How organisations can help stop zoning out at work

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It is now a full Covid year of disruption, change and anxiety. Stress levels and workloads have never been higher. Teams and employees have risen to the challenge and over the last year. Unsettling change has effected everybody’s way of working. Work schedules and places of work have been irrevocably disrupted. The question is how long can key performers sustain this level of change, stress and anxiety and how can organisations support them? This article will outline what senior leaders and HR have been doing to prevent further mental health issues and support key performers during this critical next phase.

The latest figures from CIPD have shown that zoning out at work is becoming an increasing issue. Which during conversations and working with a number of organisations the biggest issue that I’ve noticed is that reduced productivity due to presenteeism has become an issue.   Proactive organisations are combating this with effective Resilience Strategies, but first, let’s outline the problem and how it is affecting organisations.

What is presenteeism?

‘Presenteeism’ is zoning out at work or not fully performing whilst at work.  This has been created during the pandemic by work overload and it affects an employee’s ability to focus, be productive and combat stress.

Covid – and in particular lockdown at home – has created issues cited in the latest CIPD report illustrate this: 

  • 83% ‘presenteeism’ (going to work when ill) in their organisation
  • 25% say that presenteeism has got worse since 2019

During Covid lockdown routines have been disrupted, child care (and homeschooling) has been difficult, causing a strain within the home which is being reflected back in team engagement levels.

Anxiety has been a major part of the Covid lockdown and understanding how this affects managers presenteeism and supporting them during this time is essential, and whilst HR departments are particularly busy at the moment – the strain on staff relationships, engagement and productivity has never suffered more.

The symptoms of presenteeism include:

  • Presenteeism affects the ability of people to learn and pick up new tasks/routines
  • Managers are feeling pressured and not looking after themselves, this is affecting their job roles, 
  • Unable to function well and producing work that is not their normal standard
  • Working longer hours is a result of the quality of work being produced, mistakes are being made.
  • Learning to adapt is taking the time and creating productivity issues
  • The strain of unengaged and even disenchanted team members will affect the entire staff performance.

How can organisations work to reduce presenteeism?

To support organisations with these presenteeism issues and boost productivity I have put together a training ‘Positivity Resilience Training – supporting a Growth Mindset’ which has had great organisational comments, including:

“We had some stellar feedback from the training yesterday – the companies approach to having an external host running this training is brilliant and really makes a difference to learning”  Senior HR Openwork

The purpose of the Positivity Resilience training is to illustrate why stress and presenteeism are having an impact, so that managers can self identify these issues and – with the help of mental agility tools provided in the training –  bounce back effectively.

The engaging 1.5-hour training will also identify those team members who have had significant mental health issues during the lockdown and those who will struggle which will impact their productivity (and therefore affect organisational profitability) levels.

How organisations can help stop zoning out at work: Next steps

To support and help key performers at this critical time, the Positivity Resilience training will identify mental health issues and create resilient managers who are able to adapt quickly and flexibly to uncertainty so that they are able to embrace change, become more creative and are quick to respond to new challenges. 

The package also includes an optional 30 minutes debrief call so that you can get clarity on what is working within your organisation and what areas will need further support.

To discuss further book a call or please email me

Next steps:

To move this forward, the next step is to book a call with me, Adele Stickland and together we can discover what stage your organisation is currently at, and how you can best implement the most proactive strategy that will serve your employees.

Workplace resilience training
Adele Stickland

Adele Stickland

With over 20 years of experience in the wellbeing industry, Adele has a unique insight into stress awareness and resilience within organisations. With a powerful combination of personal experience and industry background Adele is ideally placed to understand the needs of organisations looking to improve corporate Resilience Programmes and specifically tailor them to their requirements. As a former leader in the marketing world, Adele was employed in a variety of corporate roles spanning advertising, retail, and marketing together with over 20 years of running her own wellness business. After becoming a victim of ambition-burnout herself, through personal development, training and learning. Adele recognises that resilience is a skill that can be learned and developed using a crafted framework bespoke to each organisation.

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