Let’s make one thing clear: The phenomenon known as “employee burnout” is actually a problem with a company – not the worker. Companies tend to treat this problem as a “talent management” issue or personal dilemma rather than consider the possibility that it’s a broader organizational challenge…and that’s a big mistake.
Not-So-Fun-Fact: The psychological and physical problems associated with burned-out employees cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the U.S.
The true cost to businesses that don’t address employee burnout run the proverbial gamut from low productivity across an organization and high turnover to the loss of the most capable talent; indeed, it’s up to the leadership team that need to own up to their role in creating the workplace stress that paves the way for burnout: Heavy workloads, job insecurity and frustrating work routines that encompass an excess of meetings and far too little time for creative work.
Once a company’s leadership team confront the problem at an organizational level, they can turn to organizational measures to address it.
Enter Flexible Work Schedules
We have witnessed firsthand over the last few years the benefits of “family-friendly” policies and “work-life” benefits – both for staff members and a company, and from our own experience we believe companies should think strategically about flexible work policies because they bring with them a plethora of benefits. Companies large and small can succeed when they expand their policies to include telecommuting, flextime and compressed work weeks, and each company needs to structure their flexible work policies to fit their overall needs and goals.
Here are our picks for the top benefits flexible work schedules bring to the table:
• More Productivity – Several studies over the last several years have shown that telecommuters are more productive than their in-office counterparts.
• Enhanced Teamwork – With flexible work schedules, staffers can set their own schedules and work from home, enabling them to take time for doctor’s appointments, their kids’ activities and all kinds of “life” moments; everyone on the team is afforded the same flexibility, so everyone pitches in to assist when someone is absent. Rather than resentment or isolation, workers are more connected, on a more supportive team, because everyone reaps the benefits.
• Happier, More Satisfied Employees – Employees who feel empowered to be in control of their work structure and personal lives, according to their needs, tend to be more satisfied. In fact, we have found that when asked whether they’d rather enjoy a flexible work environment or receive a salary increase, professionals overwhelmingly choose flexible work.
• Continuity During Uncertain Business Conditions – If a team is centrally located and experiences floods, snow storms, tornados, Internet service disruptions or other unforeseeable events, any one of these could slow down or even stop daily business operations; if a team works from home with flexible schedules, they don’t miss a beat.
• A Wider Talent Pool – When flexible work policies are put into place, people can be hired from all across the country – and even Europe. If you operate a small business, finding talent that fits best with your company, irrespective of location, is invaluable.
It’s inspiring to see that support of flexible work policies isn’t just for the benefit of staffers – but also a sound business decision for a company’s success.