Employee burnout is a very real problem in the workplace, and some workers struggle with the vicious cycle of a poor work-life balance, a lack of mental health days, and developing bad habits to deal with stress. While some people are afraid we’ll all be replaced by robots in the future, there’s no need to actually turn our employees into androids.
Diapers and Depends: Gen X and Millennials Are Overwhelmed
Gen X workers currently make up the largest group of managers in the workplace, and they are struggling with a unique challenge: caring for both elderly relatives and children while balancing work at the same time. In fact, 60 percent of parents in the U.S. have felt burned out at work.
And it’s not just time and stress that adds to the challenge of caregiving: employees who also serve as caregivers are spending $190 billion per year on caregiving costs.
Overwhelmed employees are at the risk of being disengaged at work, and financial stress affects productivity. It’s worth noting that millennials are also starting to shoulder the same burden, as older millennials are beginning to reach the middle age mark with aging parents and young children.
Flex Future, Not Lex Luthor: Improving Flexibility in the Workplace
So how can employers help their stressed and overwhelmed employees, especially those who are caregivers? Look to the examples of large organizations, which have started to increase paid parental and paid family leave. Companies should also listen to their employees’ need for better flexibility at work. Research from MetLife shows that 87 percent of workers who have better flexibility are more loyal to their companies and feel more satisfied at work.
From the Top: Creating a Healthy Culture
Helping create a good work-life balance for employees needs to start with a company culture that supports employee well-being. Managers can stay aware of their employees’ needs by having regular check-ins and encouraging employees to take PTO and sick leave.
When employees don’t have to struggle with excessive stress, feel engaged and supported at work, and have a healthy balance of work and time to spend with or care for family members, everyone benefits.
Organizations need to take better care of their people. We’re all only human. At least most of us are. So when your employees are struggling to meets the needs of Uncle Ben, Aunt May, and little Stewie, make sure you’re working to meet your employee’s unique needs.
To learn more about helping employees avoid burnout, see our infographic, “How Employees Deal with Stress at Work.”