Four ways to avoid work from home burnout

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Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
4 May 2021

Millions of people around the world have been working remotely for more than a year now. The pandemic caused employers to close offices and many employees found themselves working from home for the first time.

This comes with many benefits, of course – less time and money spent on commuting, more time for midday workouts, and more freedom. However, it also has its challenges. Working parents have found themselves juggling childcare and distance learning, others are struggling with distractions from housemates or family members. Many employees have fallen into unhealthy habits and lifestyles – late nights, poor office set up, reduced physical activity and the inability to disconnect.

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According to research carried out by online employment platform Monster, more than two-thirds of employees are experiencing symptoms of burnout. These include negativity, stress, exhaustion, ineffectiveness and feeling detached from their work. This is often caused by constant overtime, unclear expectations, and a lack of autonomy.

To combat this, Virgin Pulse, the world's largest digital health and engagement company, has shared some great tips for avoiding burnout and helping your employees to manage their wellbeing.

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Get managers on board

A successful remote manager needs to set clear expectations for their team, communicate with them regularly, and show that they care about their wellbeing. Work with your managers to help them become strong remote leaders, giving them training on best practices to follow when working with their teams remotely.

Encourage managers to learn from each team member’s work-from-home routines (working parents may need to take an earlier lunch or need more flexible hours, for example). Help managers to spot the early signs of burnout and provide support when necessary.

Review your company culture

How is overtime viewed at your business? Is it something that’s discouraged or praised and rewarded? Do managers lead by example?

You might think you already know the answers to these questions, but it’s important to know how your employees feel about them. You could run an employee wellbeing survey to find out what their experience is. This will give you a better insight into what you need to do to better meet the needs of your remote workforce.

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Encourage healthy behaviours

Small changes quickly add up to long-term results. Encourage your people to engage in healthy habits each day – this can be something as simple as reminding them to go for a short walk on their lunch break, or you could schedule an online workout or meditation break. 

Equip employees with the tools they need

Offer your employees the support that they need to manage their wellbeing better while working remotely. Teach them a number of different ways to reduce their stress and anxiety, and help them to practice these techniques. This is about instilling long-lasting lifestyle changes, not just a quick fix.

Interested in learning more about employee wellbeing? Head over to Virgin Pulse and download the Mental Health Awareness Month Toolkit.