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    How To Beat Burnout For Managers: 3 Habits For Stress Relief

    Are you feeling overwhelmed as a manager? Studies show that managers face a higher risk of burnout compared to individual contributors and executives. Managing stress is crucial for your well-being and effectiveness in leading your team. Here are three simple habits to help you navigate the pressures of your role and maintain balance:

    1. Strategic planning for productivity

    Efficiency is key to reducing stress and boosting productivity. Plan your week meticulously to make the most of your time. Start by listing your tasks for the week or day, and delegate as much as possible. Hold yourself accountable for delegation by involving your direct reports.

    Organize your day like a marathon, scheduling activities in intervals to optimize your energy. Consider tackling routine tasks like emails in the morning, reserving afternoons for more creative or strategic work. Alternatively, prioritize tasks based on importance to feel empowered and productive throughout the day.

    2. Could this meeting have been an email? Or Slack? Or asynchronous doc?

    Unnecessary meetings can drain your time and energy, especially during busy periods. Politely decline meetings that aren’t essential to your role, or delegate attendance to team members when appropriate. Consider HBR’s guidelines for determining whether a meeting is necessary or if alternative communication methods can suffice.

    Schedule meetings in blocks to minimize context-switching between tasks. Designate a “no meetings day” each week on your calendar to focus on deep work without interruptions.

    For those meetings you need, set conditions to make them as productive as possible. Require an agenda or a comparable document. Task someone as a “scribe” to take notes and identify action items or next steps. If someone asks for a meeting with you, ask that they provide an agenda and/or any prep materials ahead of time. Choose what that needs to be. Is the morning of the meeting sufficient? Or to prepare do you need it three business days prior to the meeting?

    3. Prioritize self-care

    Caregivers are frequently told they need to put themselves first. This is hard to hear for those caring for others due to employment or necessity. The reality is, that it’s hard to give when your “cup” is empty. It’s like the instruction given at the start of a flight – put your own oxygen mask on first so that you may help others.

    Investing in your well-being is crucial for managing stress effectively. Make time for nutritious meals, quality sleep, and regular exercise, as these activities directly impact your performance and resilience.

    Consistent exercise boosts stamina and mental clarity while reducing stress and negative emotions. A balanced diet is essential for optimal brain function, with foods like berries, walnuts, and spinach enhancing cognitive abilities.

    Do you ever feel sluggish after working through lunch and think you need more coffee? Bad move. Coffee is fine in moderation, but the caffeine gives it diuretic effects, contributing to dehydration. Soft drinks? The sodium and sugar in them add to the issue. Also, did you know that being dehydrated by as little as two percent impairs your ability to perform tasks needing attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills? You don’t need a Stanley tumbler, per se, but try to keep some water close by.

    Remember, while pressure is inevitable in any role, it’s essential to recognize the signs of burnout and prioritize self-care. By implementing these daily habits, you can better manage stress, maintain productivity, and lead your team effectively.

    Are you questioning whether you’re a good fit as a manager?

    Sometimes businesses or individuals make the mistake of taking someone away from something they’re great at (and happy doing) and promoting them into management. Sometimes they forget that, for example, a top salesperson isn’t automatically a top sales manager. Managers are tasked with all sorts of responsibilities. Some may be new and in which they need training. Some may be so outside their comfort zone it grinds them down into burnout.

    If you’ve ever wondered which path to follow, read this interview with Hired Engineering Manager Prakash Patel (or watch the video) exploring Engineering Manager or IC? Which Tech Career is Best for Me?

    If your burnout is due to hiring, we can help!

    At Hired, we know engineering managers would rather be working on projects than thinking about recruiting or hiring, but we make it easy to find the right person for your team. We offer solutions for hiring managers including an easy-to-use platform, a tech skills assessment product, and technical sourcing services. These services are available short or long-term and handle tasks including sourcing, screening, shortlisting, and more.

    Request a demo to see how our products and services can help you focus on your primary goal.

    This blog was originally written by Whitney Ricketts in 2016, and updated by the Hired Content Team in February 2024. More

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    5 Ways Managers Can Help Their Teams Avoid the Dreaded End-of-Year Burnout

    According to Nuffield Health’s 2023 Healthier Nation Index, 44 percent of employees said their jobs had negatively impacted their mental health this year.
    Unsurprisingly, adverse feelings towards the workplace can ramp up as the festive season becomes a major source of stress and anxiety due to an intense social calendar, end-of-year reviews, and meeting tight deadlines.
    I’ll discuss how managers can prevent end-of-year burnout in their teams and encourage employees to protect their physical and mental health.
    #1 Get organized, early.
    If employees are feeling the weight of burnout due to excessive work demands, it’s time to reassess and reorganize your team’s project priorities.
    Consider scheduling one-to-ones or team meetings to review everyone’s current existing workload, to determine which assignments demand immediate attention and which ones can be postponed for a more suitable time.
    Additionally, when facing large and intimidating projects, it’s often helpful to spend more time together, working out how to break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
    If an employee’s schedule is overwhelmingly full, managers should support in finding solutions. This could include, for example, helping them to embrace the power of delegation. Whether employees outsource tasks to colleagues or externally, let them know seeking assistance does not mean they are failing or that they will be looked upon negatively.
    This is more helpful than risking missed deadlines or an individual becoming so overwhelmed that their productivity suffers.
    #2 Set boundaries.
    No doubt, there’ll be circumstances when you or team members have reached out to colleagues for additional support, and some of them have come back with ‘no,’ unable to help at that time.
    In the same vein, managers must be comfortable doing the same, even though many of us lean towards “people pleaser” behavior. This means it’s tempting to start saying ‘yes’ to additional work if you’ve managed to free your schedule slightly.
    Remind yourself that it is fine to say no to taking on extra responsibilities, try to set firm boundaries with yourself and your team, and let them know it’s OK to follow suit.
    Don’t just set boundaries for during office hours, either. It’s essential to do this after hours or if working remotely too. One example could be agreeing with everyone that none of you will check work emails in the evenings between certain hours so you can focus on spending time with loved ones and winding down after a busy working day.
    Other examples could be urging teams to take their full lunch periods, setting aside regular breaks, and leaving on time at the end of the day. Managers who lead by example make it easier for others to embrace their own wellbeing, too.
    #3 Encourage self-care.
    Lack of self-care is one of the most significant contributors to end-of-year burnout.  In fact, according to our 2023 Healthier Nation Index, only 15 percent of us take time to focus on self-care, when trying to support our mental health.
    Workplaces need to communicate ways for employees to prioritize self-care during the working day and when at home, and help build supportive environments that facilitate healthy behaviors.
    From inviting experts to help teams learn about the different self-care practices to researching new ideas that could potentially benefit the whole company, building awareness and positive behavior change is key to creating a workforce that makes self-care a focus.
    Small changes like five minutes of meditation or deep breathing exercises can be hugely impactful, helping employees maintain a state of calm, even during the busiest working periods. Psychological research has shown that moving and changing your environment and the stimuli around you improves problem-solving skills and mental focus.
    Encourage employees to go for a walk when they can and use their garden if they are working remotely. Ideally, actively build these activities into diaries or working practices.  More physical activity will release anxiety-reducing endorphins, which help improve mood and reduce stress.
    #4 Notice signs of chronic stress.
    I’m often asked, ‘How do we know when someone has reached ‘chronic’ stress levels?’
    The answer is if you notice stress affecting an employee’s ability to live an everyday life and perform their daily work routine.
    While this is by no means an exhaustive list, signs of chronic stress include indecisiveness, mood swings, procrastination, an increase in errors, and even increased absenteeism.
    According to a report, long-term stress weakens the responses of the immune system, because stress decreases lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight off infection. This means highly stressed individuals are potentially more at risk of colds and sickness than those experiencing minimal or average stress.
    You might notice those suffering from chronic stress are working more or regularly staying late to complete tasks. Ironically, people often do this because they believe it helps them avoid these feelings.
    This can also lead to leavism – employees using leave days to catch up with work. This is an ineffective coping mechanism. We end up ignoring our relationships, eliminating our social lives, eating, and sleeping poorly.
    #5 Make the most of workplace support.
    One of the longer-term side effects of staying in a heightened state of stress for too long, is that it can impact our physical and mental wellbeing. This can lead to mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. That’s why it’s so important to let employees know their mental health should always be a priority.
    If you think an individual’s mental health is seriously affected by the stresses that come at the end of the year, you should signpost them to your work’s wellbeing offerings.
    Many businesses provide support for stress and personal problems through workplace mental health support like cognitive behavioral therapy CBT, or employee assistance programs (EAPs).
    These offer direct, confidential contact with experts who can support individuals with emotional distress, from family issues, work-related problems, addiction, and mental ill-health.
    #6 And finally, kindness is key…
    Practicing kindness to others and yourself is crucial, especially at this time of year.
    Mounting personal and professional pressures in December can cause everyone to hold themselves to an impossible standard and set an insurmountable to-do list.
    Remember that no matter what level we have reached at an organization, everyone can only do their best to get everything done without compromising their emotional wellbeing.
    By treating ourselves and others with kindness and understanding, we not only reduce the risk of burnout but also enhance our ability to be present, enjoy festive moments, and engage more meaningfully with our work and personal lives, all year round.
    By Gosia Bowling, Mental Health National Lead at Nuffield Health.
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    6 Workplace Wellbeing Trends that Will Continue to Rise in 2024 

    According to our 2023 Healthier Nation Index, 44 percent of us said our jobs had negatively impacted our mental health at some point this year.
    Employers have a responsibility to help individuals manage both their physical and mental wellbeing. But it’s clear businesses still need to work harder to provide targeted support to their employees.
    But the good news is that changes in the corporate world are trying to make this possible. Previous Nuffield Health research showed that 2 in 3 businesses offer physical and mental wellbeing to their workplaces.
    With this in mind, I suggest six workplace wellbeing trends we can expect to see grow in prominence in 2024.
    #1 Workplace ergonomics
    Our 2023 Healthier Nation Index showed that 36 percent have taken time off work due to musculoskeletal issues, which shows there’s a significant need for physical wellbeing support in the workplace.
    As we move into a more permanent hybrid work set-up in 2024, we’ll see the development of specialist programs and more technological innovations as potential solutions to improve workplace efficiency and prevent MSDs.
    For example, wearable technologies like exoskeletons are revolutionary mechanical frames that a worker can wear to support and protect the body from the strain of arduous work. Research shows they can offload up to 40 percent of a load, and reduce the labor required by muscles.
    Virtual reality is also on the rise, as it can assist in employee training by simulating work environments and helping employees identify workplace hazards.
    Away from tech and innovations, it’s vital for employees and employers to note their legal requirements to provide a provision at work and at home including desk and DSE assessments.
    #2 Shifting organizational values.
    Research shows the hybrid work model has been forecasted to rise to 81 percent adoption, with Gen Z amongst its most enthusiastic supporters.
    In the past, we may have seen resistance to such demands from businesses, but now, more than ever, employers are working on ways to stay open to employee suggestions and adapt work models accordingly.
    We’ll see more of this in 2024, which highlights that workplaces are beginning to understand the importance of ensuring workers are satisfied across the board rather than just adequately remunerated.
    Companies will continue to focus on how to improve work/life balance, wellness, intellectual challenge, and personal growth and development.
    #3 Non-negotiable self-care
    According to our research, only 15 percent of us take more time to focus on self-care, when trying to support our mental health. Self-care time has traditionally been reserved for outside work hours, like a morning walk or a hot bath at night.
    However, work is invariably intertwined with our life routines, and it’s becoming clear to businesses that weaving moments of self-care throughout the day will be more beneficial to employees than grinding through a hard day and leaving their “me” time for later.
    In 2024, we’ll see more businesses encouraging their employees to educate themselves on their self-care needs. More will provide employees with helpful tools or sessions that encourage them to slow down and breathe.
    Whether it’s introducing company mindfulness sessions, inviting in experts to teach individuals about different self-care practices or researching new ideas that could potentially benefit the whole team, building awareness will be key to many businesses next year.
    #4. Inclusive wellness initiatives
    Workplace wellness is for everyone, and in 2024, diversity and inclusion efforts will continue to extend to wellness programs.
    Many businesses are starting to rethink their benefits offerings to promote fairness, equal opportunity and prevent burnout. For example, is offering a subsidized gym membership a benefit if employees are not located near a gym or able to afford the reduced membership?
    To address such disparities, gathering feedback from employees is essential. Understanding their unique needs and challenges allows tailoring benefits to address immediate concerns.
    In 2024, there’ll be a heightened focus on ensuring that every employee, regardless of background or abilities, has access to the support and resources they need to thrive.
    #5 Reducing financial stress.
    Our 2023 Healthier Nation Index revealed 59 percent of individuals believed the cost of living or a change in personal finances had negatively impacted their mental health over the past year.
    Financial worries can significantly impact mental health, and without effective support, mental health conditions can affect a person’s confidence and identity at work.
    More businesses will adapt their wellness offerings to enable employees to cut costs where they can. For example, offering flexible work options, like remote work, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks, can help employees better manage their schedules and save on commuting costs.
    There’ll also be a greater focus on offering childcare benefits or access to discounted childcare services, which will also support employees in managing the high costs associated with childcare.
    #6 NOT sleeping on the job.
    Our Healthier Nation Index highlighted that poor sleep is still a huge issue across the nation. On average, Brits are only getting 5.91 hours of sleep a night, this is down from 6.11 in 2022 and 6.19 in 2021.
    There still exists a vital need for employers to be more attuned to the sleep needs of their staff and the potential role it has in improving employees’ physical and emotional wellbeing if businesses prioritize its importance.
    In 2024, more companies will collaboratively engage with their healthcare partners to bolster sleep education and the relevant employee benefits needed to support those struggling.
    We believe more businesses will provide wellbeing support through external services like cognitive behavioral therapy, an effective therapeutic therapy for insomnia. CBT-I considers how your thoughts and beliefs about sleep may influence your sleep behaviors, examines behaviors and habits around sleep, and introduces techniques like relaxation and sleep restriction.
    By Marc Holl, Head of Primary Care at Nuffield Health.
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    Understanding the Toll of Compassion Fatigue on Workplaces

    Compassion is a vital emotion in a professional setting, helping to build and strengthen team relationships and business collaboration worldwide. However, the physical and emotional strain of consistently supporting colleagues can be taxing, especially amidst the various challenges facing the UK economy.
    In this article, I’ll explore the repercussions of compassion fatigue in the workplace and offer insights into how businesses can provide the necessary support to help their employees avoid growing feelings of fatigue and helplessness.
    What is compassion fatigue?
    The term “compassion fatigue” was first introduced in 1992, in the realm of medical professionals. It described the adverse health effects and deteriorating patient outcomes resulting from healthcare workers’ excessive exposure to trauma.
    However, its scope has broadened to include individuals in various challenging roles beyond the medical field.
    Compassion fatigue can affect anyone whose job-related stressors and triggers permeate their daily thoughts, mood, and overall well-being. Some individuals describe the feeling of becoming so saturated with distressing scenes that a psychic numbing can occur.
    Several additional factors contribute to compassion fatigue, including the ongoing strain of the cost-of-living crisis, the uncertainty stemming from global conflicts, and the constant presence of social media in our lives.
    How does it physically and emotionally affect individuals?
    Compassion fatigue can have both a physical and emotional impact on individuals. Firstly, acts of caring and feeling decrease, and these are substituted by an outward detachedness. Individuals become more task, and less emotion, focused, and may start to isolate themselves, engaging less with their colleagues and teams.
    In the short term, compassion fatigue can manifest as various physical health issues, including headaches, migraines, as well as gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Over the long term, it heightens the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, obesity, and diabetes.
    Mood swings, ranging from moderate to severe, become commonplace, disrupting an individual’s ability to think clearly, regulate emotions, and sustain a sense of hope. All these factors combined can contribute to the emergence of stress-related mental health concerns, like anxiety or depression.
    How does it impact workplaces?
    In the absence of supportive measures from leadership, the repercussions of compassion fatigue in workplaces could be significant. Firstly, many experiencing the condition struggle with unmanageable negative emotions, like anger, irritability, and reduced tolerance.
    These often lead to interpersonal challenges, making it difficult for employees to maintain positive relationships with their colleagues and fostering a sense of disconnection from their workplaces. Cognitive functions like clear thinking, sound judgment, and effective decision-making may be compromised, affecting the ability to focus on tasks.
    Work behaviors and routines may become increasingly erratic. Some employees may exhibit increased absenteeism, take more sick days, or spend less time in the office. In contrast, others might invest extra hours working to catch up, or they may carry work home as they struggle to concentrate and find themselves less productive during regular office hours.
    Supporting employees in times of need
    A crucial step in addressing compassion fatigue is to implement training programs that acknowledge and address the emotional toll of work roles. Consider inviting mental health experts to run in-house employee seminars, which delve into topics like stress responses, emotional resilience, and self-compassion.
    This approach not only welcomes discussions about emotional well-being but also makes them an expected part of the workplace culture.
    Leaders should also scrutinize and eliminate behaviors that may exacerbate anxiety or stress among employees. For instance, if bosses are responding to emails at 10:00 p.m., an unwritten expectation may emerge that others should follow suit.
    Encouraging leaders to remove work emails from their phones and endorsing similar practices within their teams can help establish consistent, much-needed cutoff times for work-related activities.
    Highlight the value of breaks during the workday, emphasizing the importance of self-care activities like taking a refreshing outdoor walk and enjoying a proper lunch break instead of hastily eating at your desk.
    These seemingly minor adjustments encourage employees to recharge, prioritize self-care, and shift their focus away from factors that contribute to negative behaviors.
    Research indicates that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is highly effective in treating compassion fatigue, as chronic exposure to suffering can influence negative thought patterns.
    Employers may want to consider incorporating emotional well-being support, like CBT, into their employee benefits packages to assist those already grappling with emotional wellbeing challenges.
    CBT therapists can also help employees recognize lapses in self-care and boundary setting, enabling them to understand and respond to their symptoms or experiences differently over time. This can significantly enhance their overall well-being and quality of life.
    The good news is that there are practical measures you can employ to tackle compassion fatigue, both for yourself and your team, to rekindle emotional well-being within the realm of work.
    For many, compassion fatigue is a transitory phase, a clear sign that your body and mind are desperate for a recharge and a healthier work-life balance.
    When businesses heed these signals and respond accordingly, they can help employees rebuild enthusiasm for their work and in turn, most importantly, their capacity to reconnect with others.
    By Marc Holl, Head of Primary Care, Nuffield Health
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    How to Stress Better at Work (…Yes, There is a Balance)

    It is undeniable: stress is widespread across today’s workplaces.
    A Mental Health Foundation survey found that 74 percent of adults experiencing chronic stress felt ‘unable to cope’ as a result, impacting their daily lives and careers. And since the pandemic, there has been an explosive 25 percent increase in the incidence of anxiety and depression worldwide.
    According to research, in the workplace, this translates to 17 million days of absenteeism, citing that on average, each person needed to take 16.5 days off from work.
    However, according to the concept of eustress (“good stress”), there is a positive form of psychological stress, which could help individuals feel more motivated, productive, and happier in the workplace.
    Why eustress is best
    Negative workplace stress is a costly oversight for businesses, but when moderate levels of stress result in short, productive bursts of energy in your daily life – that is eustress.
    Eustress has positive workplace outcomes for those able to identify how it manifests; it lowers procrastination when completing a specific task at work.
    Eustress enhances well-being as the person gains career satisfaction through productivity. There is a vital balance at play that makes for a healthy work environment if organizations support and encourage it.
    Exploiting the power of eustress in the workplace
    As explained, a hallmark of eustress is that it presents in short bursts of productivity. Biologically, our brains have a better-developed response to tasks when we know that we have a break on the horizon.
    The best way to harness eustress is to manage the day and its tasks by setting 25-minute timers throughout and rewarding yourself with a short break.
    During these breaks, it is recommended to move the body and have a change of scenery. This enables one to move from that eustress psychological state to one with a sense of achievement, allowing them to switch off.
    For example, a quick walk around the block and returning to make a cup of tea before beginning work again helps to eliminate stress build-up making it easier to start the next task on our list.
    Why chronic stress is bad
    Two hormones are in circulation when we are stressed: cortisol and adrenaline.
    They host an essential function in the body and trigger us to enter ‘fight or flight’ mode which is intended to be temporary. Long-term exposure to cortisol, in particular, will eventually begin to have negative effects on mental and physical health.
    In a workplace context, continual chronic stress will impact one’s ability to work effectively and productively. Oftentimes, colleagues who are experiencing long-term chronic stress will present with the following: brain fog, irritability, oversensitivity, and the inability to concentrate and retain information.
    Moreover, physical and mental health-related manifestations are well-recorded. These include high blood pressure, inflammation within the body, and aches and pains like tight chest pains, anxiety, and depression.
    Train for triggers
    Managers and executives are responsible for identifying these signals among their colleagues and being responsive. Keeping employees educated on the mental health support resources available is critical.
    Emotional literacy training is an effective tool to boost employee resilience by ensuring staff have a common language to discuss distress. It can improve managers’ abilities to support their employees, equipping them with knowledge, self-awareness, and empathy, making them better listeners.
    Bespoke employee benefits
    Responsible employers should offer an array of options tailored to the workforce and based on employee feedback.
    Where signs of burnout are recognized, employers should signpost employees towards the emotional wellbeing support available to them. This may include Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) or cognitive behavioral therapy sessions (CBT), which give individuals direct access to a specialist who can help them explore and understand the factors which are impacting their health and wellbeing.
    These offerings show conversations about stress and mental health are both welcomed and expected which in turn ensures early intervention and uptake among staff.
    By Lisa Gunn, Mental Health Prevention Lead, Nuffield Health.
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    5 Ways Workplace Bonding Improves Employee Satisfaction 

    For many working professionals, the workplace is like a second family. And even though remote working has put a damper on the process, many workers today still think of the workplace as the place to create lifelong relationships and forge friendships.
    That’s why many companies today are enabling and encouraging workplace bonding. It has now become an essential part of the organization’s culture. It significantly improves employee satisfaction and is critical to an organization’s retention plan.
    Furthermore, since today’s hectic lifestyle leaves very little time for self-rejuvenation, workplace bonding can help reduce worker burnout and allow employees to improve their work-life balance.
    Here’s how workplace bonding can positively affect workforce morale and improve employee satisfaction.
    1. Reduces worker stress
    Everyone feels job-related stress once in a while. However, regular stress can be problematic and cause long-term problems. That’s why it’s important to create policies to combat it from an organizational point of view.
    Strong interpersonal bonds among teams can enable employees to cope with workplace stress and reduce anxiety. Furthermore, they can also reduce issues related to workforce demotivation and loneliness.
    2. Improves overall well-being
    Employees that don’t fit into the company’s culture feel social isolation, which can have an adverse effect on their mental and emotional health.
    Bonding with fellow coworkers can fix this issue and allow such employees to fit into a company’s culture. In addition, it can also help organizational leaders to build a culture of open communication and optimize employees’ work-life balance. Such organizations see improved communication and efficient collaboration between teams.
    3. Increases employee morale
    Strong employee relationships can significantly increase team morale and motivate employees to perform better. This increased emotional support instills a feeling of positivity in the team, leading to performance improvements, boosted sense of accomplishment, and increased focus.
    Simple social interaction can also improve employees’ sense of control over their working environment. This reduces workplace accidents and creates a relaxed working environment
    4. Supports better innovation from existing employees
    As mentioned above, interpersonal bonding leads to a relaxed working environment. And in a relaxed working environment, it is easy to accomplish tasks and optimize processes. Employees who don’t feel stressed can easily work on new ideas and derive inspiration from each other. They can also understand complex concepts and work toward simplifying complicated procedures.
    Employees who are not overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks can also generate and share business insights, which is another way to increase innovation through auxiliary help. Such ideas can also be patented for substantial financial rewards by the employer.
    5. Improves employee-management engagement
    Companies with good interpersonal relationships between employees see positive employee-management engagements. Such employees develop trusting relationships with their leaders and work toward a common goal.
    A culture of open communication is beneficial to both employees and management. Employees can use the newfound information to understand management perspectives better and grow their careers. The management can use this influx of information for organizational growth and idea brainstorming.
    This cannot happen where there is a superficial relationship between the team and management. For this to work, the supervisors and employees must communicate better and share observations.
    6. Creates a more helpful working environment
    Negative emotions between team members can lead to stress and dysfunction. On the other hand, a team that is built on meaningful employee relationships is motivated to provide guidance and support to its team members. Such team members also share knowledge and experiences with each other.
    This is very useful for new joiners since it allows them to access the knowledge and skills of experienced team members for efficient knowledge transfer. In addition, since team members are better suited to understand each other’s emotional requirements than management, they are also better positioned to provide job role–related knowledge and support.
    Furthermore, a helpful and engaged team can help team members realize their full potential. Such units can also create better workflows for their department.
    7. Increases worker retention
    This is one of the most significant advantages of encouraging better relationships between employees. Employees who are friends with each other engage in much more frequent and personal interactions. Such employees use a collaborative approach to working and developing better interpersonal relationships
    Since employees with better interpersonal relationships are relaxed and satisfied in their job-role, they continue working for the same organization for many years. This can lead to great retention statistics, significantly lowering business costs.
    How do you aid interpersonal relationships between employees?
    As a company, creating a culture of interpersonal relationships can be challenging. This change has to start from the root, i.e., employees themselves have to create a working environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing the details of their lives with each other. However, you can do a few things from a manager’s perspective to improve interpersonal interaction and facilitate team bonding.
    For example, you can schedule weekly corporate lunch sessions to improve bonding and build a culture of harmony. This can also be done on an inter-team basis, i.e., managers can schedule lunches with different teams to improve inter-team bonding. Such measures can help employees develop social relationships outside their current teams.
    Leaders can also use activities such as quizzes and professional workshops to inculcate a feeling of collaborative learning. The latter activity can also help employees grow their skills and climb up the corporate ladder.
    For a remote setup, you can create Slack and Mattermost channels that can enable different teams to collaborate digitally. You can also use these channels to motivate employees through recognition and rewards programs.
    Lastly, you can arrange infrastructure for your remote teams to collaborate if required. For example, some companies have started using coworking spaces as local hubs to connect their collocated team members.
    Workplace relationships are a crucial part of an employee’s well-being. They can serve as emotional support systems, improve work-life balance and encourage inter-team harmony.
    Bonding between coworkers is also a great way to reduce stress and stimulate innovation. Companies that invest in employee bonding can see significant productivity and create a positive working environment for their employees.
    BairesDev is the leading nearshore technology solutions company with 4,000+ professionals in 50+ countries representing the top 1% of tech talent.
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    5 Ways to Help Employees Manage the Psychological Stress of Hybrid Burnout

    COVID-19 changed many employees’ work routines, both in positive and negative ways.
    As a result of long-term remote working, many companies are considering introducing hybrid working models, giving staff the option of combining working from home with going into the office.
    However, hybrid working could also have a significant impact on employee mental health with many reporting symptoms of ‘hybrid burnout’.
    Burnout is defined as a phenomenon ‘resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.’ In 2020 it became a recognized condition by the WHO.
    Hybrid burnout is the result of juggling long hours working from home with commutes to offices, which can not only be physically exhausting but also take a considerable toll on employee stress levels.
    But what can businesses do to help employees manage the physical and mental health implications of a hybrid working environment?
    1. Recognize the signs
    Individuals in management should become aware of the signs and symptoms caused by hybrid burnout, as well as what they can do to prevent or respond to it.
    Staff may become fatigued, forgetful, and struggle to concentrate, with so much going on around them. Early on, this may make people feel worried, irritable, on edge, or tense.
    Further down the line, this anxiety – caused by juggling multiple work environments- may become so severe that it affects professionals’ ability to work productively (or at all).
    There are also potential physical symptoms to consider, like heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches.
    2. Assess company culture
    A Gallup study revealed the main causes of burnout are not the nature of the work itself, rather, how a person is treated and managed while they are working.
    Consider how different leadership approaches might impact employees. For example, behaviors like bias or unfair corporate policies can cause stress and lead to overworking, with staff feeling a need to ‘prove their worth’.
    Make certain that healthy work behaviors are modeled from the top. Help employees understand their value to the company and their contributions to the organization’s goals. Employees feel more valued, and display more motivation in the workplace if, and when, they understand their exact role in the greater purpose.
    Take a few minutes each week to update employees on company news and how your team’s actions are contributing to the company’s overall success.
    Also, make time to tell staff specifically what you value about their contributions. Try to build this into your regular routines, perhaps by starting your team meetings with shout-outs acknowledging the accomplishments of individual team members.
    3. Encourage conversations
    As well as ensuring all staff feels appreciated and comfortable in their roles, managers need to ensure they demonstrate to their teams that the business has an open, supportive and welcoming approach when staff are distressed or finding it difficult to cope.
    Employees need to feel conversations about difficulties surrounding work are both welcomed and expected.
    This requires employers to feel empowered to enable better conversations about mental health in the workplace. At Nuffield Health, we introduced Emotional Literacy training for all staff.
    92 percent of whom took the training stated they felt able to support a colleague in distress. Initiatives like this build an open community, and a common language, encouraging more people to say “I’m not OK” and ask others “Are you OK?”.
    Employees should also be signposted to any other designated people, like, mental health champions for additional support.
    4. Communicate set policies
    It’s important company policies that promote good work/life balance are widely communicated. With hybrid working, this means using multiple channels to ensure you reach all employees, whether it’s through company social media platforms, emails, or even by text alerts.
    Actively nurturing and promoting reasonable work hours, including, if necessary, encouraging employees to go home, when in the office late, or messaging them to ‘go offline’, at the end of their regular workday if you recognize a pattern of unhealthy overworking.
    Help assess workloads for those who feel pressured to remain working beyond normal business hours and let them know there is always support available and additional resources to help them manage mounting projects or multiple deadlines.
    Sometimes employees simply don’t realize these are things they are welcome to ask for.
    5. Provide professional emotional wellbeing support
    A recent Nuffield Health whitepaper revealed spending more than 2.5 days a week working away from the office can be associated with deterioration in co-worker relationships and job satisfaction.
    For those having difficulty with the balance between remote and office life, consider introducing professional wellbeing support like Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and timely access to effective psychological therapy (such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy).
    These interventions can be delivered remotely or face to face and give individuals access to a specialist who can help them understand and break unhelpful thinking patterns and “what if” thinking that may exacerbate stress and burnout in uncertain times.
    By Gosia Bowling, National Lead for Emotional Wellbeing, Nuffield Health.
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