From presenteeism to e-presenteeism: how to avoid the burnout effect

February 14, 2022

Featured-Image_Blog_From presenteeism to e-presenteeism: how to avoid the burnout effect _EN

The ‘burnout syndrome’ has always been a concern for HR managers. With the notable increase of remote working in the next normal, that concern remains and is taking on a new dimension.

Now, it is necessary to monitor ‘technostress’, in addition to minimizing the negative impact of e-presenteeism or telepresence. 

In the same way that analogical presenteeism is a burden for real productivity, the feeling of a permanent connection and 24/7 availability can lead to a burnout dynamic.

As of May 2021, the WHO officially recognizes that work-related stress negatively affects the psychological and physical health of workers. On the other hand, the WHO itself estimates that one in five people will suffer from some mental health-related condition in the post-pandemic reality. Twice as many as in a normal scenario.  

Using technology to manage objectives

Although it may seem paradoxical, digitalization can be the solution to minimize the negative impact of virtual presenteeism.

Let’s talk about MBOs or Management By Objectives. This managerial approach could be beneficial if we perfectly define the objectives of the teams.

When it comes to linking productivity to MBO, we can reduce the feeling of being constantly available and online. How? Knowing which are the strategic objectives and identifying if we are spending the time in being beneficial to them. 

The use of HR software also allows the development of an internal communication dynamic that reduces the feeling of isolation and loneliness. In addition, it reduces the uncertainty of facing a disruptive situation by sharing goals, solutions, and concerns with the rest of the organization.

This way, remote HR management can keep e-presenteeism at bay. 

Evaluating performance with KPIs

Beyond connection time or virtual availability, productivity needs to be measured in other ways. How? Checking the evolution of projects and strategic objectives already defined.

The HR department has to implement a policy based on: 

  • Creating fluid communication. 
  • And, promoting reconciliation. 

Creating a fluid communication

Through informal channels that allow sharing feelings, obstacles, and solutions in the remote workflow.

This significantly reduces the feeling of facing things alone. The team members can discuss and exchange their points of view easily, even working from home. 

Promoting reconciliation

Remote HR management tools make it possible to set work models, schedules, shifts, and rotations that contribute when it comes to achieving objectives.

Thanks to these tools, we can establish an operating dynamic that is geared towards the reconciliation of private life, and not towards “hijacking” of all the available time of the employees. 

Although e-presenteeism is a risk, the combined use of HR management software with an appropriate corporate “right to disconnect” policy can keep the specter of burnout away from your organization.