Protecting your remote workers from burnout
The cost of employee burnout is alarming; costing US businesses somewhere between $125-190 billion a year in lost revenues.
One study reveals nearly 60% of UK employees report burnout from work, costing their employers £26 billion in mental health and work-related stress costs. Last year, turnover rates increased costs by an estimated £9 billion.
In the wake of the pandemic, remote workers are suffering from bouts of burnout and depression that only adds to the problem. Because of their unique work arrangements, many are working extra hours or trying to work around other challenges -- like having kids at home and not adhering to set schedules. Remote workers also often feel “invisible” to their organizations. This makes it harder for them to connect with peers, feel like they are part of the team, and that their employee experience matters.
As employers, it’s pretty safe to say that remote work isn’t going away anytime soon.
How can we help protect our workers from burnout? What are some tools and resources we can use to monitor and ensure that our employees feel supported during this challenging time?
Understanding the reality of remote work
With around half of the world’s adult population working remotely, life has changed for many families.
Remote work used to be by choice, but now it’s a necessity to stay healthy, and while there are certain advantages of working outside the traditional office, such as autonomy and zero commute time, a survey conducted by Resilience First indicated, “more than half of remote workers are now suffering from working from home fatigue.”
The reality is that not all employees thrive in remote work situations. Some need the structure and the social outlet that a brick and mortar environment provides. Others just need a change of scenery to break up the daily grind. Adding the pressures of home and family responsibilities can drive anyone over the edge.
Managing remote workers and their performance
The onus is on employers to ensure that all of their workers are getting the support needed to be productive.
This means having systems in place to monitor employee engagement and performance. Pulse surveys can be the first step, but ongoing daily connections with remote employees are better. Things can change rapidly as new health guidelines dictate life, impacting employees 24/7. A mobile real-time employee engagement solution can give employees the opportunity to express any new challenges, get help, and vent their frustrations internally. This enables the company to be responsive to their needs, and before performance is negatively affected.
The management team can do their part by:
- checking employee engagement reports and taking action where it’s needed the most
- stress reduction and mental health programs can be put into place to help those dealing with the negative impact of the pandemic
- policies need to be established and communicated that enforce standard work hours and regular work breaks
- managers can encourage employees to take time off to deal with personal and family matters
- flexibility is a must-have skill of working from home and managing remote workers
What the pandemic has taught us
The great loss of life that COVID-19 has caused should not be diminished. However, if there are lessons to be learned about human resilience, this is the time to reflect.
Massive numbers of working adults have had to transition quickly to new ways of earning a living, with many leaving former careers to forge new ones. Others who have been fortunate enough to work remotely are doing so with the hope that things will eventually return to some normalcy once the pandemic is eradicated.
The pandemic has taught us several things. We’ve learned that people can and will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. This requires having the right business model in place that uses the best HR technology and effort. If a company wants to survive, it must be willing to adapt to the factors that require remote working arrangements.
We’ve also learned that one can find that important work-life balance as a remote employee, but it doesn't happen overnight. More seasoned remote workers know it takes time and practice, along with employer support to make it work.
Thymometrics provides tools that improve employee engagement and anonymous communication channels to help people feel connected when working remotely. Our feedback solutions provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees and monitor wellbeing whilst providing managers with insights to improve business culture, productivity and profitability.
Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash