How COVID-19 Precautionary Measures Affect Mental Health, Irritability, and Burnout: Evaluation of Customer Service Employees in British Columbia

  • Adrianne Campbell Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Keywords: mental health, COVID-19, precautionary measures, customer service employees, burnout


Due to COVID-19, the use of masks and other precautionary measures have been strictly implemented in all indoor, public spaces in British Columbia (BC). The largest employment sector in Canada, the service sector, is considerably impacted by the precautionary measures and employs a psychologically vulnerable population. This study considered whether an individuals’ perception of the precautionary measures creates psychological distress and whether this impact is over and above their fear of contracting COVID-19. In BC, customer service employees were recruited to participate in an online survey. The results show that this population is experiencing psychological distress, burnout, and high irritability. Fear of COVID-19 is a significant contributor to these outcomes. The degree to which the participants found precautionary measures to be annoying and their beliefs about the necessity of these measures did not significantly contribute to irritability, poor mental health, or burnout over and above the fear of COVID-19. Instead, interpersonal conflict due to the enforcement of the restrictions was a notable element in the challenges that this population currently faces. Given the degree to which the COVID-19 disease has impacted individuals, both physically and mentally, more research is needed to understand and mitigate the escalating public mental health crisis.

Empirical Articles