As remote working trends become more popular, so do their isolating effects. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a large majority of the corporate sector is still adjusting to a WFH future. On the back of technological evolution and a post-pandemic digital shift, more company leaders than ever before have swapped the office for a remote alternative.
In fact, a recent report from Indeed found that the corporate shift has increased employee burnout by 9%. With half of all corporate workers now feeling burned out, business leaders must take steps to improve both productivity and wellbeing in the workplace.
(Image Source: McKinsey)
Read on as we delve into the causes and effects of the burnout epidemic and discuss some of the most effective strategies company leaders can implore to mitigate the impacts.
The Effects Of A Burnout Epidemic
It’s no secret that Covid-19 has caused a burnout epidemic. After 75% of workers in a recent FlexJobs survey claimed that they had experienced burnout as a result of the WFH shift, both employees and employers are struggling to combat the effects of workplace burnout.
For a suffering employee, burnout can manifest in a number of ways. From lack of motivation and increased absenteeism to more physical effects such as anxiety and fatigue, burnout can quickly damage productivity and increase the chances of human error while working from home.
For the employer, a burnt-out workforce is a one-way ticket to administration. Company leaders who fail to prioritise WFH wellbeing are more likely to see a fall in employee retention and most significantly a drop in company profits.
In fact, stats from WHO estimates that over $1 trillion is lost in productivity annually, as remote workers are simply unmotivated behind the screen.
How To Ensure Your Team Stay Productive
Managing WFH-based employee burnout takes a dedicated management team, technological intervention and a growth mindset.
The long-lasting effects of the pandemic have increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression amongst the corporate workforce, making burnout all the more likely when wellbeing isn’t prioritised from the top down.
Here are four simple steps an employer can take to ensure their team is well supported from home, and the benefits that come with maintaining employee wellbeing, even in a digital setting.
Prioritise A Work/Life Balance
Prioritising work/life balance is the catalyst that drives productivity. Not only have studies shown that employees with a work/life balance are happier at work, but 85% of companies that encourage their staff members to be flexible at work have reported significant increases in value production.
The same report found that 21% of employees with a positive work/life balance are more productive at work, and report lower levels of burnout post-pandemic.
In order to ensure employee wellbeing is prioritised within a WFH setting, company leaders must take steps to improve employee communication, flexible working practices and extracurricular activities such as wellbeing workshops, mindfulness sessions and exercise classes.
The key here is to get creative with a well-being strategy, that leaves staff members feeling relaxed rejuvenated and ready to jump back into work with a fresh mind.
Introduce Communication Aids
Communication is king when it comes to working from home. In a digital office, communication is the glue that holds a WFH team together. From improving task efficiency to reducing WFH loneliness, a remote organisation must be on top of their communication skills if they are to remain productive post-pandemic.
In the wake of Covid-19’s digital shift, there are plenty of digital communication aids available for a remote company. From AR/VR immersion that mimics an office setting to work-based instant messaging apps such as Slack and Google Teams. Investing in collaborative tools enables a team to stay connected while working from home.
Invest In Digital HR
According to a recent FlexJobs study, only 21% of corporate workers claimed that they were able to have open, genuine conversations about their mental health with their HR team.
A further 56% of WFH employees argued that their HR department simply dismissed conversations regarding burnout, in turn affecting both staff retention and productivity.
In order for a team to remain productive in a remote setting, HR support must be prioritised within a management strategy. Providing employees with an outlet for their concerns encourages them to speak up about their well-being and remove the stigma concerning workplace burnout.
Develop A Growth Mindset
Last but not least, it lies with the company leader to encourage employees to think positively about their progress, in an effort to reduce WFH stress and burnout.
When comparing a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset, employers must take a growth approach to management strategy, if they are to keep their workforce happy and healthy. Encouraging employees to view failure as a learning opportunity and use criticism to their advantage as they progress is an easy way to ensure that growth remains constant within the company.
Taking time to work on a work-based mindset teaches both employers and employees to approach WFH home hurdles with both passion and patience in a post-pandemic setting.