Psychosocial factors: Workload Management
Description: A short video explaining the psychosocial factor Workload Management. It emphasizes the ability to carry out the tasks assigned to you within a given timeframe. It gives an example of an employee who is having trouble managing her tasks and suggests solutions. It also summarizes certain advantages of properly managing a workload.
Date: April 24, 2020
Think of a time when you had a heavy workload. Did you find it stressful? Perhaps you found it motivating. How did you manage your time? What about your energy?
Workload can vary depending on what's going on in your workplace.
Sometimes there are deadlines or quotas that add temporary work.
Shift work or rush periods can affect how much work may pile up during certain times.
At the heart of workload management is being able to accomplish your assigned tasks and responsibilities successfully within the time available.
Let's meet Jennifer. Jennifer is the manager of a catering company and is used to juggling many clients at work. For the last few weeks she is finding it hard to balance the needs of her regular clients with a new client that could lead to future opportunities.
She noticed she has been making errors a bit more frequently, and has been working late to keep up with orders.
This is adding to her stress to juggle the demands of keeping all her clients happy. She is wondering what takes priority and how she can make the best decision without compromising a healthy work-life balance. Is her supervisor placing the same priority on certain orders and clients as she is?
Effective workload management can help employees feel more in control of their responsibilities, as well as reduce stress, burnout and job-related errors, incidents or injuries.
Jennifer has a role to play when it comes to managing her own workload. She can talk to her supervisor about her concerns.
It is important for Jennifer to have a plan in mind. She should be thinking about, "what are some solutions to this problem?" She can ask her supervisor "What is the biggest priority with my clients?" or she can negotiate which orders can wait until after the big orders are done.
Jennifer could ask that some of her tasks or orders can be assigned to other members on the team. Jennifer and her supervisor can also look to see if there are tasks that are just not needed with her job, and that she can let go and not do.
It is important that management be open to hearing suggestions from staff about their workload. While sometimes it may not be possible to accommodate all of their suggestions, open communication is necessary.
What are three things you can do today to manage your workload more effectively this week?
Do you need to have a conversation with your supervisor? Plan for this conversation ahead of time so you have all the information you need to have an informed discussion.
Workload Management is one of 13 factors that support psychological health and safety in the workplace. Learn more at: MentalHealthCommission.ca/NationalStandard
For more resources for your workplace, check out haveTHATtalk.ca
Developed in collaboration by Ottawa Public Health and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
With content adapted with permission from Mindful Employer Canada
And support from Bell Let's Talk.
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