By Amanda Winstead
Effective project management is all about empowering your employees while facilitating communication between stakeholders. However, if you’re working on a project that’s not going to plan, your team could be dealing with heightened stress. Left unchecked, this long-term stress can even lead to burnout.
Burnout is a serious issue when working on projects as it will undermine your operational efficiency, increase the risk of human errors, and even cause accidents at work. This will further delay deadlines and undermine your ability to motivate your team. Address burnout and get your team back on track by using the latest tech to alleviate stress and increase productivity.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization as an “occupational phenomenon” that results due to chronic workplace stress. Left unchecked, the long-term effects of burnout include:
● High Blood Pressure: Folks who experience long-term stress may develop heart conditions and cardiovascular problems like palpitations.
● Migraines: Tension headaches and migraines plague overworked people. They can get so bad that folks skip social events and try to work in isolation.
● Weakened Immune System: Chronic stress undermines your immune system and leaves you vulnerable to cold, flu, and viruses.
● Substance Abuse: People who are burned out are looking for an escape and sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol for relief. Some folks even develop a reliance on substances that keep them more alert during the day.
Employees who suffer from any of these symptoms are certain to experience a drop in productivity and happiness. Staff who are stressed are more likely to become sick, too, which will cause projects to be delayed and the budget to spiral out of control.
Project Management Tools
Avoiding burnout should be among your top priorities as a project manager. Doing so will keep your staff happy and increase your odds of staying on track.
You can start to target the root cause of burnout on your site by empowering staff with technology that helps them work more efficiently. Technology like project management software reduces the amount of time that employees spend searching for information and helps them update tasks in real-time. Other benefits of business software include:
● Increased data accuracy.
● Improved collaboration and communication.
● Enhanced compliance.
● Increased agility and adaptability on-site.
While these changes don’t directly target mental health on-site, they do make your employee’s work lives easier. This has a knock-on effect on wellbeing by reducing stress and empowering staff. So, before your next project begins, set aside some time to research potential project management tools and switch up your approach for improved efficiency.
Collaboration is key when working on a complex project with tight deadlines. You need everyone to be on the same page or you’ll experience bottlenecks that set projects back and leave your employees feeling frustrated with one another.
You can boost collaboration and improve morale by making full use of remote collaboration tools that help staff stay in touch with one another even when they’re working from home. These tools keep lines of communication open 24/7 and help you check in frequently with stakeholders. This strengthens your team’s culture and helps everyone achieve their goals.
Today, you can even leverage powerful mobile technology that is convenient, user-friendly, and streamlines communication. Leveraging mobile tech takes the burden off individual workers to communicate, as everyone receives the same updates in real time. Folks who use mobile apps can interact, share files, and meet while away from their desk, too. This optimizes the workflow process by improving task management and empowers staff by giving them access to data points like inventory levels and revenue reports. Some of the most popular collaboration tools, like Slack, Trello, Asana, and Google Drive, have mobile versions that are optimized that your group could look into.
Mobile apps can keep you abreast of changes to the supply chain, too. This is important if you’re often away from the office and can’t keep an eye on suppliers upstream from a desktop. A real-time update on your phone can help you pivot quickly and significantly improve your team’s agility. This aids collaboration, simplifies your project planning, and helps you leverage data on the go.
Increasing efficiency and enhancing collaboration can help you address the underlying cause of burnout. However, some staff will still struggle to deal with stress and become burned out over the course of a project. Helping these staff manage their stress and strike a healthier work-life balance is key to the success of your project.
You can lean on high-tech stress management tools and mental health apps to improve your management. Consider subsidizing subscriptions to programs like:
● Calm: Offers an extensive library of guided meditations, wellness videos, and sleep-time stories that decrease stress and improve focus at work.
● Headspace: Focuses on mindfulness and meditation that helps users take a break from stress and breathe deeply when the day just isn’t going their way.
● Ginger: Users can access on-demand mental health services via text with trained coaches. The app also offers psychiatry sessions and self-help resources.
● BetterHelp: Connects users with licensed therapists who provide flexible, private mental health support.
These apps are convenient and empower employees to take positive action in their personal lives. They can connect employees with mental health services and help them find a therapist who can offer more in-depth services.
If you notice that your team is still suffering from burnout, make changes to reduce stress at work. Use remote technology to offer more flexible schedules and let folks work from home when possible. If you do go remote, use some of that office space as a mindfulness room designed to give folks a much-needed break during a busy workday.
Effective project managers know how to help their staff manage stress and beat burnout. You can do the same by leveraging high-tech solutions like project management software, mobile apps, and mental health services. These programs are designed to increase your efficiency, improve collaboration, and empower employees to become more agile and adaptable.