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Businesses must urge their employees to take annual leave to avoid burnout, even if they don’t leave the country, according to The Myers-Briggs Company.

The business psychology organisation has warned that those still working remotely may be facing more pressure to be seen as working hard.
With quarantine restrictions on many tourist destinations, some people are reluctant to book holidays abroad. The Myers-Briggs Company has warned that failure to take annual leave, even to rest at home, risks employees suffering a burnout.
John Hackston, head of thought leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, said: “While many employees are working even harder to compensate for the furloughed colleagues, due to the innate lack of visibility in remote working, some may be overdoing it in order to be seen as productive. Businesses need to be intentional and vocal about making their employees taking time off and disconnect in order to avoid burning out.”
Although remote working has offered increased flexibility, the Covid-19 pandemic has blurred the lines between work and home life “intensely”, Hackston says. Those blurred lines are often resulting in employees working longer hours at home than they would in the office.
The Myers-Briggs Company’s Global Trends Report¬†found that an enforced overlap between work and home life is linked to negative outcomes, including increased stress, decreased performance, low satisfaction with family life, poorer health, reduced life satisfaction and lower sleep quality. Even before the pandemic, The Myers-Briggs Company’s previous studies had found nearly a third of workers couldn’t switch off as a result of the ‘always on’ culture, with one in five suffering from mental exhaustion.
John Hackston added: “Under normal circumstances, remote working is a great addition to the workplace as it gives employees the power to work how and where they like. However, in the current climate, working from home has taken on a whole new context, with the separation of work and home life nearly impossible for many people. As a result, the tendency to be ‘always-on’ has only been heightened and can have negative repercussions on both the efficiency or organisations and the wellbeing of employees.
“Where a summer holiday might normally be a moment of reprieve, the uncertainty around travel may make some people reluctant to take holiday entirely, and the risk of working from home burnout even more imminent.
“Different personalities handle the challenge of remote working in different ways, and where some employees might be thriving, others may be struggling. It is crucial that leaders recognise both their own preferred styles of working, and their teams’, in order to combat potential burnout before it begins.
“Individual employees typically have only a limited influence in changing the always-on working culture – instead, it requires leaders to lead by personal example. In addition to encouraging employees to take time off even if they can’t physically travel, leaders must empower their teams with strategies to disconnect and cope with the always-on culture.”
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