Recognition of good work eases productivity anxiety of employees

Niamh O’Brien, senior vice president, Human Experience, at Workhuman.

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Employees’ anxiety over their productivity levels is leading to a rise in absenteeism and burnout costing employers billions of euro each year, cautions a leading Irish HR solutions expert.

More than 64% of employees surveyed suffer from productivity anxiety, with 10% of those saying they experience it every day, according to a survey by Workhuman, cloud-based, human capital management software solutions provider.

Employers and their managers, however, can help alleviate some of this pressure. Around 57% of those surveyed said they would feel less anxious if they received proper recognition for their work.

Niamh Graham, senior vice president, Human Experience, at Workhuman, said: “With absenteeism and burnout costing the EU billions each year (IBEC), productivity anxiety can be a big expense for Irish businesses. Productivity anxiety can cause employees to lose motivation and increase conflicts, creating a negative work atmosphere.

“To tackle this, companies can encourage work-life balance with flexible schedules, provide mental health support, foster open communication, and properly recognise employee achievements. By focusing on these areas, businesses can boost performance and create a healthier, more supportive workplace.”

The research also found that although 58% of employees said they feel more productive at the office, a gender disparity exists in perceived in-office productivity. While 71% of male employees felt they accomplished more on in-office days, only 33% of female employees reported the same.

Despite this, women are more likely to work in the office five days a week compared to men, with 58% of women required to be in the office, versus 30% of men.

“With ways of working constantly evolving, it is not surprising that employees may be feeling more anxious about whether they are achieving enough at work, and being noticed for it. With recognition being the number one factor employees stated can help with their anxiety, leaders must start prioritizing this to foster a supportive work environment.

“Our survey also shows a discrepancy between men and women when it comes to working arrangements and wellbeing perks. With more than half of women saying they are more productive at home, but most of them being required to work five days a week on-site, it’s clear that leadership needs to be more in tune with the individual needs of its employees when designing flexible work policies and wellbeing benefits packages.


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