The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as an occupational syndrome that ultimately results in burdensome stress, anxiety, and productivity-inhibiting emotional distress. Disruptive sleep patterns, an increase in irritability, and even “work hangovers” are all tell-tale signs that an employee is heading toward collapse.
Although working-from-home presents flexibility, remote employees have difficulty separating their professional life from their passions and one-on-one time with loved ones. A work-life imbalance is a significant cause of WFH burnout. Unclear job expectations and an unmanageable workload can also add fuel to the raging fire of professional discontent.
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your eyes peeled for advancing cases of work-from-home burnout. Remember, this exhaustion doesn’t just demotivate your workers, it can also have severe mental and physical consequences. For instance, experts have linked high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, and chronic headaches to emotionally and physically demanding career paths.
Exhausted employees aren’t able to work effectively, and eventually, your business will start to suffer. Burnout is the leading factor impacting workforce retention, making it harder for you to build and maintain a tenacious team. Address these cultural shifts in your business to show your employees you care. That way, you can strengthen the company’s integrity while lighting a fire under your otherwise burnout staff members.
Fulfill professional needs first
One underlying cause of burnout is a lack of resources. When employees aren’t equipped with the proper tools to complete their job, they can feel defeated and uninspired. Before employers pivot their focus on their team’s emotional or personal needs, they should first cater to their professional demands.
Utilizing innovative technology will save you and your employees time and frustration when coordinating workflow. Virtual office spaces offer project management tools, engagement opportunities, and seamless collaboration. Essential tools and programs you should integrate into your business include chat platforms such as Slack or GroupMe. Digital mailbox tools like iPostal1 can also streamline shipping and package management, making virtual offices a WFH must-have.
Many employees fear being perceived as slackers if they don’t instantly respond to an email or send a late-night update. Communicate with your team about appropriate work hours, and advocate for practical workload management. Impose blackout hours when you and your team can turn off notifications and mentally “clock-out.’”
Allow time off
Overworking employees will only lead to resentment for their careers. Even if you’re working with a small team, give your workers opportunities to take days of leave. Experts suggest that employees should take time off every 43 days to avoid burnout. Giving your employers reprieve during holidays or special events will show them you value their mental wellbeing and physical health.
When people don’t feel recognized for their hard work, they’re more likely to jump ship and pursue other opportunities. With these high-stakes in mind, note that simple acts of appreciation will go a long way in preventing burnout.
Give shoutouts over communication boards or consider recording a thank you message to your entire staff. Virtual happy hours and virtual walkathon have gained popularity among remote businesses and are a great way to connect with your employers while introducing an element of fun into the workday.
Step up communication
Openly speaking with your team will clarify expectations and make them feel heard. Employees should always feel comfortable reaching out to you for questions or concerns, and employers should take care to respond attentively. Regularly check-in with your team and ask how they are managing workloads. Empathy and genuine human connection keep a business authentic and successful.
As businesses continue to function remotely, employees are at an increased risk of developing burnout. Prevent the collapse of your business by providing workers with the right digital tools, and encourage them to virtually clock-out. Frequent recognition and communication will ensure your team feels valued and motivated.
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