A new survey[i] with hybrid workers across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland and the United Arab Emirates shows that 58% feel that the rise in remote working has meant they are ‘always on’ and always available, leaving them unable to relax or switch off from work.

The report by electronics company, Poly highlights that whilst many workers have benefited from a shift to home or ‘hybrid’ working – avoiding lengthy commutes, achieving a better work-life balance and feeling less stressed – for some the transition hasn’t been so smooth, and the risk of ‘burnout’ from an always on culture is now a real concern for employers.

Adrian Lewis, Director at Activ People HR shares this concern and is urging organisations to adapt their ways of working and the support they give employees to this new way of working.

Adrian says, “The pandemic has altered the workplace for ever, accelerating the trend to flexible ways of working and trusting staff to work away from the office, moving away from the traditional 9-5 workplace model. This brings with it enormous benefits for many workers, however there are also risks such as burnout as highlighted by this report.

“There are also risks from poor mental health such as people feeling stressed, anxious and depressed, as the signs can go unnoticed by employers and colleagues as they are not seeing them in the office, as well as risks from people not feeling part of the office culture anymore which can bring its own challenges.”

The Poly report showed that the biggest drawbacks to working at home were having less fun with colleagues, being expected to work outside of their of their usual hours, missing out on learning from peers and seniors and being discriminated against or treated differently to employees in the office full-time.

Adrian adds, “As the UK starts to return to some normality it’s important for employers to ensure their policies and working practices are suitable for the changed workplace. This includes having the right technology and systems in place that enable employers to recognise quickly if someone is suffering from burnout or poor mental wellbeing.

“Not letting problems escalate and nipping things in the bud early can result in better outcomes for employees with support given where it’s needed. Absence management technology can help employers do this, giving managers instant access to all kinds of data such as absenteeism patterns and not taking annual leave, which could be red flags that something isn’t right with an employee. By having this data managers can see immediately where issues may lie in their workforce and it can enable them to start conversations with employees to find out if there is anything wrong.

“With workers increasingly working at home having a system that can record all absences that can be viewed in real time, means employers always have a clear picture of what’s happening across their workforce. It can also aid flexible working with managers knowing who is working, on holiday, off sick etc. on any given day, ensuring the office always runs smoothly and is adequately staffed.”

For more information on Active People HR visit: www.activpeoplehr.co.uk.

[i] https://www.thehrdirector.com/business-news/future-of-work/poly-evolution-of-the-workplace-report-highlights-need-for-work-equity-and-total-meeting-equality-for-hybrid-workers/