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Companies Try Shorter Workweeks to Avoid Employee Burnout

In today’s fast-paced world, employee burnout affects millions of people around the world every year. According to Harvard Business Review, employers spend about $ 190 billion a year on health care costs related to employee burnout. Combined with lost productivity and job turnover, job stress costs the American economy about $ 500 billion a year.

Lost productivity due to employee burnout it amounts to about 550 million working days.

Even before the pandemic, millions of people experienced work-related stress, but the current situation adds fuel to the fire. A FlexJobs and Mental Health America survey reported that 75% of Americans experienced burnout this year. 40% of them said the pandemic directly caused their feelings of work-related burnout. Parents who juggle working from home and helping their children with online education may explain the burnout epidemic.

Working from home does not make a clear distinction between work and home, and many people find themselves working longer hours. With the added stress of not seeing friends and co-workers, people around the world are starting to reach their limit.

A few months after the pandemic, Eventbrite Inc engineering director Nick Popoff spoke at a Zoom meeting. He shared that he felt drained and drained, despite taking nature walks to recharge. Other than that, he often stayed out of the house and missed seeing his friends and colleagues. After he spoke, other co-workers reached out and expressed their concerns.

How companies are helping employees adjust to the “new normal.”

So Nick decided to create “burnout recognition” sessions for other employees, so they would have a platform to express their feelings. Mental health professionals also weighed in on ways to cope with these uncertain and stressful times. In addition to offering more mental health services, Employers have also suggested that employees disconnect from technology for periods of time. Some companies have begun expanding training for managers on how to safely and effectively lift their employees out of the pandemic.

Bosses around the world hope these measures will help their remote employees feel less depressed and fed up. Many people have been struggling with their mental health due to isolation and the lack of separation between work and family life. However, simply communicating with employees during this time could make a big difference. In fact, Antonio Neri, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., suggested that managers call employees in person to check on how they are doing.

Eventbrite’s Chief HR Officer David Hanrahan believes this approach will also bolster employee mental health. The company recently held a training session on how supervisors can better empathize with employees working remotely. During individual sessions with employees, managers have been told to ask, “How are you really, really?” This opens up the conversation and allows the employee to express their true feelings before going into business.

Other tactics managers have employed during the pandemic include issuing “good news” memos on Fridays. CEO Dean Allen of engineering and construction company McKinstry Co. LLC came up with this idea to boost morale at his company. Submit a list of good things that happened during the week, so employees have a break from the depressing news. This could include things like feedback from a satisfied customer or details about new customers.

While all of these approaches have their benefits, employees can still feel overwhelmed with their workload. Employee burnout It happens when people feel like they have too much on their plate and don’t see an end in sight. People in many industries experience this sentiment and, unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated this underlying problem.

A company tries a shorter work week to combat employee burnout.

However, one company decided to test a pilot program to choose to work 30 hours a week. At Fidelity Investments, a small portion of the workforce will have this option and will retain all of its benefits. While these employees will get a small pay cut, the company hopes the stress reduction will make it worthwhile. Fidelity will hire more employees to compensate so that current workers are not overwhelmed.

The company’s HR director, Bill Ackerman, says employers must adapt to the needs of their workforce. In particular, they should focus on expanding access to child care coordinators and subsidies, as many parents now have to homeschool, he says.

Other bosses have been taking extra steps to get remote employees off their laptops as the line between work and home becomes blurred. For example, public relations firm Geben Communications began offering employees additional days off for personal care in recent months. This encourages employees to disconnect from technology and enjoy their families or take time to relax.

In Austin, Texas, the Dosh company has been surprising employees with impromptu three-day weekends. On random Thursdays during meetings, CEO Ryan Wuerch announces that the next day will be a “Dosh Day” or day off. He hopes this will encourage his employees to disconnect from the online world for a while.

Managers say the stress of the pandemic means employees need additional support. Regularly recording and monitoring your logged work hours will help you avoid employee burnout. Eventbrite’s Mr. Popoff pays close attention to after-hours employees and follows up on them the next day. He makes sure to remind them that they don’t need to work more than normal.

Final thoughts on tackling employee burnout

In summary, here are specific steps employers can take to reduce employee burnout:

  • Suggest that employees take time off. Offering extra days for personal care or encouraging staff to finish work a few hours earlier are helpful ideas.
  • Offer more comprehensive mental health and counseling, if needed. Some employers have used online counseling apps or hired coordinators to give employees better access to therapists.
  • Ask managers to communicate regularly with employees. For example, some managers have started calling or video chatting one-on-one with employees for mental health support.
  • Train managers on how to oversee a team with empathy. During these times, many employees need additional guidance and support. Managers need to be trained on how to respond to these unprecedented times.
  • Let employees share their true feelings if necessary. Having special meetings specifically for mental health support can help employees get through these tough times.

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