You, I, we all work too much!

You, I, we all work too much!

28. April 2023

By Stephan Breitfeld 

Let’s talk about something we all face. There is just so much to be done! As the world becomes more complex and competitive, the workload of people in leading positions – and all positions for that matter – continues to increase. Whether you are a CEO, manager, or team leader, etc., the demands on your time and attention can be overwhelming. Let’s explore why workload increases for people in leading positions and what can be done to deal with it.

How did we get here?

There are several reasons. One of the primary reasons is that as organizations grow and become more complex, there are more tasks to be done and more people to manage. This means that leaders have to spend more time and energy on planning, coordinating, and monitoring the activities of their teams. And on careful consideration and analysis, which can be time-consuming and mentally draining.

Leaders are often expected to be role models for their teams, setting an example of hard work and dedication. This can create a culture of long hours and high expectations, which can lead to burnout and stress, followed by reduced productivity, poor job satisfaction, and a range of physical and mental health problems. It’s important for individuals in leading positions to manage their workload effectively to avoid these negative effects and ensure their own well-being, as well as the well-being of their team and the organization. But how?

How can workload be managed?

Of course, we all know the skills to (in theory) manage workload. Prioritize tasks, delegate responsibilities, set boundaries, use technology or even seek support. But the still very much raging epidemic of burnout lets us wonder whether it can actually be managed anymore. Let’s take the example of delegating responsibilities. Yes, it makes absolute sense to decrease workload by putting the work on more shoulders. BUT: there is a talent shortage, so it may be difficult to hire more workers to decrease the workload.

This can create a vicious circle: When there are fewer employees to do the job, the workload may become even more overwhelming, leading to burnout and turnover, and making it even more difficult to find qualified workers.

To break this cycle, organizations need to be proactive in managing their workload and preventing burnout. In addition, organizations may need to explore alternative solutions to manage their workload effectively. These can be strategies like:

1.    Redefining job roles

2.    Upskilling and reskilling employees

3.    Outsourcing non-core tasks

4.    Implementing flexible work arrangements

5.    Improving work processes

It’s important for organizations to be creative and innovative in managing their workload. By adopting a flexible and adaptive approach, organizations can maintain a positive work culture and ensure that their employees are not overwhelmed by their workload. What’s your take on your workload? Get in touch!

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