Sick leave, vacation, home office: Three components for resilient workflows in times of stress

Cupertino, CA, August 2, 2022 – A large number of unplanned corona-related sick calls and the summer vacation season are currently causing high absence rates in many companies.

Cupertino, CA, August 2, 2022 – A large number of unplanned corona-related sick calls and the summer vacation season are currently causing high absence rates in many companies. This can mean that work tasks have to be taken over by colleagues or are even left undone. In many cases, managers are now faced with the challenge of reprioritizing and reorganizing projects and workflows at short notice. They have to ensure that the substituting employees quickly receive all the information and files they are needed and can get on with ongoing projects as seamlessly as possible. For the remaining employees in the team, the stress level increases.

Clearly defined and IT-supported processes that work flexibly from the office or home office, as well as simple ways to organize vacation, sick leave or home office time, create transparent and resilient workflows. They help teams stay on top of things; protect health and the overall workforce; and reduce stress — and even burnout.

“Global events, such as the Corona pandemic, supply chain issues or the war in Ukraine, do not leave companies and their employees untouched; rather, they have many impacts and often affect the plannability of work processes on various levels. Well-established processes are thrown into disarray, disrupted or even completely interrupted,” says Sabine Riedel, OTRS Board Member. “We probably have to assume that such uncertainties in planning will not go away for the foreseeable future. Companies that design their workflows resiliently now and support processes and responsibilities systematically and consistently with a BPM system can increase resilience in the team and relieve employees organizationally. Active use of breaks and enough downtime area also important components here.”

#1 Take conscious breaks and time-outs

When the workload in a team is high and the to-do lists are full, it seems counterproductive to actively pay attention to breaks and small time-outs. But, the opposite is true: breaks – perhaps with a small change of scenery and some exercise – provide relaxation and different perspectives. They refresh the mind and motivation and create strength for renewed performance. A work atmosphere in which breaks and downtime are consciously recognized and used, in which employees are allowed to find their own rhythm between activity and rest, increases well-being and resilience in the team, even under heavy workloads. The health, motivation and performance of employees are maintained.

#2 Continue to expand upon transparent cooperation

Teams across the globe have learned how to work well together and structure communication even when they are not present in an office together, due to the pandemic in recent years. In many cases, companies have created the necessary IT infrastructure for this with web-based workplaces: Basic collaboration functions have now probably become established in most companies worldwide. These include transparent management of work hours and absences due to vacation, sick leave or home office or the integration of video conferencing in communications. These pandemic-acquired human, organizational and technical capabilities have already significantly increased the resilience of workflows. They now need to be further developed and refined, rather than reverting to a previous “normal state” and insisting on presence in the corporate office, for example.

#3 Define clear processes, decisions, approvals

Clearly defined processes, resources and responsibilities support team resilience in stressful times – regardless of whether, for example, tasks are to be taken over for colleagues who have called in sick at short notice or because of needing a classic vacation replacement. Powerful BPM software, such as OTRS, can systematically support and automate team processes and communication. They digitize standardized workflows with all required resources, approvals and responsible persons involved. This means that current tasks can be easily triggered and automatically completed, even by employees representing their colleagues. This saves time, reduces the error rate and ensures professional processes and communication. The quality of collaboration and resilience in the team increases – even in stressful times.

About OTRS Group

OTRS Group is the manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of the enterprise service management suite OTRS, awarded with the SERVIEW CERTIFIED TOOL seal of approval.

It offers companies industry-independent solutions for structured communication in customer service, IT service management and security management. In addition to the core product OTRS, the security solutions STORM and CONTROL ensure efficient cybersecurity incident management and transparent documentation in accordance with standards such as ISO 27001.

Among its customers are Lufthansa, Airbus, Porsche, BSI (Federal Office for Security in Information Technology), Max Planck Institute, Toyota and TUI Cruises. The company consists of OTRS AG and its five subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the basic board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. For more information, see

Press Contact OTRS:
Address OTRS AG
Zimmermühlenweg 11
61440 Oberursel
Name Laura Bug
Phone +49 6172 681988-32

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