Workplace health and wellbeing is something that has really come to the fore over the last 18 months or so, with the global pandemic shining a light on business practices and what can be done to help protect people and offer them the support they need to ensure they can remain productive at work – and happy in the jobs they’re doing, even in the face of overwhelming adversity.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, the mental health-related absence was the most common cause of long-term sickness absence in workplaces around the UK.
Figures from the Health and Safety Executive for 2018/2019 show that stress-related absence, in particular, was on the rise pre-pandemic, with depression, stress, and anxiety accounting for 44 percent of work-related ill health and 54 percent of working days lost over the course of the year.
Fast forward to 2021 and stats from CIPHR show that 79 percent of adults report feeling stressed at least once a month – and 18 percent say that their workload is what causes them to feel most stressed out.
While feeling a bit of stress at work is relatively normal, elevated levels of stress can cause all sorts of other associated mental health problems – and, if it goes unnoticed or isn’t dealt with, it could soon manifest itself in burnout, which was acknowledged by the World Health Organisation as an occupational phenomenon in 2019.
What is burnout?
Burnout is where you find yourself in a state of physical and emotional exhaustion and it can manifest itself when you experience long-term stress in your role at work, or when you’ve been in a physically or emotionally draining job for a long time.
Symptoms and signs to look out for include feeling detached or alone, feeling helpless and defeated, feeling tired or drained most of the time, feeling overwhelmed, procrastinating and taking longer to finish tasks, having a negative outlook, and feeling plagued with self-doubt.
Over the course of the pandemic, several factors were identified as contributing significantly towards burnout.
Research from Mental Health UK found that money worries, working from home, concerns about job security, isolation, physical health, sleep, relationships, home-schooling children, and caring for others were all big risk factors for burnout – knowledge that could help brands decide how best to go about supporting employees in this regard.
Unfortunately, burnout won’t just magically disappear by itself and, in fact, it can actually get worse if the underlying issues go unaddressed.
As such, it’s essential that employers of all shapes and sizes, across all industries, know how to spot signs of chronic stress and burnout – and that they have processes and procedures in place to help prevent employees from struggling in this regard in the first place.
How can PLM processes help?
There are all sorts of ways in which you can help prevent burnout at work but one strategy you may not have considered is harnessing the power of PLM processes – where certain systems are employed to manage the entire lifecycle of a product right through from inception and engineering design to manufacture, service and disposal of products.
Going digital can help promote flexible working, as well as allow brands to adopt hybrid operating models, bringing people, data, processes, and business systems together in one place.
This then helps to improve product quality, reduce time to market, drive down prototyping costs, reduce environmental impact, improve operational serviceability and identify new sales opportunities – all of which will drive improvements in the working lives of those on staff at businesses of all kinds and across all sectors.
By adopting this way of working, employees are able to enjoy quick and easy access to all the information they need, no matter what point of the manufacturing process they’re at. PLM software allows brands and suppliers to collaborate in a single place, making product development really easy – no matter how big or small the corporation in question is.
PLM can also increase productivity – and we’ve seen some of our clients experience a 30 percent rise in this because of using these kinds of systems… so it’s a win-win for both employees and employers alike!
If you want to find out more about our award-winning software solution and how it could help you make and sell products, as well as protect your workforce from the dreaded burnout, get in touch with the team today.