Smart IT Can Help Reduce Stress

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Work-life-balance is crucial for a healthy life

This post is also available in: German

Most of sick days taken due to burnout in 2018 were attributable to professions in dialog marketing. It was 313.4 days of incapacity to work per 1,000 members This means that this occupational group is once again leading the burnout risk ranking. This figure was almost three times higher than the average among AOK members!

The diagnostic frequency has also increased drastically. Whereas one case of burnout per 1,000 members appeared on average in 2005, this figure had risen to 5.5 by 2017. Sales and nursing care for the elderly follow in second and third place (source: Statista 2019). Meanwhile, the DAK Health Report 2018 reports that mental illnesses ranked second (16.7%) and that the number of sick days has increased compared to the previous year. According to the AOK, the burden of sickness due to diagnosed burnout syndrome has more than quadrupled over the last ten years. The numbers clearly show that something has to happen! And modern workplace technology can provide a significant amount of support in this context. But how?

Present-Day Burnout Diagnoses Across All Hierarchical Levels

In research, burnout is repeatedly associated with high stress at the workplace and in private life. I made the following observation in my interactions with customers: In the past, burnout mainly affected C-level or management-level employees, but the symptom is now observed across all levels. Burnout often goes hand in hand with strong dissatisfaction on the part of the employee, which, coupled with the fear of discussing it with superiors, results in a vicious cycle. Instead, we like to seek advice from colleagues, who can only rarely help. Managers, on the other hand, rarely recognize excessive demands that might overwhelm employees, dismissing the symptoms as laziness. Alternatively, they may attempt to control the symptoms with micromanagement measures. How can companies prevent this?  Here are some promising approaches:

  • Companies should sensitize their employees to issues such as work-life balance. First and foremost managers should learn about eustress (positive) and distress (negative). All should get trainings on how to deal with these.
  • Transparent organization of work promotes independent work as well as teamwork and helps to abolish micromanagement.
  • Modern, agile working methods and processes help workers to think in terms of priorities and to solve tasks according to the capabilities of the individual and the team instead of following a set of detailed specifications. IT can provide vital assistance here.

Creating Positive Employee Experiences

These challenges cannot be overcome with task management systems alone. On the contrary, such tools promote excessive micromanagement, if they are not counterbalanced by a collaborative work philosophy. This can lead to the delegation of tasks to individuals. Instead of involving the entire team, this continuously increases pressure on one person.

A better approach is to provide employees with tools made available at all times. To help them solve their tasks or challenges independently, creating a positive employee experience. There are plenty of such tools and apps that could easily remedy the situation if it weren’t for the necessary and legitimate licensing and security policies as well as compliance requirements for companies. It is essential for employees to be able to use intuitive tools, and quickly select the ones that work best for the given task. Of course without delay and in accordance with operational requirements.

Selecting and Downloading Apps and Tools Should Be Child’s Play

And this is how it works in practice. Everyone has probably experienced frustrating situations like the following. You are working from home, and at 5:30 p.m. the boss requests urgently an image for a PowerPoint presentation. You don’t have a suitable picture at hand and are unable to quickly find an open-license alternative on the Internet. At the same time, however, you must pick up your child from day care at 6 p.m. on the dot.

At Matrix42, we have developed Workspace Management and the Matrix42 Service Catalog for situations just like these. Matrix42 Workspace Management provides you with all devices, applications, data, identities, and services from a central location. This means that the employee in our example can immediately shop a stock photo via the central service catalog. The service is provided within seconds, and the image processing software is installed immediately on all relevant devices. All this takes place without a credit card and in accordance with the company’s security and compliance guidelines. The employee can include the appropriate picture into the presentation in good time before fetching his child from day care. Afterwards, he can devote more time to his child. And his boss will be satisfied because she got what she needed quickly. IT that works in this way can thus prevent burnout and support a healthy work-life balance.

How advanced is your company when it comes to supporting modern and agile workspace management? Would you also like to take advantage of IT that supports your work-life balance in this way? Then feel free to contact me!

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