Image credits: Lukas Bieri
News Article

HR Leaders Carry Burden of Outdated Labor Practices

By Anamary Olivas | Mon, 06/13/2022 - 12:18

While battling a health crisis, Human Resources (HR) teams have been working harder to make sure their workforce is not experiencing exhaustion, anxiety or burnout, all while keeping track of remote employees’ progress under new working modalities. However, this extra workload is reportedly burning out HR leaders, instead.


Workplaces are now facing decisions such as returning to offices or keeping a home office dynamic or working in a result-oriented approach instead of counting hours, among others. These choices all can be seen as opportunities, but HR departments are carrying the responsibility of maintaining stability to ensure wellbeing while such issues are sorted out.


To keep up with the increasing need of encouragement, HR teams are looking for incentives that may motivate the post-pandemic employee. An example is the four-day week pilot in the UK, which will last for six months and will monitor 3,300 workers from 70 companies of different industries, according to CNN. Throughout the pilot, workers will receive their salary in its entirety while working only 80 percent of their usual week. The pilot would be considered successful if the vast majority of employees maintain or increase their productivity. These and other efforts are performed mainly by HR departments, creating an additional load and that is now taking a toll on their wellbeing.


These challenges are especially relevant in Mexico, which has the longest working hours among the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Mexico has 2,124 personal working hours a year, while the OECD’s average stands at 1,687 hours. Additionally, Mexico presents the highest rate of workplace stress, with 8 out of 10 people experiencing stress due to their jobs, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As studies have demonstrated, more working hours do not translate to increased productivity. This is pointed out through the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate: despite its high working hours, Mexico has one of the lowest GDP rates, beating only Colombia.


Working conditions in Mexico are not yet optimal and HR teams can influence how workplaces are enhances. Legal initiatives such as the NOM-035, determining the minimum necessary conditions for the psychosocial factors wellbeing of workers within Mexican companies, provide starting point to redesign the outdated labor practices that neglect mental health, create long hours and foster an indifference toward employees’ personal lives.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Photo by:   Lukas Bieri, Pixabay
Anamary Olivas Anamary Olivas Journalist & Industry Analyst