You feel it, I feel it, the entire world collectively feels it: we’re all under a great deal of stress right now. The last year has completely shifted how many people across the globe work. Between newfound remote work, distance learning for the littles in your life, economic uncertainty and job responsibility changes, new factors affecting mental health and higher stress levels are hitting us at an all-time high. According to one study, 40% of remote workers experienced burnout during the height of the pandemic.
It’s common during any time of high unemployment that workers are afraid to take vacation time, request work flexibility or advocate for their work-life balance, mental health, and overall wellness. This month, I want to share a few strategies—checkmarks on your “Do” list—that can help leverage the remote working environment to better support your team a little more than a year into this massive shift. Your company culture directly affects your employees. Read on to learn a few ways you can help nurture your workers’ mental health while helping them avoid remote burnout.
Do: Shift Your Management Style
A “command and control” management style, as Fast Company calls it, doesn’t foster a spirit of trust or empower them to do their best work. Instead, use a “trust and verify” method of management, where clear and fair communications are the standard. Delegate tasks, remove yourself from processes where you don’t need to be there and let go of the small stuff.
Do: Give Your Workers Uninterrupted Working Time
We’ve all been there in the last year: video conference after video conference pile on top of each other during the workday, emails start flooding your inbox and before you know it, it’s 5:30 pm and you’ve barely gotten your actual work done for the day. Encourage your workers to take time offline to focus on their tasks and model it yourself by setting the expectation that messages and emails (unless urgent) do not need to be responded to immediately.
Do: Use the Digital World to Your Advantage
Employee overall wellness is a huge part of burnout. Of course, regular PTO and encouraging your team to take it is one aspect of wellness, but when your employees are on the clock, offer up a few creative ways to support their mental health. Inc. suggests giving workers free subscriptions to meditation or mental health wellness apps, company-wide exercise challenges, healthy eating clubs for recipe sharing and more.
Do: Model Work-Life Balance from the Top Down
The age-old saying, “actions speak louder than words” is the perfect adage for management during a pandemic. If you’re “on” all the time, then your employees will think they need to be, too. If you don’t take vacation time, neither will they! Behavior that supports mental wellness starts at the top of the organization.
Support Your Employees and Avoid Remote Burnout
Organizations and managers that actively support their workers help avoid the dreaded “remote burnout.” Encouraging your employees to be their best selves both inside and outside of their home office is the key to cultivating connectedness while working outside of the office. No matter where in the world your team is working, each individual needs to feel seen and heard by their co-workers and leadership team – it’s our responsibility to help remote employees thrive!