By Brittany Burton and Victoria Sprenger
Once upon a time, three young women found themselves struggling at work. Tired, isolated, and cold, the three were in need of support from their employers during these trying times:
The first of our tales follows a young professional named Aurora. In wake of her company’s compensation review, their team had let some members go, and she now found herself working out-of-hours in order to ensure she was deemed a reliable employee.
But not too long passed before Aurora noticed she was starting to burnout. And she wasn’t alone – the effects of this ‘always-on’ culture have led to 43% of global workers also experiencing burnout.
She found herself feeling exhausted, fighting off the need for a workday nap, but didn’t want to admit to this in case it made her look incapable.
How can Aurora’s employer help her?
Firstly, they may consider the implementation of policies that will remove outside hours correspondence to help to set boundaries around constant contact. This attitude then needs to be embedded into the culture of her workplace, so that it becomes more than just a policy, but also a commonly held mindset.
As well as this, her line-manager should be setting up regular one-to-one’s which are solely dedicated to hearing what she has to say. Having this time to discuss her individual needs and concerns will help her employer to understand what support they can offer her, as well as highlighting that they value her wellbeing.
“Beauty and the Bricks”
Our next tale is about Belle, a fresh-out-of-university employee who has just started her first job, which is full-time remote working.
At first, she loves it. The freedom, the flexibility; she felt like her organization truly trusted her, and she didn’t disappoint them. But after a few months, she began to notice a sense of detachment – Belle was lonely.
81% of younger workers also expressed genuine concerns about loneliness over the prospect of working fully remotely. It was difficult to make connections, and sometimes, Belle even found herself talking to the clocks and the candles.
So, what can Belle’s employer do to support her?
When a company is fully remote, it is important that they plan regular in-person gatherings. These could be on a quarterly basis, and can be purpose-driven or simply for team building. Either way, having these events will help foster a sense of connection amongst employees, and can act as a better ice breaker than a Zoom call.
It is also important with remote work to try and recreate those ‘water-cooler’ moments as much as possible. With the only interaction being pre-set meetings with a pre-set agenda, it is difficult and awkward to find time to just simply chat, catch-up and leave room for natural ideas to form. Promote the idea of setting up meetings with no particular goal in mind to recreate that space for creative idea exchanges, as well as chances for people to get to know their colleagues that little bit better.
As well as this, employers should encourage their team to not be afraid to get creative with where they decide to work remotely from!
“No More Glass Slippers”
Lastly, we have Ella. With the inflation rates soaring to 11.1% and perpetuating the cost-of-living crisis, she finds herself struggling to stretch her paycheck far enough to pay bills, eat, and keep the heating on to stave off the winter. Not to mention the pets.
Ella hasn’t had much experience supporting herself financially, and so her spending habits have been sporadic at times. She even resorted to selling her favorite glass slippers on Poshmark for the extra cash.
How can Ella’s employer help her through these trying times?
In a time of economic uncertainty, many companies are also struggling to find the means of offering their staff more money. But there are a range of different things companies can do to help shave off costs for their employees here and there.
For example, employers could consider moving to more remote work to help people like Ella save money on commuting. If this isn’t possible, then offering a loan for a yearly travel pass that the employee pays back monthly can make travel a lot more affordable – and it also means that they are saving money with their energy bills by being out of their house.
Promoting the use of apps that help younger workers like Ella to track spending habits and expenses can also make a big difference – knowing how to use your money effectively is a skill that needs nurturing, and apps like Mint can be very effective at teaching this.
Copyright OrgShakers: The global HR consultancy for workplace transformation founded by David Fairhurst in 2020