Challenge: freedom versus pressure

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- 1 min read

We are an IT consultancy firm trying to work a-typical in the branch. We do not focus on personal utilisation (as a matter of fact, non of our consultants now their utilisation). We give the colleagues the freedom to work wherever, whenever to fit their own personal live balance. We do not have managerial layers and use self-steering for everybody. And most important, we all live by our core values; having FUN, making IMPACT and being a GUIDE and our vision #doingcoolstuffwithcoolpeople.

Result is that we have grown a well organised team of 32 unique individuals that are almost as close at family, a nice mixture of young graduates (hire personality, train skills) and more seasoned people.

So here is the challenge...

Corona hit us hard, as we are so close, working away from each-other has had a big impact on the team not being able to see each-other physically. Luckily we are seeing the whole team tomorrow for the first time during a fun event.

We have at this moment 3 people (so almost 10% of the company) at home with symptom of a burn out. That is really to much and we are going to have a dialog with the team what we have to do different (both the organisation as well as the individuals).

I would love to give the people even more freedom (no holidays, take time of when you need it, or even a 4 day work week etc.) but I am scared if the team can take this freedom. Are they not going to overcompensate and have an even bigger change of running into a brick wall.

Looking for people with similar struggles here on the Forum...

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Replies (14)

Anita Kalmane

Anita Kalmane

Frank, I've experienced quite a few burn-outs in my team (not myself, luckily), so recently I set up a presentation / workshop for the team to talk on how to avoid stress (and burn-out) and what actions to take so nobody would come so far.

I find this topic super important and close to my heart, so would be happy to give it also to your team, tailoring to your needs and the company culture.

Feel free to message me via LinkedIN and take it further if interested and relevant!

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Ok, it's been a while since my last post, but now it is time to give you all an update.

The survey we sent out regarding 'work pressure' gave us very useful insights from the team, so what did we do with the feedback?

1. We started up a personal leadership program for the whole organisation, this was already on our to-do list but we speeded it up. Cool thing was that when we opened it up for signing in 75% of the company directly signed in;
2. We compiled a list with useful tips-and-tricks from the colleagues on how to manage the balance and the work and are going to share this and keep this list 'alive' for new insights;
3. We took all operational feedback (in specific on our delivery processes) very seriously and will make sure we make changes accordingly;
4. One of our more HR-focussed colleagues has since then set up an action plan for prevention management, which we are discussing and rolling out later this year, where also we let an external expert evaluate our company health;
5. We were already in conversation with HappyHolics (check them out) to do a program with them to pin-point the steps we as an organisation need to take to keep our team engaged and happy. This fun part is that these guys fully match our DNA and will help us to discover where we need to grow based on the feedback of our team;
6. Last but not least we made a visual to create a bit of awareness within the team to take care of each-other, and we did this in our own company still.

so that's that, will keep you posted the results.

user uploaded photo

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Thanks for the update, Frank. Valuable to hear about your progress!

Could you share a bit more insights into "We compiled a list with useful tips-and-tricks from the colleagues on how to manage the balance and the work and are going to share this and keep this list 'alive' for new insights;"

Any tips and tricks you wanna share?

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Hi Pim, we have put our tips & tricks in a blog post, see it here (it is in Dutch):

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