Work-from-home productivity crash may be coming.
A Risk Of Productivity Crash
At the outset of the pandemic, many employers had productivity concerns about so many employees working from home. To the contrary, 94% of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said productivity was the same as or higher than before the pandemic.
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But, according to Pam Ryan, a nationally recognized executive coach based in Minneapolis, there’s a risk productivity will crash.
“Employees are struggling to separate work from home, and they are afraid to admit they are burned out. Traditional boundaries are gone, and they are working more hours than ever. Employers need to understand how to help their teams balance and cope to avoid a burnout/crash.”
The top things Pam tells her clients to do to set boundaries and teach team members about self-care are:
You must do more than say, "Take care of yourself."
Leading during uncertainty requires showing up without armor and bringing your most human side to leading. Many not only do not have the strategies for self-care, most have a mindset of “suck it up” or are living in the discomfort of uncertainty, constant pivoting and wondering if we are living up to new, undefined expectations of our job.
Understand the main responses to stress and the signs of shutting down.
By understanding the main responses to stress, perfectionism, overworking or shutting down in a pile of overwhelm, leaders can engage in authentic and empathetic conversations to help employees find the middle ground and set boundaries that support work/life balance.
Help your employees connect with others.
We are neuro-biologically wired for connection. Working remotely is lonely and feels transactional. Brave leaders are creating the psychologically safe spaces during virtual meetings in breakout rooms and during 1:1 check-ins for people to share what is going well, what is weighing them down and what support looks like.
Pay attention to the impact of stress on our body and mind.
There are four ways to get through the stress cycle: Exercise or movement, Breath, Mindfulness and Affection. Stress is one of the most common precursors to burnout. Burnout is a precursor to disengagement which impacts organizational culture and productivity.