Effects of Long COVID on work performance

Symptoms and effects:

  • Fluctuating symptoms – boom/bust pattern
  • Fatigue – Feeling tired/exhausted/weak
  • Falling asleep at work – momentarily or for several minutes
  • Weakness – reduced stamina/tolerance/physical strength
  • Inability to cope with demands/schedule/previous role
  • Working at a slower pace
  • Increased errors
  • Slower reaction times (for example, to hazards arising in the workplace)
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • Reduced motivation/interest in role/work 
  • Feeling emotional / reduced emotional capacity
  • Irritability/lower tolerance levels
  • Difficulty concentrating with frequent lapses of memory/attention
  • Difficulty making clear decisions 
  • Difficulty processing/relaying information
  • Inability to multi-task
  • Difficulty following conversations/meetings/social interactions
  • Pain/Headache
  • Anxiety/Panic
  • Sensory Intolerance (lights/sounds)


In a survey of people with an ‘energy impairment’ related disability:

58% said they experienced difficulties with their memory whilst at work;

50% said they experienced difficulties with learning, understanding and concentrating, particularly when working in a desk-based role

Other areas affected include:  new learning, hazard perception, initiation of personal action, coping with social engagements and interactions, verbal communication and decision making.

Chronic Illness Inclusion, 2021

Cognitive dysfunction and fatigue are 2 key work-limiting features of Long Covid

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