As you all might know, the trend of the new normal has started. Burnout is defined as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully dealt with. The widespread shift to remote work caused by the Covid-19 pandemic might stay longer- even after the vaccination is over.
The past several months have shown that women, people with caregiving responsibility, are experiencing higher burnout levels, resulting in anxiety, lowered productivity, and even departure from the workforce.
Managing directors and CEOs of companies should take proper steps to guard their employees against the danger of pandemic-produced burnout. They ought to consider the staff’s experiences and problems most tormented by work from home burnout and build an inclusive remote culture, which will benefit their entire organization. A high level of productivity is that the most vital goal that almost all workplaces strive to fulfill.
But obsessing over productivity to the extent that you neglect the workers is an enormous mistake. The impact of employee burnout reaches other team members, your business, and your clients and customers. When people are not proud of their job circumstances, they will convey it, intentionally or not, to their colleagues and customers. Inside your team, negativity will be contagious.
A poor service experience could repel customers. Employee burnout is the culmination of physical and emotional strength exhaustion, which an absence of support and resources might further impact.
What to do to prevent Employees from burnout?
Employers should take the following steps to protect their employees from the work from home burnout:
Check-in on your employees
Every employee won’t tell you what problems they are experiencing during work from home and what they need. When people are absent a lot or resign from the organization, you won’t have enough workforce to satisfy the output demand, which may affect your bottom line and, in turn, diminish productivity. Remote employees could be under pressure to demonstrate their work ethics and productivity. They don’t share a similar work as their team leaders and managers and might fear that others think they are lazy or gaming the system to reduce workload. As a result, they might overcompensate in their working hours and obsess over work output standards.
With fewer boundaries between work and private life – between cell phones, email, and instant messenger (IM) – these workers may also feel as though they’re on call 24/7 and never able to take a break. Someone working nonstop like this could be prone to snap. So, you as a pacesetter should openly ask the employees and make conversation as friends about their issues to freely address their problems. And, you can solve their problems. Create an inclusive remote culture, and then make fair and appropriate arrangements for them.
Offer flexible – not just remote – work when possible
Working from home does not mean flexibility in all companies. A few companies insist that employees should be present for work, during the regular work hours, as they worked in their offices before the pandemic was there. Managing directors expect meetings and other online decisions to be completed synchronously with other team members and managers. The managing directors should allow for some asynchronous collaboration, giving all employees flexibility to manage their multiple duties and responsibilities. Offering flexibility to all employees would increase the productivity and growth of an organization in turn. Suppose, instead of giving employees the time limit of completing the work in regular work hours, you can keep the whole day’s time limit for the employees to complete the given assignment. This would be better.
Pay attention to time and mental breaks
Managing directors should do rotation meetings between a specific convenient (and inconvenient) period for each employee. This would be the best method for globally distributed teams to reduce home burnout because the time zones are widely distributed around our earth. A suitable time in the morning would be unsuitable for employees working from home from other distant countries. Even if your team is in the same time zone, you need to follow this practice to have the flexibility to work and attend the meetings on time. For example, you can ask all the employees to be available to work and attending the meetings. Then, the time suggested by most people should be chosen as the suitable time for work for one team of employees. And, another period can be selected as the relevant period for another group of employees. While working from home, some people may think that employees are always available. It’s necessary to schedule ‘off’ time for them, along with work time. It’s essential to take breaks between work and switch between the team members’ tasks and all other employees to feel more refreshed and energetic. This will help employees to feel good and do work more creatively. This will help reduce the burnout of work from home.
A few other reasons for employee burnout at work
- Unfair treatment at work
- Unmanageable workload
- Lack of role clarity
- Lack of communication and support from their manager
- Unreasonable time pressure
Nearly a quarter (23%) of employees reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while an extra 44% said that they felt burned out sometimes. .i.e., About two-thirds of full-time workers feel burnout on the job.
Awareness – Spotting symptoms of Employee Burnout
“When you’re burned out, your capacity to perform is compromised, and so is your belief in yourself”- Monique Valcour. He is an executive coach and writer for the Harvard Business Review. Suppose an employee who was once a great source of motivation and encouragement for others and was performing well enough is experiencing burnout. In that case, the decrease in productivity may be overworked/ not enjoying work anymore.
Signs of employee burnout are as follows:
- Have you become cynical or critical at work?
- Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
- Have you become easily upset/ angered/ impatient with co-workers, customers, or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
- Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or not to judge?
- Have your sleep habits changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
- Do you experience difficulty sleeping?
- Are you feeling hopeless?
Job burnout is a unique variety of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves reduced achievement and personal identity loss. It’s necessary to understand the difference between stress and burnout as well.
Stress, by and large, involves too much: too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and mentally. Burnout is about feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation, and lack of being cared for. If excessive stress looks like you are drowning in responsibilities, burnout could be a sense of being all dried up. Stressed people might imagine that if they can get everything under control, they will feel better. People experiencing burnout do not see any hope of positive change in their present conditions. Employees may be under a lot of stress – even with burnout, they might not notice when it happens.
As you lead your team through the continued pandemic, be careful with these telling warning signs:
Procrastination: Employees who once tackled work projects with great intensity and worked long hours now struggle to finish the most uncomplicated assignments.
Withdrawal: Individuals with outgoing, talkative, extrovert personalities become quiet, reserved, and distant.
Anxiety and increased emotion: Employees are unwilling to cooperate, often showing a cynical or pessimistic outlook, irritability, and frustration.
Possible causes of job burnout
Lack of control
If you might be unable to influence decisions that affect your jobs– such as your schedule, assignments, or workload – it could lead to job burnout. Lack of resources to do your job is also a factor responsible for job burnout.
Unclear job expectations
If you are not clear about your job role. i.e., exactly what work you would have to do, then you might not get job satisfaction, which is the most important thing. If that doesn’t happen, then you might experience job burnout.
Dysfunctional workplace dynamics:
Perhaps you work with an office bully, or you feel undermined by colleagues, or your boss micromanages your work. This can contribute to job stress.
Extremes of activity:
When a job is monotonous, you need constant energy to remain focused, leading to fatigue and job burnout.
If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed. In that situation, you would need more and more motivation and support from your loved ones, colleagues, friends, etc.
If your work takes up so much of your time and effort to don’t have enough energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might feel the work from home burnout.
Job burnout risk factors
You can be more likely to experience job burnout if:
You identify so strongly with work that you lack a balance between your work life and private life.
You have high work pressure, including overtime work.
You try to be everything to everyone and please people.
You work in a helping profession, such as health care.
You feel you have little or no control over your work.
Your job is monotonous.
Consequences of job burnout
Ignored or unaddressed job burnout can have various significant consequences, including:
Sadness, anger, or irritability
Alcohol or substance misuse
High blood pressure
Type 2 diabetes
Vulnerability to illnesses
Managing job burnout: Take action to get started
Evaluate your options
Discuss specific concerns with your team leader. Try to set goals for what can be done to reduce work from home burnout. After knowing the employees’ problems regarding work from home burnout, the team can discuss what can be done to tackle those issues, ask for solutions, and find a standard solution to be implemented.
You can reach out to friends, colleagues, or your near and dear ones to get support regarding your issues of working from home. They can help you by providing support. Also, you can include yourself in employee assistance programs.
Try a relaxing activity
Do meditation to help you cope up with stress. Try yoga and other such fitness activities, as they will keep you healthy and fit also.
Get some exercise
Exercise regularly. Doing physical activities regularly every day will help you cope up with stress in a better way. This will reduce work from home burnout.
Get some sleep
Sleeping properly helps you be relaxed and get up fresh and energetic so that you can do everyday work with full vigor. It helps protect your health.
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you are sensing and feeling at each moment, without interpretation or judgment, .i.e. without thinking of anything else. In a job setting, this act involves facing situations with openness and patience and without judgment.
Help your team reduce work from home burnout by finding proper solutions to their problems. Keep an open mind as you choose the options. The pandemic has followed us into 2021, and remote work is anticipated to stay normal both during and after it. Employers increasingly must ensure their employees’ well-being and take proactive measures to form good operational changes. By listening to those workers most susceptible to pandemic fatigue and burnout, leaders can build better organizations for their employees in the future.