Burnout is now an official diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases and the World Health Organization. Burnout has been discussed for generations, first mentioned in 1974 by Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, but has, until now, been a blurry concept. Defined by exhaustion and mental distance from one’s job, the diagnosis is limited to work environment stress and does not touch on other life stressors.
While the majority of the onus of recovery lies on the employee, there are ways that you, as the employer, can help your employees avoid becoming burned out and increase the amount of productivity your workforce is capable of doing. Unified Communications (UC) can help reduce burnout in your employees. Here’s how:
Unified Communications (UC) Help Employees Find Balance
According to Limeade, a business that helps organizations increase their employee engagement and job satisfaction, there are 4 key ways you can help your employees avoid burnout. They are:
- Time to relax and disconnect
- Time and space to focus on building good relationships
- Prioritizing care of emotional and physical health
- Helping people reconnect meaning to their jobs
With today’s culture being always on, it can be challenging for employees to place effective boundaries around work and play. The popularity of mobile devices has increased the amount of time that people are accessible – for both. While this can be seen as a negative, as it can make it difficult for employees to put a boundary around their work life, it can also be positive in enabling workers to effectively manage their personal and work lives. Here are some ways UC can help your employees avoid burnout:
Facilitate flexible work environments: One way you can help combat burnout is to enable your employees to work from places other than the office. By doing so, you can help meet your employee’s needs to have time to take care of personal things. Sick children, canceled school, aging parents needing support – the reasons an employee may need to work from home are as unique as the employee themselves. This also can give employees the time and space to focus in times when they need fewer interruptions. With features like find me/follow me, softphones, and mobile applications, employees can work from wherever they need to. On a bus, in a coffee shop, or on a plane. The opportunities are endless.
Mobile Applications: As mentioned above, mobile applications are key to facilitating flexible work. Mobile applications can turn any cell phone or tablet into a fully functioning endpoint. Employees can make and receive phone calls from their office identity and DID number, preserving their privacy and protecting your brand.
Do Not Disturb: Another feature of UC that can help your employees avoid burnout is the Do Not Disturb (DND) feature of the system. DND enables the employee to prevent any disruptions that may pose a risk to the productivity of the employee. This also can allow your employee to set a strong boundary between work and life by disabling any phone calls from reaching them during their off-hours. If the phone doesn’t ring, then they don’t know that a call is coming in.
Set Strong Boundaries: Setting strong work/life boundaries starts at the top. When executives promote and lead the effort to set a boundary, employees will follow. Executives who model this behavior (ie, only taking business calls or answering business emails during business hours) will not only be happier themselves, but their employees will feel empowered to set those boundaries for themselves and not worry about losing their job should they not answer that phone call after hours.
Unified Communications (UC) Can Help Burnout
According to the American Psychological Association, in a survey of over 1500 American workers in 2021, 79% of working adults experienced work-related stress. And nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of that work-related stress, from lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%) and a lack of effort at work (19%). Additionally, 36% reported brain fatigue, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and 44% reported physical fatigue—which was a 38% increase since 2019. But with Unified Communications tools such as mobile applications and do not disturb, your employees can work from where ever they are and whenever they need. Contact us to learn more.