Who would have thought that the COVID-19 pandemic would open opportunities for people to still make a living without having to go to the office? While most employers would love to maintain the traditional business operation model we’re all used to, they needed to adapt to the current health climate so their businesses could stay afloat.
Eventually, most employers realized that if their businesses were to survive, they needed to change with the times. Therefore, they agreed to more flexible working arrangements for their employees, with many companies going at least 90% remote during the pandemic.
Employees and workers welcomed this as it allowed them to still provide for their needs. In fact, many people did a lot of home remodeling in 2020 to make their homes more comfortable and enjoyable for the shelter-in-place season. They did not just transform their vacant rooms into home offices and upgrade to vinyl flooring for the kitchens and bedrooms, but they also spent a lot of money expanding their homes and creating more functional spaces. This allowed many of them to make the best of the situation and enjoy working from home, even if it’s something new to them.
But as enjoyable and refreshing remote work has been for the past several months, many people are starting to experience burnout.
If you find your team struggling with remote work, and they’re losing the joy of working from home, you can help them prevent burnout by doing the following:
1. Emphasize the importance of breaks
Some people think that working in the comfort of one’s home is already like taking a break from real work, so they no longer have to take real breaks. That is a foolish thing to do as it can blur the lines between work and home life. Be the voice that will remind your team never to hesitate to step away from their tasks for a few minutes and refresh their bodies and minds. Encourage them to take breaks as needed. This will help them regain their focus and take on their tasks with renewed vim and vigor.
2. Avoid talking about work on days off and vacations
Again, this one is all about setting boundaries between work and home life. It’s easy to get caught up with work when you’re doing it at home. It may even be a form of temporary escape from your other realities but trust us when we say this is not a healthy way to go about remote work.
Learn to respect your team members’ private times and detach yourself from work outside your working hours. Direct your attention and energy to other worthy pursuits. Do things that make you feel relaxed and take your mind off work. Watch a movie with your family. Play games with your kids. Prepare a nice romantic home date with your spouse. Take up a new hobby or revive an old one. Relax and enjoy your life outside work. Do all these things and more but more importantly, allow your workers to experience the same things.
3. Build a culture of accountability
This is part of creating healthy boundaries for remote work. It has to start somewhere, and the best person to start it is you. Make yourself accountable to someone you don’t mind checking up on you once in a while.
Be the catalyst that will build this culture among your teammates. It helps keep everyone focused on work when they need to and on their lives when they have to. If it becomes ingrained in their being, you won’t even need to check on them. They will be the ones to initiate contact by telling you how their day is going and what their challenges are. Accountability buddies are there to help everyone become the best person they can be.
4. Encourage workers to establish a schedule and stick to it
Working remotely is a great thing, especially since it takes away the commute to work. But just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that all the workplace rules go out the window. You need to maintain some semblance of order to help you establish a healthy routine. Creating a feasible working schedule and coming up with daily to-do lists help keep things organized and take away any unnecessary stress caused by mental clutter.
5. Advocate healthy living
Working remotely is very closely associated with a sedentary lifestyle. You don’t even need to get out of bed to get work done. You just need to keep your laptop or tablet on your night table and reach for it as soon as you wake up. No more preparing healthy meals for lunch, no more long walks going to work. Unless you make a conscious effort to fight against this unhealthy lifestyle, your health will suffer.
Experts recommend that remote workers should engage in a healthy lifestyle to avoid any illness or disease, both physically and mentally. Encourage your team to take time to exercise every day, even if it’s just going for a walk around the block after dinner. Make sure they get enough sleep and rest. Help them make wiser decisions with the food they prepare and eat. You may even come together once in a while to meditate and practice mindfulness.
Remote work is a great blessing, especially during this pandemic. It allows plenty of people to provide for their families’ needs, given the current health crisis. However, the boundaries between work and home life might be blurred if you don’t set your priorities right. Take care of yourself, so you don’t get burned out with it.