5 Steps to help your employees avoid work from home burnout

5 Steps to help your employees avoid work from home burnout

While many businesses were considering remote work arrangements well before 2020, the global pandemic has normalized the trend. Besides keeping workers safe from contracting the COVID-19 virus, remote work brings many business benefits, including increased work flexibility, higher productivity levels, and reduced travel costs.

Despite the benefits, however, there’s an increased risk of burnout when employees work from home for an extended period of time. Statistics show that over two-thirds of employees (69%) are experiencing such symptoms, with a majority refusing to take personal leaves to decompress.

To ensure your employees don’t become part of this statistic, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of burnout and improve their well-being.

Know the signs of burnout

The first step is to identify when someone is burning out. Although burnout symptoms can vary from one employee to another, the common signs according to the World Health Organization include:

  • Significant reduction in productivity or performance at work
  • Negative or cynical attitudes toward one’s job
  • High levels of exhaustion and procrastination

Watch out for these changes in worker behavior, and conduct monthly one-on-ones with employees to understand the heart of the issue. Perhaps expectations for their role aren’t clear enough, they lack the appropriate resources, or they’re struggling with unreasonable workloads. Whatever the case may be, ensure they’re comfortable with opening up about their situation.

Exercise healthy communication

Working from home can pose new challenges for regular communication, so it helps to address these areas in your new remote work policies.

Have a reasonable, convenient strategy in place for team communication. This involves having an active group chat on Slack, conducting regular meetings on Zoom, and keeping in touch through daily phone calls or text messages. It’s also critical to have strict boundaries on when to contact employees, such as restricting messages or emails after working hours.

This boundary establishes a healthy work-life balance for remote workers, helping them easily unplug at the end of the workday.

Enable flexibility

When employees work from home, they may find themselves juggling work with personal tasks like caring for their children or shopping for groceries. These conflicting commitments only add unnecessary stress to your employees’ workday, which is why it’s important to give people the freedom to work at any time.

Rather than sticking to the traditional 9 to 5, employees can maintain a much healthier work-life balance when they set their own schedule. For example, if people feel they’re more productive and have fewer interruptions in the afternoon, giving them that flexibility can significantly increase output levels and minimize the risk of burnout. Of course, there will be times when employees must compromise on their schedules, especially when it comes to team meetings and deadlines. To avoid these issues, use shared calendars and project management software to keep track of important times and dates.

Keep them engaged

Scheduling regular non-work activities is an effective way of maintaining or boosting employee engagement and morale.

For instance, implement virtual coffee breaks, in which both you and your team gather for a 10- to 15-minute video call for casual chats and coffee. If your employees are up for it, setting dress themes for video calls (i.e., wearing a colorful shirt or wacky hat) can be a fun way to kick off a meeting. Additionally, gamifying work tasks can be an engaging way to spur friendly competition while also keeping track of team and project progress.

Offer both social and technical support

Finally, ensure remote workers are given both the social and technical tools they need to work from home.

Offer incentives or resources that focus on maintaining their physical or mental health, whether it be access to free health screenings, gym memberships, or access to mindfulness programs. Promote open communication to address any lingering frustrations or anxieties, and encourage vacations or time off when necessary.

Furthermore, be sure to provide your workers with the technology they need to work both comfortably and productively from home. Offer them both a computer and phone if necessary, and provide them with the cybersecurity tools to perform their work safely. These could include providing antivirus software and a VPN service, and ensuring the use of multifactor authentication.

Founders Technology Group offers a wide range of outsourced IT services to ensure the efficiency and security of your workplace. Whether working from home or on site, our security solutions can help protect your business from rising rates of cybercrime. Get in touch with our experts today to learn more.