With the rise of the freelance economy and the increasing desire for flexible working, the battle for talent is tougher than ever. Professionals are reporting that they are ‘burnt out’ and want to work on their own terms. So, how can you ensure your business avoids a great resignation and maintains a healthy, happy workforce? In this blog, I take you through the reasons we are experiencing ‘The Great Resignation’ and how, by working with our brains and bodies, we can cultivate a healthy digital culture to avoid burnout
What is the great resignation?
You’ve no doubt heard about ‘The Great Resignation’ by now as Australian businesses continue to feel the effects. According to a study from PwC, almost 40% of employees plan to leave their current employer in the next year. With the adoption of technology, we have removed geographical boundaries and our people can work on their terms, for anyone, anywhere in the world.
Why is it happening?
There are a number of key reasons our people are leaving in droves, and much of it relates back to wellbeing.
Digital Burnout – technology has been an incredible tool to stay connected since the pandemic began, with most of us still opting for a remote working arrangement that has a heavy technology element. But the darkside of being so tech-enabled has resulted in digital burnout and zoom fatigue. In fact, the PwC study also shows that 81% of employees reported their wellbeing had declined during the pandemic. I have a new keynote called ‘Beat Digital Burnout’ that tackles this very issue.
Wellbeing is important – no longer is a good salary the most important element of a role. Now, employees are ranking flexibility, work-life balance and mental wellbeing at the top of the list. Interestingly, the PwC survey shows that 85% of employers have no intention of updating or re-evaluating their employee value proposition.
Boundaries have blurred – technology has allowed us to be ‘always on’, so much so that it is now an unspoken expectation in many workplaces for people to be available outside working hours. This inability to disconnect from work has blurred the lines between work and home, fostering unrealistic ‘tech-spectations’ for being always on.
All of these elements combine to create a challenging set of circumstances for employers, allowing employees looking to prioritise their wellbeing and work-life balance now able to work from anywhere, for anyone. So, how can you not only hang onto your top talent, but ensure their energy and wellbeing is protected?
Extend your duty of care- no longer are you only responsible for your team only when they are in the building; with remote and flexible working practices, you need to check in with your employees to ensure their wellbeing, particularly if the boundaries between work and home are blurring.
Work with your biology – As human beings, some of us are naturally inclined to be more productive at different times of the day, and rarely does this fit within the traditional 9-5. Not only do workers want flexibility around where they work, but also when they work, with a study from Future Forum showing 95% of workers want a say over their work hours. Have your people better understand their chronotype and start the conversation around when they would work best.
Set boundaries and rhythms for rest – changing the fabric of your organisation to stop glamorising overwork and the culture of ‘always on’ is an important step to putting your people’s wellbeing first. With clearly articulated (and enforced) guardrails around the use of technology (or ‘tech-spectations’), you can give your people the permission to disconnect and reestablish the boundaries between work and life, ensuring downtime and rest, protecting them from digital burnout.
I recently held a mini-masterclass where I shared more information on this topic and about creating digital boundaries and healthy work practices for your people. You can find the replay for this here.