When the pandemic erupted in 2020, business leaders navigated uncharted waters and attempted to keep themselves and their teams afloat through a global health crisis and economic upset.
More than two years later, “the pandemic continues to take a toll, as women leaders are now significantly more burned out––and increasingly more so than male leaders.” But, how did this happen? The evidence points to the seemingly innocuous but deeply sexist phenomenon of “office housework” which has normalized a culture of sacrifice amongst women in the workplace, compounding the current exhaustion experienced by many.
Joan C. Williams and Marina Multhaup, legal scholars and co-authors of What Works for Women at Work, define “office housework” as everything from “administrative work that keeps things moving forward, like taking notes or finding a time everyone can meet” to “work that’s important but undervalued, like initiating new processes or keeping track of contracts.” In other words, it is the “thankless-but-necessary tasks that keep organizations humming.”
Even if a woman’s job description is far up the ladder from such administrative tasks, they are still expected to do office housework. Unrecognized, unrewarded, and under-appreciated, such work holds women leaders back, by undercutting their authority and devouring time they could spend on more valued projects.
If you recognize yourself or other female colleagues in the description above then Karen Caitlin, in her great article “5 Ways Allies Can Disrupt Office Housework,” can help. She provides easy ways to get others involved in office housework without stoking antagonism. [I have combined 2 of her suggestions into one below so there are only four (4) bullet points.]
However, women don’t just feel the negative impact of office housework professionally, but mentally as well. Because they do the heavy lifting, women leaders are more likely to be exhausted and chronically stressed at work than their male counterparts. Additionally, more than half of women leaders who manage teams say that over the last few months, they have felt burned out at work “often” or “almost always.” In their quest to care for others, women often sacrifice themselves, and this takes a psychological toll and impacts their health.
Women must shift their mind-set: If you want to care for others, you also need to take care of yourselves. Because if you put self-concern on par with concern for others, you sustain more energy. This same mentality of change should be applied on a macro-level, too. For example, stop concerning yourselves with paperwork as opposed to projects that really matter, to you and your company, by adopting an efficient, e-documentation system. Now is the time for women leaders to curb the pervasiveness of “office housework”, eradicate a culture of unnecessary sacrifice, and bolster every employee’s energy in one fell swoop.
In these unprecedented times, all leaders must embrace experimentation, explore creative solutions and try something different! The disruption of the last two years is driving fundamental change in the way we work. It is imperative that companies establish new norms and systems to improve employees’ everyday work experiences.
Since everyone benefits from essential office housework –
everyone should help with office housework.
Okay, so let’s talk about the other kind of office work, that is the kind you pay your team to do! With the ever-increasing and complex regulatory demands in long term care, optimal staff work cannot be efficiently achieved with archaic paper charts or rudimentary Excel sheet or Access-based desktop-bound documentation. The value proposition of an EHR or practice management software system is undeniable! They are cheaper than adding new personnel and never need benefits, sick time or rest! Implementing Focused EHR is much easier than you think and we’ll guide you every step of the way! Let your software do the heavy lifting for you – that’s what it’s designed to do! Automation helps you work smarter and is the most efficient and affordable answer! Call FOCUSED SOFTWARE TODAY!
Secure, Quick To Implement and User-friendly –
that’s the Focused Software Difference!