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The ‘end of home work’, preventing staff attrition & 'pandemic brain'


With some business leaders demanding a return to office and others thinking they’ve found a way to stop the ‘Great Resignation’ myGrapevine magazine looks at...

In this month’s myGrapevine magazine leadership roundup, we look at what one leader thinks can stop high turnover, why one CEO demands that every employee sends him their holiday plans, if ‘pandemic brain’ is impacting business chiefs and why some bosses are demanding an end to homeworking rules.

 

Leader thinks she can prevent ‘Great Resignation’

 

Leader thinks she can prevent ‘Great Resignation’

Many companies are currently facing what has been called a ‘Great Resignation’ – more commonly defined as a mass migration of workers away from their current employers. However, Cyndi Williams, Chief Executive of medical technology firm Quin, believes she has found a way to keep staff when she was forced into action after her Co-Founder quit.

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She believes that bosses should focus on whether an organisation is delivering learning opportunities for staff, if employees have friends, and if the world is getting better as a result of time spent there. In fact, when surveying staff on these points and asking if the company could do more for them, she found that, by improving in these areas, she got promises from staff that they would also stay.

Why one leader demands staff send him holiday plans

Okta’s CEO and Co-Founder, Todd McKinnon, has done something rarely heard of among executive-level leadership: he takes employee wellbeing into his own hands. Although his US-based tech start-up offers unlimited annual leave, he grew concerned that workers were not only not taking advantage of the perk, but actually not taking any holiday at all.

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Therefore, he now asks that each member of staff emails him individually, with their own intentions to take holiday whilst also showcasing that he is planning to take leave. McKinnon, it seems, is not only trying to manage burnout by making staff responsible for taking leave but also modelling the need for rest himself, by being upfront about his holiday plans.

Why one leader demands staff send him holiday plans

 

Why one leader demands staff send him holiday plans

Okta’s CEO and Co-Founder, Todd McKinnon, has done something rarely heard of among executive-level leadership: he takes employee wellbeing into his own hands. Although his US-based tech start-up offers unlimited annual leave, he grew concerned that workers were not only not taking advantage of the perk, but actually not taking any holiday at all.

Therefore, he now asks that each member of staff emails him individually, with their own intentions to take holiday whilst also showcasing that he is planning to take leave. Mckinnon, it seems, is not only trying to manage burnout by making staff responsible for taking leave but also modelling the need for rest himself, by being upfront about his holiday plans.

 

‘Pandemic brain’ – is it hitting leaders?

 

‘Pandemic brain’ – is it hitting leaders?

Although burnout is an issue that has been widely reported on over the last year, there has not been much focus on another condition: 'pandemic brain'. Apparently, this condition – a term written about in a Guardian piece authored by Kelli Maria Korducki – refers to the mental deterioration that many have experienced over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

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With symptoms including overwhelm, distractibility and lack of focus, it is likely to have been felt by business leaders, who have had a lot on their plate over the past 18 months. And, the likely cure is rest. Mike Yassa, Director of the UC Irvine Centre for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and the UCI Brain Initiative, told the Guardian that “it’s going to take us some time to recover from it”.

Employers demand an end to home work

Although we are now past ‘Freedom Day’ with work-from-advice lapsing, many employers want the Government to encourage a return to the office. In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, more than 50 business leaders said that employers needed to know what the ending of covid restrictions would mean 'in a practical sense', according to the BBC.

The letter, which was signed by Capita’s Chief Executive Jon Lewis and BT’s boss Philip Jansen, among others, said that homeworking shouldn’t be a default anymore.

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They added in the letter: "Our economic recovery will only succeed if the Government commits to reviving our city centres. At this critical moment, we believe that it is essential that the Government is unambiguous in its communications that, when the stage four restrictions lift, public transport is safe, offices are safe, and working from home is no longer the default.”

Employers demand an end to home work

 

Although we are now past ‘Freedom Day’ with work-from-advice lapsing, many employers want the Government to encourage a return to the office. In a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, more than 50 business leaders said that employers needed to know what the ending of covid restrictions would mean 'in a practical sense', according to the BBC.

The letter, which was signed by Capita’s Chief Executive Jon Lewis and BT’s boss Philip Jansen, among others, said that homeworking shouldn’t be a default anymore.

They added in the letter: "Our economic recovery will only succeed if the Government commits to reviving our city centres. At this critical moment, we believe that it is essential that the Government is unambiguous in its communications that, when the stage four restrictions lift, public transport is safe, offices are safe, and working from home is no longer the default.”