How to Prevent Employee Burnout In Remote Work Before It’s Too Late?
Employee Burnout In Remote Work: Burnout happens to even the best of us. Yesterday you were delighted with the benefits of remote work, but today there is no motivation, it’s impossible to concentrate, and you have no idea how to deal with burnout.
Work is an integral part of self-development and a vital resource that requires a lot of involvement. Perhaps every manager has ever imagined an ideal employee: productive, executive, but at the same time proactive, and most importantly — tireless and always ready to work 24/7. However, the reality is that workers, even top talents, are ordinary people who get tired. They burn out, depend on their mood, the atmosphere around them, and many other factors.
The problem of burnout took all remote workers and their leaders by surprise during a total lockdown. However, it’s worth noting that dealing with emotional and professional burnout is the prerogative of not only the employee but the employer as well.
After all, workers with signs of burnout are extremely disadvantageous for the company. They create an unhealthy, tense atmosphere in the team, cause high turnover, reduce the effectiveness of teamwork, and much more.
What Is Burnout?
Employee Burnout In Remote Work: Burnout is a term used to describe the state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
Burnout occurs as a result of long-term stress at work. If you do nothing about it, stress becomes chronic and can cause a nervous breakdown.
For instance, remote work requires a high level of discipline. It’s even more challenging to cope with all the duties alone if the employee is constantly faced with tight deadlines, complex tasks, rarely leaves the house, and ignores the healthy balance of work and rest. Sooner or later, the first burnout syndromes will appear.
In a state of burnout, employees are unable to perform effectively on a personal and professional level. They feel overwhelmed and unable to withstand daily difficulties, even if you periodically reward them.
How to Recognize Signs of Burnout in Remote Workers?
Employee Burnout In Remote Work: The fact that an employee is close to burnout and teamwork is under threat is always noticeable. And if you recognize burnout syndromes in time, you can save the employee from it.
The main signs of burnout include:
- self-doubt, low self-esteem;
- unwillingness to engage in work tasks;
- intense dislike of colleagues, unwillingness to communicate with them;
- persistent tiredness, drowsiness, or insomnia;
- the feeling of monotony, the meaninglessness of work;
- melancholy, apathy, irritability.
How to Deal with Employee Burnout?
Employee Burnout In Remote Work: If your employee starts to burn out in the remote work process, then, first of all, it’s you who should find ways on how to deal with burnout. After all, you are interested in a healthy and productive employee to improve your business.
It won’t be superfluous to talk with this person and understand exactly what the problem is. If the employee doesn’t answer or doesn’t want to talk about it, you can gently find out the cause during the conversation with the help of related topics.
Once the causes of burnout have been identified, you should help the employee return to a “normal state.” The following methods can help here.
- Tip 1
Make sure to have one-on-one meetings with a remote worker every two weeks, where you discuss in detail the teamwork success, development plan, well-being, and just chat. It can help you track changes in mood in time and jointly develop a solution plan. Timely personal communication is the main and most valuable way of how to deal with burnout!
- Tip 2
Managers try to control the work of employees by demanding reports on completed tasks. It’s okay to ask for a progress report, but everything has boundaries.
Employers have a feeling that if subordinates work from home and it’s not visible what they are doing at this moment, they don’t work at all. A bunch of companies have started implementing a reporting system. Reports need to be written daily and on lots of pages, which also takes much time and leads to the abovementioned burnout syndromes. Numerous bosses also require remote employees to install special software on PCs to track their activity—a so-so decision.
- Tip 3
Refuse endless calls with Zoom. People complain about the fatigue of video conferencing and online meetings. And there are many more meetings when you work remotely. Surely, communication is necessary, and it’s certainly easier to discuss this or that task. However, setting and explaining a goal doesn’t require many hours of meetings on Skype.
You can prepare a video in advance using a screen recorder for Windows, where you explain in detail the main goals and tasks for teamwork, for instance, for the next week-two or a month. So you minimize the interaction of employees with all kinds of applications and reduce the time spent behind the monitor screen, which is very good for everybody’s health.
- Tip 4
To block burnout, it’s a good idea to conduct employee engagement and satisfaction surveys. If your employees don’t have interesting tasks and it’s possible to identify the reason for that, you can easily offer them alternative work in other departments.
Furthermore, various tests are available to distinguish burnout syndromes that can help identify the reasons for the trouble. Indeed, to effectively deal with burnout, especially if your professional activity is associated with constant communication with people, it’s necessary to recognize the first signs in time. Periodically invite your employees to take a burnout test to identify the problem at an early stage.
- Tip 5
One of the most common causes of burnout among employees is, of course, tight work schedules. The situation is also worsened by fines. In such an unfavorable atmosphere, a person quickly becomes nervous and feels exploited, which undoubtedly has a negative impact on mental health.
Review your remote employee’s work schedule and the number of tasks. On the one hand, it should meet the needs of your company. On the other hand, it should coincide with the hours at which the subordinate is most productive. Of course, you can draw up such a schedule in cooperation with the performer only.
- Tip 6
A crucial point in the fight against emotional burnout is a friendly atmosphere in the team and regular remote team activities. The results of numerous studies prove that team building enhances a sense of belonging to a common goal and increases motivation to work. Feeling supported by colleagues and empathy also help to resist emotional and professional burnout and fight fatigue.
- Tip 7
Various large global corporations have long recognized the need to conduct specialized courses and training for their employees on various topics. Such meetings include emotional intelligence, time management, and a variety of mindfulness practices. Business owners spend big bucks on employees’ education.
If you are not yet ready to organize such training for your staff, you can limit yourself to refresher courses. Gaining new knowledge has a beneficial effect on the brain, increasing intrinsic motivation.
Research shows that employees recommended for professional development begin to see career prospects, which can help them feel happier and calmer.
Leaders who successfully shield employees from burnout are not out of the ordinary. They organize professional training and corporate events. They treat people like human beings, separate work and rest time, provide vacations, encourage useful initiatives and actions. That is, they create a comfortable business environment and can engage remote employees. Moreover, every leader should know the causes and signs of burnout and how to deal with them.
We wish you all the best and not to make your staff burning out!
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