More and more media agencies grappling with burnout amongst their pitching teams and are calling in specialist help to support stressed employees.
PUSH Mind and Body, a wellbeing and mental health training company regularly run programmes to tackle resilience issues and has seen a 36% increase in agencies requesting help to improve management skills since the pandemic hit.
A key contributor to stress is the pitching process and its associated high stakes, long hours and intensity of work. On top of that, a YouGov survey for PUSH, on mental wellbeing in the workplace, showed that almost half of media agency workers (46%) felt anxious about returning to the office after working from home (WFH).
Six out of ten (59%) said they didn’t want to go back to the workplace full-time as they felt WFH is better for their mental wellbeing. Pre-pandemic only 6% worked from home although 15% of staff wanted WFH option. By the time of the survey, in April 2021, 65% said they would like to be homeworking 100% of the time.
Productivity is higher when WFH said 43% and three-quarters (74%) felt their employer would be or is supportive of home working – a marked increase from pre-pandemic times when only 43% felt such a move would be backed by bosses. However, significantly, 42% of those asked feel someone returning to the office would have a better chance of promotion than someone remaining WFH.
PUSH Founder Cate Murden said: “It’s been fascinating to see the change in attitudes that have occurred over the pandemic and the swing in acceptance of homeworking. However, it’s clear there are many, and often increasing, pressures on successful media professionals.
“ Since last year we’ve noticed an increase in requests from media agencies, specifically to help burnt-out pitching teams. And there’s been a rise of more than a third in the number of agencies asking for upskilling in management behaviours – one of the key solutions to supporting staff who are feeling burnt out.
Miranda Bird from PHD said: “Covid and the Great Resignation have woken the whole corporate world up to the importance of our people, with many industries finding themselves having to fight to stem the outflow of talent.
“Corporate wellbeing is an enormously important lever we have in showing our staff we care about them and to give them support. It can also be a way of connecting staff at a human level which is a really important supplement to the office experience, now we are working in a hybrid world.’