According to a recent survey, nearly 70% of U.S. employees are feeling burned out as a result of working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Would your workforce agree?
While there's no denying that these changes have been challenging, there are ways to prevent burnout and help reduce the burden on your remote teams. Today, we're sharing five of our top tips to help you make the most of each workday.
1. Schedule Regular Breaks
Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day isn't just detrimental to your physical health. It can also cause undue mental strain, too.
In fact, new research suggests that spending just five hours looking at a screen can drastically increase one's risk of depression and insomnia. While planning the schedule for the week, be sure to pencil in plenty of short breaks.
Encourage employees to get up from their chairs, grab a coffee, or simply take a walk to stretch their bodies and help avoid exhaustion. To optimize productivity, aim to allow at least one 15-20 minute break for every 90 minutes of work time.
2. Communicate Consistently
From Zoom to Slack, there are myriad software applications that allow remote teams to connect from afar. Not only are these resources helpful for work activities, but they're also great burnout prevention tools.
Make it a point to connect with your team every day, even if it's just a quick chat to check in. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are often exacerbated for employees who work from home, and even a casual phone call can be a major stress reliever.
3. Ask For Input
Studies show that one of the top causes of burnout is the feeling of losing control. Of course, the recent workplace changes likely have most employees feeling as though their schedule is out of their hands.
As their manager, you can help calm their anxieties by earnestly requesting their feedback and input. Hold virtual "office hours" regularly and encourage your team members to speak with you during that time about any issues they're experiencing or suggestions they have.
4. Set Realistic Deadlines
Yes, your employees might be working from their living rooms, as well as their kitchen tables. Yet, this doesn't mean they should be expected to work far into the evening, just because they can. Work/life balance is critical to avoiding burnout, and it's more important now than ever before.
To the greatest extent possible, keep work hours as usual. Then, resist the urge to implement stricter deadlines or distribute disproportionate workloads. When your expectations are realistic, it can help employees go easier on themselves, too.
5. Allow Autonomy
If micro-managing was ever ill-advised, it's during a global pandemic. To build your team's confidence, look for ways to help them reclaim some sense of autonomy.
For instance, rather than structure their day down to the minute, allow them to set their own schedule to a degree. Or, let them come up with a solution to an issue rather than dictating the steps they should take. Ultimately, this can help them feel more in control of their day and their lives.
Prevent Burnout and Lead Your Team to Success
This year has led managers into unchartered territory. As you navigate the coming months, look for ways to prevent burnout and encourage motivation in your remote employees.
In the meantime, continue to check back here for more news on insurance claim management, and reach out to us for support!