Employee Burnout:  How to prevent it during remote working.

Why is employee burnout so harmful?

We all know what it feels like to have moments of stress, or to feel tired after a busy day, however, burnout is more serious than this, and can cause long-term harm that really affects an employee’s attitude to work and overall morale.  Burnout is characterised by being in a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion.  The key culprits that cause this are excessive pressure and prolonged stress.

It is important to understand that employee burnout isn’t a personal issue, as it can filter through to other parts of your business, affecting them too.  The more under pressure employees are, the more likely they are to become demotivated, have poor performance or make mistakes.

In fact, this can invade the overall productivity of your business, whether quality of customer service takes a hit or low productivity results in a smaller profit margin.  So, it’s in your best interests to address it in the right way in order to protect the health of your staff, and the reputation and success of your business.

What can you do to reduce excessive stress and burnout?

Despite the threats of employee burnout seeming intimidating and alarming, there are so many steps you can take to help prevent it happening, even during this time of widespread remote working.

Encourage regular exercise

We know that, often, this is easier said than done.  But regular exercise doesn’t have to mean encouraging your employees to take on a 10-mile run every week.  Even a 10-minute brisk walk can have such a positive impact on mood and motivation, by getting you out into the fresh air with a change of scenery and moving your body that usually spends most of the day sat in a chair

Remind your employees that there are also many options for exercising that can be done in a small indoor space such as yoga or a HIT workout.  What’s key is finding the best option that suits them and fitting it comfortably into their routine.

A quick desk break every hour

Humans simply are not made to sit for long periods of time, and short yet regular five-minute escapes from the desk chair is a great tip to suggest to your employees.  The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines report recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with a couple of minutes of activity.  Whether this entails a walk to the kitchen for a cup of tea or taking a call whilst standing up, it can do wonders for refocusing the mind and keeping the body moving regularly.

This is especially important for remote working because the absence of a work and home separation and those casual chats with colleagues, can lead to employees forgetting to take the microbreaks that are so important for overall workplace mental health

Encourage quitting unhealth habits

Poor diet and excessive drinking both have a major impact on a person’s stress levels, as does smoking.  In fact, a recent study found that quitting smoking made immediate positive improvements to mental health, especially after the first four weeks.  Letting your employees know that you encourage and support them in removing these habits can help minimise symptoms of burnout before they become more severe.

Make sure people talk to their line manager

Communication is such a huge contributor for preventing those initial feelings of pressure, anxiety or demotivation from becoming mental health problems like burnout.  By ensuring lines of communication are open and regular, particularly when employees are working remotely, it is more likely that you can become aware of potential problems sooner, and therefore do something about them before they become overwhelming and harder to manage.

Foster a supportive workplace community

Fostering a workplace culture where people don’t feel guilty for occasionally taking the day off sick – even if they’ve not got a physical illness – will help alleviate longer term stress and maintain morale

As well as this, encourage your employees to use all of their holiday allowance each year, even if they’re not going away anywhere.  This helps everyone involved in your business sustain a healthy work-life balance that will ultimately keep it running as smoothly and effectively as possible overall.

Make an effort to prevent burnout

It is completely natural for anyone to feel bogged down by everything that is going on at the moment, however, your acts of support can go a long way for preventing burnout and maintaining an upbeat and motivated workforce.

Courtesy of CV Library