We Knew Our Workplaces Were Broken, But COVID-19 Is Showing Us Just How Bad It Got

Image by Cara Shelton from Pixabay
  • I will have some days when I don’t feel well or will be struggling with depression.
  • I will need to take time off for vacations and for unexpected family emergencies.
  • I am not willing to work long days or over weekends unless absolutely necessary.
  • I need time to do things I love, like hike, cook, dance, and spend time with friends and family.
  • When was the last time you took a vacation without feeling guilty about the extra burden on our colleagues? Most workplaces lack even the most basic processes and plans in place to enable us to go on vacation in peace: a third of employees don’t use the vacation time they’ve earned because they feel too guilty, discouraged by their boss, or have too much work to take time off.
  • Have you experienced resentment in the workplace when someone is out unexpectedly for more than a few days due to illness, injury, maternity leave, or family emergency? We know these life events happen to everyone, yet most workplaces experience immediate bottlenecks and backlogs when even one person is out.
  • Have you ever felt like your recognition for going above and beyond in your work performance is an even heavier and stressful workload? Often, the most capable and successful employees are often “rewarded” by being taken for granted and overworked, sometimes with additional compensation, but more often without.
  • Some overlap and redundancy in workload so individuals can take worry-free vacations AND teams don’t suffer bottlenecks when people have to take leave.
  • Monitoring everyone’s workload to make sure that people aren’t being overloaded, that everyone is pulling their weight, and work is fairly distributed.
  • Offering professional development, mentoring, and training so people can build new skills and move into new roles so they stay challenges and engaged.
  • Creating systems and processes to make tedious and repetitive tasks less burdensome.
  • Investing in training and support for managers to they feel confident handling the challenges and problems that come their way.
  • Paying close attention to employee morale, and work to actively solicit and respond to feedback.
  • Ensuring enough paid time off for vacation, sick leave, family care, mental health days, etc.

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