It doesn’t matter if you’re a manager or an employee, finding your balance when working from home can be a challenge. Maintaining productivity without burning out requires being deliberate and purposeful in how you approach each day spent working from the home front.
If you either are an employee or you oversee employees, you could benefit from certain recommendations to help you battle burnout as you all work separately together from the home front.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of the telecommuting world. Without consistent, quality communication, it’s difficult to keep a team focused, productive, and on the same page.
Maintaining proper communication is a responsibility that lies on employers and employees alike. The former is the one who is particularly responsible for encouraging collaboration and communication amongst staff members. The latter must also be willing to respond to planned communication.
It should also be noted that this kind of communication should be focused on maintaining the human aspect of your professional relationship. Simply checking in to micromanage or check on productivity does very little to help with burnout. Instead, communicating about the management of work-life balance with everyone can help change their perspective about remote work.
Adopt a Growth Mindset
Change is a critical part of maintaining forward momentum. If employees feel isolated and stagnant as they work on the home front, their well-being can quickly atrophy in isolation.
One of the simplest ways to combat this tendency towards stasis is by weaving a growth mindset mentality into your corporate culture. This is simply embracing the belief and willingness to change, adapt, and grow over time. If growth is a mindset shared and demonstrated by your entire company, it will quietly empower your employees to identify and confront burnout in their workspaces. Once this mindset is entwined with the company, you can start encouraging methods that actively mitigate the side effects of isolation.
Breaks are one such method you can utilize to diminish burnout. Along with taking breaks, it’s recommended that you switch up tasks throughout your day to promote creativity. Remote workers should be careful to track the amount of time that they spend on a66 single task, as it’s much easier to lose track of time when you’re working in isolation.
Additionally, management can help promote this concept by setting up times for team building exercises, such as virtual “water-cooler” breaks. This doesn’t just help encourage taking breaks. It allows employees to disengage from work with the leadership’s consent.
Make Virtual Commutes a Policy
Burnout can often be attributed to an inability to disconnect from work. This is particularly relevant in the remote work setting, where the lines between work and personal life are often blurred.
Employees can resist this by taking steps to create work routines, set “office hours,” and select dedicated workspaces within their homes. Employers can do their part by encouraging employees to take “virtual commutes” to start and end each day.
The idea of a virtual commute revolves around taking time before and after each workday to mentally check-in and then check out. In other words, it encourages taking the time that you normally would spend driving to and from work to meditate, pray, listen to an audiobook, tune into the radio, or simply sit in silence.
Microsoft is one of the largest organizations to recognize the value of a deliberate and purposeful time spent shifting to and from a work mentality. In the context of burnout, virtual commutes can make it much easier to mentally detach when the workday is done.
Unplug at Times
Finally, if an employee is chronically struggling with burnout, they may need to fully unplug for a while. Sure, planning vacations may be tricky during a pandemic, but it’s still possible to disconnect from work responsibilities for a chunk of time to reset your mind and calm frazzled emotions.
The specifics of what you do when you’re “unplugging” doesn’t matter. Many highly successful people even choose to do nothing when unplugging, as this purposefully pushes them to slow down, calm down, and be in the present.
If you’re dealing seriously with burnout while working remotely, take some personal time, turn off your notifications and electronic devices, and give your brain a chance to rest. Make sure that you give yourself multiple days if possible, as it often takes time to truly unplug.
Battling Burnout While Working on the Homefront
Burnout is a common struggle in the modern workplace. However, the particular challenges of working from home have made it an even larger challenge than ever before.
Fortunately, there are many steps that employers and employees alike can take to fight back against the nasty effects of burnout. Keeping up communication and maintaining a growth mindset to virtual commutes, taking breaks, and unplugging are all ways to restore a sense of balance to an exhausting work life.
The important thing is that you take the time to identify the issue of burnout — either in a staff member or in yourself — when it creeps into the picture. Then take steps to address the problem. Only then can one expect to find a sense of balance.