Largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the U.S. saw a steep rise in numerous companies allowing their employees to work remotely. This not only ensured health and safety but also made many industries consider integrating virtual office platforms to take the place of traditional conference room settings for daily communication and workflow. This has now made remote employment more popular than ever.
However, there is a temptation for remote workers to keep working once the workday is over, leading to a concurrent rise in employee burnout — a serious behavioral health issue that can affect job performance and, ultimately, physical wellbeing. Here, we will look at a few ways to manage your remote employees’ burnout, ensuring their mental health and wellness while remaining productive and essential to your company’s productivity.
The Signs of Burnout and Overwork
Allowing team members to go remote has numerous benefits, the biggest of which is a guaranteed practice of ongoing social distancing. Technology has quickly followed this trend, introducing various forms of virtual communication, such as Zoom and Google Meet, to keep employees in consistent contact during a routine 9-5 business day. However, these lifestyle changes come with some drawbacks.
If you see any of these recognizable signs of employee burnout, it may be time to advise your team member to step back, try some mental wellness activities, and keep their mental health a priority. Mental wellness is a serious issue for everyone, and your concern for each team member can go a long way in assuring their health wellness, and morale.
The best way to recognize employee burnout is if you see obvious inabilities in their concentration or focus. Likewise, frequent vocal complaints of work-related frustration or increased stress level, an attitude-shift toward cynicism or aggression regarding their job, or a trend of frequently calling in sick are all potential signs of burnout. More serious signs can be hints of a major behavioral disorder, mental health disorder, or substance abuse, in which case a worksite wellness program, counselor, or therapist may be needed.
Helping a Burnt-out Employee or Co-worker
As a manager looking out for overall employee health as you would a family member, try and make it a point to be present throughout the day, even virtually, and take steps to acknowledge each individual’s hard work and productivity. Sometimes an employee’s efforts can go under the radar and the mere recognition that you’ve noticed their daily success can boost self-esteem and have a positive impact on their mood. The competition of an office atmosphere can be troublesome to some team members, especially those who view co-worker relationships as important as personal friendships. Feeling the burden of burnout can trigger a stigma in their self-image, so making it known that you care is always important.
There are numerous options for mental and behavioral health. Although not every company can afford the expense of health care costs, if your budget allows for employee gym memberships and fitness classes, yoga or meditation, or even a seminar on leading a healthier lifestyle, these are all major incentives for your individual team members to understand the importance of asking for help, relaxing, and breaking down their work tasks into smaller, more manageable responsibilities. An employee wellness program can bundle one or more of these concepts together, and some third-party wellness studios offer workplace discounts.
Leading by Example
A great way to inspire employee wellness is to practice some different ways of a healthy lifestyle and wellness yourself. If you take the time to focus on your own mental wellness, be proactive in eating healthy foods, and discuss the benefits of physical health in its relation to feeling more focused and positive, your team may follow your good example. Another excellent way to stress this mind-body focus and its importance on morale is to seek out a health coach of your own, then impart some of their advice and health care techniques onto your own employees.