Much has been said about remote working and the new normal now that the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown is part and parcel of life, but this radical change has also meant that different demands have been placed on workforces. As a result, the propensity for employee burnout is rising, but Citrix thinks that technology can help tackle some of the burden.

“Your team looks tired, stressed, and not at full strength, especially since you count at least four employees who are absent from illness. In short, your employees are burnt out. Employee burnout has become common, but it’s a huge threat to your organisation,” Citrix highlights in a press release sent to Hypertext.

“As a leader in your organisation, it’s vital you take steps to prevent employee burnout and promote wellness. Here are three ways to make that happen,” it emphasises.

To that end the company has detailed three ways in which executives can address employee burnout, while also looking at the businesses’ digital transformation goals, as well as keeping productivity at a high level.

What can be done

The first is empowering employees with control over their technology. On this front, Citrix notes that the myriad applications and devices needed to complete one’s work can often compound stress, and that a more seamless approach is needed.

“The average business worker uses 9.4 different applications for daily work. Every time they have to switch apps, they’re spending valuable mental energy on adjusting to a new context. Add this stress to the fact that many employees have no say in which apps and devices they use to do their work, and you have a fast track to burnout,” says Citrix.

“To address this, empower employees to choose the technology they use to get work done. For example, defining secure but flexible BYOD policies for your office allows your employees to control which devices they use for work. It’s also helpful to leverage technology that integrates with the familiar consumer apps your workers know and like to use. Finally, look at workspace technology that brings all essential business apps together in one interface,” the company advises.

Next is deploying technology that reduces distraction by automating tasks. Here Citrix points to how easily employees can get distracted, whether it be messages and notifications from members in their team, or reminders of tasks that still need to be done.

While distractions are normal, if they become increasingly frequent, they can often lead to burnout, but again technology can play a part in screening distractions.

“By deploying the right technology, you can screen out nonessential interruptions using settings that eliminate notifications from Slack, email, or calendar updates during certain work times. New developments in machine-learning and AI also make it possible to automate low-value tasks like RSVPing to calendar invites or approving expense reports. These technologies help prevent the distractions that lead to burnout and hurt your employees’ engagement,” says Citrix.

Lastly is scheduling weekly whitespace time for all employees. Citrix highlights the “always on” work culture as a significant contributor to employee burnout, also citing a recently sponsored Quartz report that showed that 67 percent of employees that had an always on approach, having a significant impact on their mental and physical health.

This is why Citrix is advocating for finding the right balance within the work environment. It sounds easy on paper, but can prove difficult to implement in practice, but Citrix believes it is necessary to tackle employee burnout.

“By scheduling weekly whitespace hours in your employees’ calendars, you can designate time in the workweek for creative thinking, passion projects, and exercise. It’s also beneficial to facilitate communal spaces (like a game room or yoga studio) for your employees to spend this whitespace time together if they wish—this helps staff build stronger working relationships as they unplug together,” the company illustrates.

Something to consider

With the new normal and remote working likely here to stay for many, especially those in organisations that have eulogised digital transformation and pushed forward with their respective strategies, employee burnout is something that cannot be ignored.

“By giving your staff more control over their workplace technology, prioritising tools that reduce distraction, and reserving unplugged whitespace time for your team, you can promote a culture of wellness at your organisation that will keep burnout at bay,” it concludes.

[Image – Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash]