In our digital economy, employees are fighting burnout, embracing mindfulness, commuting across virtual spaces and challenging every assumption we have about work. Many organizations are looking inward to discover the perfect equation that keeps work-life balance in check—while keeping employees productive and efficient, writes Donna Kimmel, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Citrix
A recent Gallup study found that 23 percent of employees around the globe feel burned out at work “very often” or “always.” It should come no surprise. We live in a world where it’s easier than ever to be connected to our friends, family and work. As a result, we are “always on.” And in many cases, it’s causing us to burn out. According to the World Health Organization, burnout is a legitimate medical condition “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” And it’s time to get it under control.
Employees are the lifeblood of a business. When they feel good and are motivated to deliver their best, it improves customer satisfaction, innovation, and the bottom line. How can you enable this across your company?
Keep Things Simple
Despite all the technology that has been put in to place to automate and streamline work, IDC estimates the average employee still spends nearly 30 percent of their time searching for information they need to do their jobs, and more than 32 days a year completing administrative tasks. That’s the time not spent on the core work they are paid to do. And in many cases, they’re working after hours to make up for it.
To combat this and the stress associated with it, simplify access to the technologies and insights employees need to get work done. One way to do this is through intelligent digital workspaces that automatically deliver all of the insights and applications people need to be productive in a single, unified experience. Such solutions can literally guide employees through their days by surfacing personalized and relevant tasks from existing systems and automatically delivering them to any device, intranet or collaboration tool along with contextual actions that can be taken to complete work faster with less aggravation.
Work is no longer confined to physical office locations. A recent study conducted by Quartz found that 70% of people work remotely at least once per week. And by some estimates, gig workers will account for more than half the workforce by 2027. And there are a number of benefits such work arrangements can provide. OnePoll recently surveyed 5,000 global workers to determine how location impacts job satisfaction and success and the role that flexible and remote work can play in enhancing both. And of those polled,
- 69 percent said working remote would enable them to be more productive and focused.
- 83 percent said it would enable them to strike a healthier work-life balance
To deliver these benefits, recognize and accommodate new models for work and trust employees to work where and when they need to perform at their best.
Just because employees can be always on doesn’t mean they should be. One way to ensure that they stay grounded and focused without overexerting themselves to the point of burning out is to encourage them to incorporate mindfulness into their workday. Paying attention, on purpose, without judgment – also known as mindfulness – keeps people focused on the things that matter in their lives – both personal and professional. And studies have shown it is a key element in reducing stress and improving overall happiness.
See the Forest, not just the Trees
Traditionally, wellness within the workplace was thought of as physical well being and promoted through medical, vision and dental benefits. Today, mental, financial and emotional health are equally important. And the choice is critical. Life happens. And people need to manage it – even during work hours. This can be extremely stressful. In giving employees the flexibility to create the right balance of benefits depending on their needs at a given point in their life, you can help reduce their anxiety. And in giving them the tools to work when, where and how they want, you can help them to better integrate their work and lives and ultimately, reduce their chances of burning out.
Successful companies know the employee and customer experience are inextricably linked. If your employees aren’t happy, your customers won’t be either. And if they burn out, your business will lose out. So put your people first. Cut the noise and complexity that’s frustrating and stressing them out and create an environment in which they can be their best and drive your business forward.