Helping Your Employees Avoid Burnout

Due to COVID-19, many employers have embraced remote work over the past few months as a way to continue business operations while keeping their employees safe at home to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. One of the best aspects of working remotely is the flexibility, however a flexible work environment can also pose challenges to your employees. As remote workers strive to stay productive, they may have a difficult time separating their work and personal lives. And, in addition to their normal workload, today’s remote employees may be struggling to carry the additional burden of caring for children or elderly family members.

 

After several challenging months, your employees may be feeling mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, disengagement or burnout. Burnout symptoms may be harder to see in your remote workforce and can include sleep loss, irritability, depression or anxiety. How can you help your team cope and balance their responsibilities and avoid getting burned out while working remotely? Even if your business is back to working on-site, here are several ways to help your employees avoid burnout and to stay better balanced in today’s business environment.

 

Schedule in break time
Just like you would schedule a meeting, it is essential for your employees to schedule in time for breaks. Encourage them to step away from their desk and do something enjoyable like taking a walk or eating a favorite snack. After the break, they can get back to work feeling recharged. Chances are, they will accomplish a lot more than if they had worked straight through the day. 

 

Create boundaries
When you work remotely, there is no one telling you to go home or that the office is closing for the evening. Remind your employees of the importance of maintaining their personal lives and not letting work creep into their downtime. Advise them to work productively during designated work hours and then end work when it is time to leave. 

 

Stay connected
Even though you may be physically separated, it is important to stay connected and put a priority on communicating with your employees. Encourage and facilitate regular team meetings as well as connecting with each employee, one-on-one. It’s also nice for the team to connect socially. Schedule a virtual coffee break for the team to make up for those conversations that casually happen in the workplace. If your employees have been working from home for several months, they may miss their old work environment where socializing was easy.

 

Move your body
This is not only good for your physical health, but also your mental health. Remind your employees to periodically get up and move around their home. Walking, stretching, dancing, jumping rope or lifting weights can all be great forms of exercise. There are many app-based and online options too.  Recommend that employees do whatever movement they enjoy most to reduce or alleviate their stress. 

 

Learn a new skill
Many businesses may still not be operating at full-speed. If you find that your employees have some downtime, help sharpen their skills with some online training or share new technology tips and best practices. Show your team that you are invested in their growth by supporting new learning opportunities.

 

Offer additional support
Another way to help your employees who may be dealing with stress and burnout is to offer access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This valuable benefit gives your employees access to a confidential resource that provides additional support tools such as short-term counseling and referrals to local resources.

 

These are challenging times and burnout is a common issue among remote workers. For more information on how Oasis, a Paychex® Company, can assist your company with supporting your employees’ well-being, or in any other area of Human Resources, contact Oasis at 866-AT-OASIS (866-286-2747) or visit us online at www.oasisadvantage.com.

 

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