enough time to collect data to showcase how soon you might typically recover from the effects, but when you do start to feel better, be sure to take a moment to evaluate how well your employer looked after you while you were unwell and if you think that matched up with the commitment you have demonstrated to that firm.

None of us have a crystal ball and it’s impossible to know what lies ahead, so here at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we always advise our candidates to consider what extra they might expect to see offered as part of their package of rewards for working at a firm. The money is important, but it’s not everything and having additional sources of support during times of need definitely has many advantages.

If you emerge from Long COVID with the desire to work for a firm that really values the longterm commitment of its staff, even when times are tough,  know that we represent several clients who demonstrate these kinds of values on a daily basis and we’d be delighted to help you find the right role with them.  When you’re feeling well we can support you to get your career right back to where it should be and our vast database of compassionate accountancy employers will be excited to see your CV we’re sure.

When the time is right email us on info@publicpracticerecruitment.co.uk or upload your CV here. But for now we wish you a full and speedy recovery.

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