Top Tips To Banish Employee Burnout And The “Always-On Culture”

Presenteeism and the pitfalls associated with an “always on” workplace culture have been a hot topic as of late with the recent supreme court case against Rentokil for expecting an employee to answer work calls outside of their contracted hours.

And while you might not automatically identify this culture in your workplace, it’s clear there is an increasing percentage of UK employees adopting a first in - last out approach to their working week.

As a result, the UK currently has the second longest working hours globally... and we also have some of the lowest rates of productivity.

So, with more than 7 out of 10 UK workers reporting that they struggle to switch off from work once they’ve left the office (CV-library, 2018), how do we banish an always on culture and help to foster a happy, productive workplace?

Firstly, it’s not an easy task. Most of us, at least on an unconscious level, associate working harder than our colleagues with advancing our careers, and it can be hard to change that thought pattern.

It starts with shifting the emphasis from hard work to quality work. Setting yourself or your team very short deadlines might get more work done but will also lead to employee burnout and increase the chances of lower quality output.

Team communication is also essential to make sure that everyone is working at their best, as it allows managers to ensure that work is delegated fairly. Fostering a communicative, open relationship with your team will ensure that they feel comfortable telling you if they feel their workload is too heavy.

To ensure that employees aren’t feeling pressured to respond to emails or phone calls outside of contracted hours, encourage members of the senior management team to lead by example by not contacting staff outside of work unless there is a genuine emergency.

Prompting employees to take any accrued annual leave can also help to combat burnout. With the pressure of presenteeism in the workplace, staff members can delay requesting their holidays if they believe it will help them to stay on top of workflow and before you know it the year is over, and the cycle begins again. Annual leave is essential to give employees an opportunity to relax and take a break from the responsibilities of their job!

It’s not always easy making these changes in your workplace, especially if you’re a manager who can sometimes fall foul to the always on culture yourself, but the benefits you will see in terms of motivation, productivity, and the overall mood of your team are undoubtedly priceless!

If you need any further advice on banishing workplace burnout, contact us on 01522 370190/020 7110 0006 for a free 1-hour consultation.

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