The burgeoning hybrid-remote work model has been credited with bringing new levels of productivity, particularly to many tech teams. But it has also created higher levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout.
Employee well-being is not always a top employer priority
A recent national public opinion poll of U.S. adults by the American Psychiatric Association indicated that the initial response of employers to mental health issues was mixed. On a positive note, organizations are starting to realize that this issue is just as important as physical health, and many are giving employees new options. An example of this is the rise in the availability of virtual mental healthcare services.
Working from home, as many employees around the world were forced to do over the last three years, has contributed to the mental health challenge. Keeping tech teams productive as the hybrid-remote work model evolves requires companies to get creative about how their employees work. Here are some things to consider:
Have some fun
When we were all in the office, social activities were a great way for teams to blow off steam and build working relationships. Keeping up activities such as employee lunches, happy hours, and team-building exercises is essential, and it’s incumbent on leaders to figure out how to engage both in-office and remote workers to build team morale and camaraderie.
Team members who have increased control over their work schedules feel as though they can better meet work-life integration challenges. This flexibility can address both location — in-office, remote, and hybrid — as well as work schedules. For example, our company launched Fabulous Fridays; with every Friday off from July through September, all our employees had an extra day each week to recharge.
A culture that promotes health and wellness can help eliminate burnout — and boost productivity. Encouraging team members to practice self-care outside of work hours also helps promote work-life balance. Savvy organizations find ways to remind team members of healthy habits, such as staying hydrated, taking a few minutes to walk or stretch, and getting enough sleep. Some are offering in-house wellness programs and policies, such as yoga classes and the opportunity to take mental health days.
Some tasks are more intense and stress-creating than others, so aim to balance them against those that are more demanding. Mitigate the toll of more complex activities by setting smaller, more attainable goals where possible. Team leaders should be alert to the impact of particularly grueling assignments and consider encouraging the use of PTO to offer relief.
Don’t let team members fall into the trap of working at all hours. Discourage employees from checking colleagues’ work accounts and emailing them after hours. Set clear start and finish times to keep the team from feeling overworked. Offer guidance on setting up home-office workspaces that limit distractions and acts as a buffer between a team member and their family.
Because it’s not unusual for team members to hide their feelings about job demands, it’s important to encourage a culture of transparency. Doing so helps workers feel more comfortable about expressing their true feelings — and can prevent issues from festering. It may even prevent surprise resignations. Other tried-and-true tactics include surveys, regular check-ins, and even anonymous suggestion boxes.
Helping team members avoid burnout can boost morale, maximize team productivity, and improve the odds of retaining valuable employees.
You might also like:
- Read: Tech Hiring Madness: The Elite 8 Skills to Recruit For
- Watch: 2022 IDG Study Reveals Business Impacts of IT Talent Shortage
- Solution: Shift Funds and Resources to Strategic Initiatives
Rimini Street’s CIO and EVP of Global Shared Services, Steven Salaets, shares more on the topic in the Forbes article, Burnout Is Real: It’s Time To Change The Way People Work.