In the past year, businesses have been stretched thin to stay afloat amidst the pandemic. Employees have been expected to do more than ever before, to make up for the budget cuts most organizations faced. People, who are already stressed from their home lives, are feeling additional stress at work. Some of the consequences of heavy workload on employees are poor mental health, communication problems, and an increase in errors.
Poor Mental Health
According to the American Psychological Organization, stress in the US is a “National mental health crisis.” Mental health facilities are filling up with both children and adults, and for employed adults, work is a major stressor. In both 2019 and 2020, “64% of employed adults reported it as a source of stress.” Employed adults spend over 40 hours a week working, and over half of them are stressed because of it. Overworking these employees is going to make matters worse.
If an already stressed employee is asked to do a simple task, what would have been an easy conversation could turn into a negatively charged situation for both the employee and the manager. According to Healthline, “A 2013 study by neuroscientists found that even mild levels of stress can impair our ability to control our emotions.” Imagine you get home from a long, hard day of work and your partner asks you to unload the dishwasher, and then you start yelling. This isn’t a difficult task, but it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. This could start a trickle-down effect of communication problems. When an organization’s communication breaks down, it becomes difficult to recover from the problems that arise.
Increase in Errors
People who are stressed, sleep deprived, or communicating poorly make errors. At this point, most organizations cannot afford errors. A heavy workload on employees will cause errors because they will not be able to pay attention to detail like they did in the past. This will create repeated, unnecessary mistakes, which causes regret. The regret then turns into poor mental health, and the cycle continues.
Properly managing workload for employees is positive for everyone in the business. It will decrease your turnover rate and decrease the errors made in your organization. To avoid unnecessarily heavy workloads, create schedules and routines that reflect your organization’s needs. Communicate with employees about their workload as well as their mental health, it will be key to surviving as a business in these difficult times.
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