From returning to half-empty offices to taking care of kids, and dealing with the uncertainties of the Delta variant, there's a lot of stressors and ever-changing variables in our current global climate. With so much going on, burnout is significantly increasing among employees across industries, making it hard for them to focus on their work. During these difficult times, leadership needs to step up and support their employees, helping reduce stressors, showing they care, and making a difference in employees' lives.

According to the Return to Office Survey Results from Partnership New York City, 24% of New York employers offer or plan to offer employees at least one pandemic-related benefit, which includes “subsidized public and private transit, onsite COVID-19 testing, paid time off for vaccination appointments, free or reduced-cost lunches, and changes to the workplace, including upgraded facilities and additional private offices.” As you look into how you can make a difference in your employees’ lives and boost their productivity through the rest of the year, here are some factors to keep in mind:

Factors that Affect Employees’ Ability to Focus

It's safe to say that the new normal has impacted everyone's ability to focus. Even before the pandemic started, a 2018 Deloitte survey found that of 1,000 full-time U.S. professionals, 42% of respondents said they’ve left a job specifically because they felt burned out. These statistics have severe ramifications for businesses of all sizes. And since the start of the pandemic, a July 2020 Monster survey found that number has jumped to 69% of Americans.  Employees are a company’s greatest asset, and if their productivity is implicated so is your business’s bottom line. However, by cultivating a healthy company culture that nourishes employees, you can ensure a sustainable work-life balance for workers as well as job satisfaction that will ultimately help your business grow. Here are some ways you can better support your employees:

1. Caregiving

Families are the basic, foundational social units in all human communities around the world. For those employees who work from home and have young children, it can be especially hard to get work done while their kids are home all day every day. Between getting the kids to do their schoolwork and preparing meals, it becomes tough for parents who work remotely to get through their to-do list efficiently. A recent DoorDash survey found that 53% of respondents who have children said they’ve had at least one work failure, including missing a deadline, a call, or other work matter, due to a need to prepare food for themselves or family. 

By saving your employees time on meal prep you enable them to focus on work. That’s why as of September 2020, DashPass for Work has more than 5 million customers now using the service. Including this membership as part of your employee benefits package, you not only keep both in-office and remote employees happy, but save them time and money. Plus, DashPass for Work is not just for food. Employees can get groceries, diapers, medications, and more delivered anywhere, any time. It’s a solution that really helps the whole family. This can be a game changer for working caregivers who are struggling today.

This is why Fortune 500 company Synopsys chose DoorDash for Work as one of its benefits: “We chose DashPass mainly because of our employees working from home,” Gloria Lee, Benefits Administrator at Synopsys explained, “Everybody knows it's been a tough year. And it was just another way of helping our employees out. Whenever you order in, you get $0 delivery fees, saving a little bit of money and saving time on cooking.”

As an employer, investing in your employees is an investment in your business. With work and home lives blending together, offering employees flexibility and acknowledging your team members have full lives outside of work will greatly increase their job satisfaction. Here at DoorDash, to better support caregivers we provide our full-time employees with substantial and equitable parental leave. 

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2. Poor management

Leadership and management can make or break a business. Whatever your company's market, goals, or industry is, you can always trace the success of a business back to its leaders. Whether your business is service-based or in manufacturing, effective leadership is the key to both motivating your employees and helping your company grow.

Navigating the new normal is tough on everyone. More people than ever are quitting their jobs. In fact, global experts are calling 2021 The Great Resignation as over 4 million people have quit their jobs since April 2020. With uncertainty running rampant, it’s more important than ever for companies to have reliable leadership on all levels that can ensure employee retention. Being a leader that employees trust and want to work with has a great impact on your company culture as well as your bottom line, especially now. To optimize productivity, sales, and efficiency, a company needs managers to be trained so they can deliver their best performance and be able to leverage their team member’s strengths as well as their skill sets. 

3. Work-Life Balance

With the new normal, the number of people who work from home has increased dramatically from 25% to 70% since March 2020. Currently, millions of freelancers and employees actually live at work, blurring the fine line that separates office life from home life. 

Digital devices, though convenient in helping us stay connected, they also make the typical 9-to-5 workday go beyond its original schedule. In fact, 22% of employees struggle to unplug from technology and 51% of employees are concerned about striking a balance between work and personal life. According to the Harvard Business review, nearly six in 10 employees send work emails while on vacation, and more than half check email after 11 pm. 

Though it may seem counter-intuitive, incentivizing boundary-setting and rewarding employees extra time off is a great place to start. When employees take their time off seriously, they return refreshed, working harder, and excited to get back into the swing of things. And between the issues of the ever-changing global context, pressure from work commitments, and wanting to carve out time for personal endeavors, stress is at an all-time high.

These numbers and circumstances can have serious repercussions for businesses, especially because the situation will not be shifting back to how things were pre-pandemic due to more American workers wanting to stay remote moving forward and the growing uncertainty of new strains of the COVID-19 virus. A lot of freelancers and employees find flexibility and freedom working remotely, which is why many companies are looking into hybrid work models. However, for this setup to be sustainable businesses need to implement policies and practices that support employee wellbeing and ensure your bottom line won’t be impacted.

One of the foundations of a strong and sustainable company is for its employees to have a healthy work-life balance. Businesses that encourage employees to lead a healthy lifestyle understand that work is part of a whole in their workers' lives. Employees who pursue activities outside of work are better able to focus on work due to their increased satisfaction at work and boosted creativity. While health insurance and PTO are great traditional benefits, increasing numbers of employees are seeking different perks, especially those designed to support a hybrid work model. 

Adding meal benefits like DoorDash for Work to employee benefits packages means you're taking meal prep and planning off your team's to-do list and eliminating a source of stress. Leadership at health management platform Q Bio recognized this and took action. “Getting DoorDash and DashPass was a no-brainer to help take care of our team,” said Clarissa Shen, Chief Operating Officer at Q Bio. “It's been one of the most beloved benefits we hear about in this new normal."

Historically, however, ordering food has been costly so it was done sporadically. With DashPass, your team can access expensed orders at reduced prices. Not only is the company saving costs but so are staff members. According to Gloria Lee, Benefits Administrator, Synopsys, on why they chose DashPass to support their employees "You save money, you can order healthy food, and it also takes away that little bit of stress from cooking–there’s a whole mental health aspect.” said. Offering benefits that support work-life balance and employee wellbeing can have a huge impact on mental health, job satisfaction, and your bottom line.

4. Miscommunication at work

When employees are having a hard time focusing and adjusting to a new job, it’s easy for miscommunication and misunderstandings to occur. This leads to wasted time and increases process inefficiency.

Whether in-office or offsite, group meals are a long-standing strategy to build a sense of community at a workplace. This is especially helpful to new staff members who are still getting their bearings. By participating in a group meal with other coworkers, new staff members can identify others' roles and responsibilities and meet the key stakeholders they’ll need to communicate with regularly, ultimately increasing efficiency through clear communication. 

Whether it’s team lunches or client meetings, DoorDash for Work Group Orders are a great way of easily ordering meals for numerous people. With Group Orders, team members get to add their own dishes to the group’s shopping cart, so everyone can eat what they want together. With over 450,000+ restaurants to choose from, employees will always have access to local favorites and national chains. Plus, with Group Orders, high quality is always ensured by individually packing meals for added safety and can always be counted on for reliable delivery.

So, if you’re concerned about miscommunication in your business, having team bonding activities is a great way to address the issue. One of the strongest reasons people work in an organization is to be able to connect and interact with others. Group lunches, virtual happy hours, workout classes, and book clubs are activities in which employees can take a break while socializing with coworkers. However, make sure participation isn't mandatory so it won't stress team members that aren't fans of meditating, for instance. Incorporating Slack channels is a great way to create a sense of community without overwhelming staff. This low-commitment approach is ideal for them to casually share their views with coworkers in a virtual book club while avoiding Zoom fatigue. 


5. Lack of support for work from home employees

A recent Microsoft survey found that after a year of working from home, 42% of employees say they lack essential office supplies at home, and 1 in 10 don’t have an adequate internet connection to do their job. Yet, over 46% say their employer does not help them with remote work expenses. Not only are there additional costs in working from home, but there’s also an emotional cost.

With burnout increasing significantly across the globe, it's becoming more important than ever to fight it -- both in person and remotely. A 2021 Indeed survey found employee burnout has only gotten worse over the last year: more than half (52%) of respondents are feeling burned out, and more than two-thirds (67%) believe the feeling has worsened over the course of the pandemic. 

And it’s not just affecting people who are returning to the office. Recent research by Robert Half Talent Solutions found that 44% of workers are suffering from video call fatigue. Additionally, having to take out time to brainstorm and prepare meals is time-consuming and stressful when your employees already have a full plate. All this exhaustion from working at home is compounding. In fact, a recent DoorDash survey found that 49% of those surveyed said they’ve had at least one work failure, including missing a deadline, a call, or other work matter, due to a need to prep food for themselves or their family.

Figuring out ways to combat burnout is key to creating a sustainable culture that will ultimately impact your ROI. Finding methods to implement work-life balance like setting up activities where employees get to socialize and interact with each other like team meals and other food-related benefits are small everyday changes that have a strong impact on decreasing burnout. In fact, in a recent DoorDash survey, 76% of employees say “eating and socializing with colleagues” is their most missed food-related benefit. 

While food benefits are often overlooked, healthy eating can raise productivity levels by 20%. Memberships like DashPass for Work reduces the cost of food delivery for your employees and they get to choose from thousands of restaurants. 

This meeting could’ve been an email”, are the words often heard after a time-consuming and unproductive meeting. Meeting-free days are another strategy to help reduce burnout. A recent Doodle report found that two-thirds of all workers lose valuable time during the week due to meetings. Taking time and focus away from employees' core tasks not only affects your bottom line but contributes to burnout. By establishing one or two days per week without meetings, team members are better able to concentrate on their work without interruptions and become more productive.

6. Busy Work/Non-core tasks reduce efficiency

Oftentimes employees are unhappy at work if they don’t feel challenged and working on manual tasks can reduce time spent on core tasks that help your business grow. While these tasks will make your employees busy, they reduce efficiency and can cause burnout.

Another solution that helps eliminate busywork is through automating or outsourcing manual tasks and improving your company software. In fact, a Deloitte study found 59% of businesses use outsourcing to reduce costs and increase efficiency. By outsourcing manual tasks like data entry, document management, data storage, marketing, or accounting your team members can become more productive in their core activities. 

Plus, with DoorDash for Work managing team meals is easier no matter where your staff are working. The Work Portal reduces the manual tasks necessary for your backend office employees to order meals for each employee, expense them automatically to your corporate account, and use DoorDash for Work’s tools that make it easier for compliance. When your employees focus their workload on value-added tasks, both employee morale, as well as your bottom line, are positively impacted. 

7. Poor mental and physical health

Have you ever tried to work when you’re not feeling 100%? Work takes...well, work. Having to focus your mind when your health is poor makes it significantly more difficult to accomplish anything. Even though the human brain is only 2% of our body weight, it's the primary consumer of energy in the body using 20% of glucose-derived energy. If your mind and body aren't properly nurtured and fueled, energy and focus may be lacking throughout the workday.

A lot of adults underestimate the impact food has on their overall health, energy levels, and ability to focus. What your team eats on a daily basis, however, can have a profound effect on their performance. Offering food benefits to your employees can offset poor nutrition and impact your ROI. 

Eating healthy can increase productivity levels by up to 20% and, in a recent DoorDash for Work survey, 85% of respondents said regular food delivery would increase their overall job satisfaction which has an important influence on mental health. With a DashPass for Work membership, team members have access to thousands of restaurants with unlimited free delivery fees and reduced service fees on eligible orders. Additionally, DashPass for Work subscribers can access the Healthy Eats collection, a list of healthy restaurants carefully selected by our in-house dietitians, making it easy to get healthy meals.


Innovative Work Incentives That Make Your Business Grow

Work incentives have a daily impact on your employees and ultimately on your business. Traditional HR benefits don't necessarily increase productivity or make your business more profitable. This is where DoorDash for Work comes in. 

Without food delivery, a lot of employees skip breakfast to get right to work which reduces short-term memory as well as cognitive performance and leads to decreased productivity. Additionally, having to brainstorm, prepare a meal, and do the dishes is extremely time-consuming and can quickly become a stressor. A recent DoorDash survey found that over 57% of employees said they’re too busy to take a full-hour lunch break. 

Food delivery ensures your employees have access to a stable source of energy as well as a chance to recharge during their lunchtime and eat healthier. By eliminating the stress of meal prep, employees will feel refreshed which makes them significantly more productive. In fact, a major financial services client implemented a DashPass membership and had a significant ROI. They ordered delivery using DashPass 2.3 times per week and 61% of eligible employees activated their DashPass subscription. This means that ultimately they gained +115 minutes per employee per month and as a result had a 19x return on their DashPass subscription.

Whether your team members are ordering food, groceries, or convenience store items, they have access to free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible orders, so ultimately DoorDash for Work pays for itself. It’s a benefit that improves employee happiness, increases productivity, and helps your company thrive. Learn how DoorDash for Work has a daily impact on your ROI.


Kristen Van Nest

Kristen Van Nest is an L.A.-based freelance B2B writer with bylines in Forbes, HuffPost, and VentureBeat to name a few. As a former Fulbright Scholar and Newsroom Columnist for the British Chamber of Commerce, she specializes in market trends and strategies businesses can use to grow. Her free time is spent ordering in dumplings and honeycomb ice cream and writing funny content to make people laugh.