As of this writing, we’re getting closer to the pandemic’s first anniversary. Those who still have a job by now most likely credit remote working arrangements for their sustained economic status, though not every one of them is coping well physically and mentally.
Global employment platform Monster reported in a July 2020 survey that among 284 American respondents, 69% claimed to have suffered work from home burnout. Burnout, in general, is a state of constant physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion due to suffering protracted and compounded stress. And despite the home being associated with comfort, rest, and relaxation, these are diminished when the line between home and work is blurred.
Burned out employees perform poorly in their jobs and negatively affect your business, which is why it pays to nip burnout in the bud.
Work from home burnout is bad for business
Burnout causes a lot of bad things to happen:
When allowed to fester, these just add on to the stress that people are already suffering initially. Burned out employees perform poorly in their jobs and negatively affect your business, which is why it pays to nip burnout in the bud. Here are a few tips to do just that.
1. Encourage employees to take frequent breaks
Working non-stop may boost productivity in the short run, but looking at a computer screen for hours on end will cause eye strain and mental fatigue. Therefore, teach your staff to stand up and leave their computers every 20 to 30 minutes. Have them prepare coffee or tea, walk around the house or garden, or perhaps even take a short power nap.
Similar to how we need to let our muscles rest in between the rounds of high intensity interval training, our brains can use the break and will feel refreshed and ready to take on more work right after.
2. Teach staff to be mindful of burnout symptoms
Our table above lists many burnout symptoms, but it is not exhaustive. Consult with a wellness expert and hold a video conference session to drive awareness about burnout. Direct staff to take the appropriate steps when they feel that they may be close to or are already suffering burnout.
To illustrate, have staff file for sick or vacation leaves when they begin to feel the stress getting to them. In too many American companies, toxic corporate cultures look at people who take leaves of absences with disdain. Colleagues and managers see them as either too entitled, irresponsible, unmotivated, or lack the grit to just power through. However, by showing people the ill effects of burnout, you can begin to build a healthier corporate culture. Foster a place where rest and relaxation are seen as important for employees’ well-being and are ultimately good for the company’s bottom line, too.
3. Schedule occasional social interactions
In many team setups, members can collaborate without ever feeling like they’re connecting with each other at all. That is, emails, chats, and comment boxes can’t convey tone of voice, body language, and other non-verbal cues that make up human interactions. To counter feelings of isolation, set up occasional video conferences so that employees can at least see each others’ faces and hear each other’s voices.
And even if a team meeting is about work, don’t get right down to business. Ask participants to candidly share what they’ve been up to recently. It’s good for people to remember that they’re people and not machines, and that while work is a means for a company’s ends, it is also a means for staff members’ own goals in life, too.
4. Permit flexibility in people’s work schedules
People’s situations have become radically different because of the pandemic. Many of your staff members may be parents who have to take care of their kids who are attending online classes, whereas some may be taking care of loved ones who may be suffering from COVID-19. In short, business owners and managers can’t assume that employees ought to be able to stick with pre-pandemic office schedules all the time.
Since people have gained more time in the day for work since they don’t have to commute, permitting people to take pockets of time to run errands or take care of their families should not necessarily be detrimental to their productivity. For as long as they hit their targets and not adversely affect team dynamics, then they can be granted flexibility. This means that they won’t have to unnecessarily stress about minding the hours they render for work.
Burnout is just one of the challenges brought about by remote work. Other challenges are more IT-related, such as making access to company data easy for authorized users and difficult for everyone else. To meet these IT challenges, partner up with HERO Managed Services LLC. Talk with our IT specialists to learn more.