The pandemic has shifted the way we work. There are many companies that have been working remotely for more than one year now. Their employees have moved their working life from the office to their homes. What are the consequences of a work from home (WFH) setup?
How are management strategies being challenged?
There is a common trend seen in many companies regarding the focus of the management team. Many managers have worries about their team’s productivity or efficiency. Will it decline? As such, leaders are putting more pressure on the workforce to maintain performance levels. But is performance dipping?
According to Forbes, remote workers are working longer hours and are more productive. In fact, what managers should be worrying about is over-performance and over-exertion of their team because this may have a higher impact on business results as it implies employee burnout, which leads to higher turnover cost.
Main causes of WFH burnout:
- More working hours → A study of Mental Health America (MHA) study, states 75% of remote workers have experienced burnout at work. This can be partially due to the fact that 37% of employees are working more hours at home.
- Lack of supportive environment → Lack of the support system you find in an office setup can lead to loneliness. Also, working remotely may blur the lines of communication between management and employees, leaving employees feeling less supported.
- Combining work with home responsibilities → Employees have to learn a new way of working while doing household chores, childcare duties, and even creating virtual classrooms for their kids at home.
- Inability to disconnect → Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, employees already had issues defining the borders between work and personal time. Now these borders are even murkier. Having your workspace at home makes it harder to mentally disconnect from work tasks, calls, and messages after office hours.
Top strategies to prevent WFH Burnout:
Many studies have revealed the dangerous reality of burnout when working remotely. Here are some of the top strategies found to prevent Work-From-Home burnout:
- Promote good, clear communication and connection → Working remotely, we are adapting new communication tools and new ways of communicating. Make sure your team has constructive and productive conversations about work--but also about non-work topics!
- Be a supportive leader → Keep in mind the challenges your employees have to face, not just with a new WFH setup, but also with the threat of COVID-19 and all the uncertainty the pandemic has caused. It is important they feel supported and understood by management.
- Recommend your team to set up (and strictly follow) office hours → A tip would be to turn off work notifications and email after work hours so employees disconnect, rest, and recover their productive juices.
- Promote a culture of wellness → Humans are highly social creatures who learn from the people around them. Do you want to promote a culture of wellness? Make moves to live a healthy lifestyle yourself and with your team! Some companies put well-being programs in place. Management should make it a point to join in!
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