As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of going anywhere soon, companies are starting to look into new ways to keep productivity up. In a report from the Wall Street Journal, numerous companies broke down how they're currently tackling the issue of worker burnout. Among the biggest concerns is the mental health of employees, and some companies have are interested in addressing that.
Per the report, Accenture PLC's CEO Jimmy Etheredge recently asked a couple dozen of his colleagues to attend two-and-half-hour virtual training sessions designed to help workers facing mental health issues. Etheredge added he has gotten numerous emails from employees regarding the problems they face in the COVID-19 era, and that when management staff would initially engage they'd attempt to fix the issues rather than make sure workers feel heard.
Eventbrite, meanwhile, recently re-trained leadership to go from asking how employees are doing to asking, "How are you really, really doing?" Seattle construction and engineering company McKinstry Co. LLC is instead utilizing a technique called "Good News Friday," in which the companies names eight things that happened in the past week that were positive.
Since many are still working from home and have been since about March, a lot of bosses are looking into offering "self-care days." Public relations firm Geben Communication recently began to offer employees these bonus days off, encouraging them to get away from the computer or internet. Ryan Wuerch, CEO of cashback app Dosh, has given his employees impromptu three-day weekends now and then over the past few months. Some have also pivoted to occasional 30-hour workweeks, reducing the workload intermittently to give employees time to recharge.
The report indicated that encouraging employees to take time off, expanding counseling and mental health services, and managers checking in on their employees can do a lot to combat burnout. Offering training for managers to better deal with expressing empathy is highly recommended, as it unsurprisingly turns out people feel more comfortable when they feel they are being listened to.
While this is a start, many on Twitter reacted to the story after it went viral. Users expressed their enthusiasm for mental health support and encouraging workers to slow down every now and then, but others raised concerns. A lot, however, just expressed their frustration that they had not received similiar treatment at their own workplaces.