With an influx of new technological devices and software being used in the workplace, there comes a heightened sense of stress and anxiety for employees. When the recent pandemic of COVID-19 swept the planet, companies dove even deeper into using technology to keep employees connected and working efficiently.
Now, it is not uncommon for staff to have company-issued laptops they can carry to work from home. Furthermore, many choose to have their work email connected to their personal cell phones for quick access. While these technological workflows can be convenient, they open staff up to being always on-call.
In fact, according to Statista, out of the workers polled in the United States, “43 percent of respondents stated to be checking their work emails every few hours outside of their normal work hours.”
Businesses who promote the over-intrusion of company technology into the lives of their staff should reconsider their workflows. Employees who are not given time and space to relax away from work and recharge their creative minds often suffer from burnout.
In these cases, this is a great opportunity for leadership coaches to step in and help their mentees find a balance between work time and relaxation time. After all, a well-rested employee is more beneficial to the company than someone who is burned out and ready to quit.
I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to! Here are three impactful ways mentors can help employees find balance with technology and prevent work burnout.
Give Permission to Relax
Sometimes, people need someone in a leadership position to give them permission to have a work-life balance. Companies love hiring high-functioning people because of their tenacity and loyalty. However, hard workers often don’t know when to stop, relax, and recharge their creative batteries.
With the ability to work from home, most valuable workers feel obligated to continue working even after hours. According to The Burnout Gamble, “Findings link mental burnout to the overuse of technology. Online connectivity is great for many things (i.e., keeping teams informed and efficient), but it creates a dysfunctional work outlook. Being this connected means we feel obligated to always be on.”
Leadership coaches can recognize when technology is intruding on their mentee’s life and intervene early on before it becomes a destructive habit. Regularly explaining the importance of relaxation and rest to your mentees and seeing them follow-through is a great first step.
Support and Nourish
As stated in my book, Lift: The Nature & Craft of Expert Coaching, it is important for employees to feel supported and cared for while at work. In fact, it is a sign of a great coach if they seek ways to nourish their mentees with empathy and the essential guidance needed to promote innovation and productivity.
In a study reviewed by Forbes, “89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work.” Ensuring employees don’t go overboard in working from home is one way coaches and mentors can promote well-being amongst the staff.
Reframe Their Mindset
Many of us have come to adopt a heightened sense of urgency surrounding technology. We read an email and immediately jump to read it and respond regardless of how many hours we’ve already put in that day. Our boss seemed upset with us today; therefore, we feel compelled to put in extra hours from home on the company laptop.
A workplace coach or mentor is the perfect person to step in and help mentees reframe their mindset about work. Teach them and reassure them that not every issue that arises on technology needs urgent attention. In fact, taking time to really think things through from many perspectives can be helpful.
Sitting back to see the situation for what it really is rather than letting technology feed into our anxiety is a great way to handle situations and prevent burnout. For more advice and tips surrounding the workplace, check out my blog at The Lift!