Employee burnout has been one of the top issues amongst the modern day workforce. It is a stage when an employee feels physically, mentally and emotionally drained. As recognized by the world health organization in 2019, burnout is "a form of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." Earlier it was only limited to workplaces but with the covid-19 outbreak, the same came knocking at your employees’ door. The issue of work from home burnout is now a reality with professionalism battling against your employees’ personal lives.
Moreover, the pandemic has forced businesses to adopt new methods for running their operations. And this ultimately resulted in a sudden shift to remote work from home since social distancing is the only safe option.
As an employer, you may think it’ll empower your employees with a great work-life balance. However, working remotely from home may not be that simple for your employees and the risk of burnout still prevails.
If you’re wondering why employees could be experiencing burnout even after they start working from home. Here are a few reasons for it!
Reasons Behind Work From Home Burnout
- Domestic distractions
- Improper communication
- Messed up goals
- Irregular work hours
- Not spending time for exercise
The cause behind work from home burnout isn’t just limited to these reasons. There could be some more factors hindering your employees to give their best. Hence, to help you address the issue of employee burnout at home, here are some measures that you can implement.
7 Ways to Help Your Employees Avoid Burnout While Working from Home
1. Set Meaningful Targets
Goal setting is another key aspect that every employer should take note off. The work from home regime is very different from an usual office work day. When working from home, employees need to take care of multiple responsibilities at the same time. This further decreases the actual work hours for which many employees often end up missing their deadlines.
That is why you must help your employees set meaningful and achievable goals. Thus, helping them to lower their workload for spending time with their loved ones.
2. Implementing Strict Off-hours
There are many workaholic employees who don’t mind working all the time to achieve greater heights. These employees don’t even mind sabotaging their sleep schedule and carry on until they are done due to the fear of missing out. They might not realize it now but later on, there could be serious repercussions because of this.
Improper sleeping habits can cause anxiety and also drive them towards other mental illnesses.
To stop this from happening, you can implement some mandatory off-hours within a work day. You can make this even more by prohibiting exchange of any work related emails and other official activities during those hours. This will surely let your employees get some rest and rejuvenate themselves lowering the risk of work from home burnout.
3. Culture of Appreciation
Every great work must be acknowledged whether your employees are working at the office or from home. In fact, employee recognition is one of the most important pillars for creating a motivated workforce. However, in these uncertain times, a lot of employers are missing out on this aspect.
Even if your employees are working from home it doesn’t mean their work has become easier. Instead, it’s totally opposite as now the employees also need to manage their home life along with their professional duties. In such a scenario, if an employee does something really great and it goes unnoticed then it’ll adversely affect his/her morale. And if the same thing keeps on repeating, then there comes a point where the employee gives up.
Picture source: Appreciation post via Vantage Circle's Employee Recognition Platform.
As a responsible employer, you must take every possible step to mitigate such issues with your workforce. Also, using a cloud-based employee recognition platform will allow you to acknowledge and reward your employees on the go. Such platforms enable you to deliver instant gratification to your employees no matter where they are located.
4. Provide Counseling Sessions
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the normal way of life across the globe. Especially for the employees, the sudden shift to remote work meant no more morning commute and the kitchen table became their new workstation.
This shift has shattered all the barriers between the employees’ personal and work-life. Employees now have several things to worry about and are hardly able to focus on one thing. It has also raised the risk of both physical and mental health crisis for your employees.
Here, you can facilitate your employees with access to health experts by arranging counseling sessions. Such sessions will bring down their anxiety and provide them with all the necessary expert advice to help them get out of their woes.
5. Build a Virtual Community
When your employees are working from home there’s no water cooler gossip or going out on lunch breaks with colleagues. These things would often make your remote employees feel isolated. The lack of human interaction can also cause work from home burnout. When employees have no one to express their concerns, they bury it within themselves and continue working.
Eventually, they start getting frustrated on small issues and end up losing their morale which is very bad. Therefore, to stop this from happening emphasize on creating a virtual community for all your remote workers. Allow your employees to speak out their minds and get engaged in friendly conversations with their colleagues.
Furthermore, you can also host virtual team building activities to lift your employees’ morale and encourage teamwork even if they aren’t close.
6. Introduce an Employee Wellness Program
Employee wellness programs are becoming quite popular amidst the outbreak of the pandemic. Everyone is stuck in their homes and the lifestyle has also become sluggish. Even your employees aren’t immune to this issue. The sedentary lifestyle followed by most employees could lead them towards an impending health crisis.
Picture source: Vantage Fit- An Integrated Corporate Wellness Platform
However, by introducing a corporate wellness program you can encourage your employees to keep themselves healthy and active. With such a program, employers can host virtual health challenges and also incentivize the top performers.
7. Allow Them to Take Leaves
Though your employees are working from home, it doesn’t that they will be working all the time. Even they have their own personal lives and it should be respected at all costs. In most cases, employees experience burnout due to spending more time with their work and less on themselves.
Therefore, to avoid burnout allow your employees to take leaves whenever necessary just like any normal workday. Doing this will let your employees improve their work-life balance and mitigate any signs of burnout that might arise.
The issue of work from home burnout is very real and it really requires your attention. Your employees are your assets and you must not let them fail in the name of productivity and profit.
The above points were some of the ways that could help you save your employees from work from home burnout. However, if you have some other ideas for lowering the risk of employee burnout, we would like to hear them in the comments below.