Be Mindful to Yourself & Others: Tips to Avoid Burnout While Working from Home

Today marks our fifth week of working from home. Though everyone at Prevue is still all smiles during our daily morning meetings, some of us did admit that they have resorted to speaking to their house plants to make up for the lack of human interaction. In other words, we’re starting to go a little insane.

The Risks That Come With WFH

People who have just started their remote work routine for a week or two may still find it tolerable or even thrilled to finally get to work in their pajamas onwards. However, something substantially yet subconsciously dangerous is beginning to creep into the minds of those who have passed the one-month mark – employee burnout.

Burnout isn’t something that can be easily recognized right off the bat. You might think you just had a bad sleep or maybe today just wasn’t your day. But little do we realize, burnout affects nearly two-thirds of full-time workers even on a normal basis. With work from home measures in place, plus a sprinkle of anxiety around the coronavirus pandemic, it is likely that we’ll see this number increase for the next while.

Work Hard but in Moderation

Employees who are working from home for the first time may struggle to find a healthy balance between their professional life and personal life. In a recent study conducted in light of the COVID-19 crisis, there have already been a 34% increase in average work hours and a 23% increase in the number of emails sent after-hours.

The sense of obligation to respond immediately to an email sent at 10 p.m. is often underestimated by management levels in the upper tier of the hierarchy. People will go above and beyond to show devotion and loyalty, especially at this time. Hence, how leaders manage their employees and their work will be critical for preventing burnout.

  • Encourage your staff to stick to their original work schedule and go on breaks when needed
  • Both managers and employees should avoid sending work-related emails or texts that are not urgent after work hours
  • Create structured timetables and sort through workloads
  • Show appreciation and provide positive feedback constantly to maintain morale

Actions taken during a global pandemic are not ones to be made lightly. At this confusing period, our advice is to prioritize quality over quantity – the quality of work, and the quality of your employee’s well-being.

Tailor Your Efforts to Each Individual’s Needs

Managers are at their wit’s end trying to think of ways to keep their team together. Just as how we’re all dealing with the crisis differently, wellness measures should also be customized accordingly to each individual’s needs. For instance, while virtual hangouts may work for some people, others may prefer something more practical or discreet.

Among every effort one could make to improve wellness, communication remains at the very top of the list. This is not the time to overwork ourselves. Practicing mindfulness both to yourself and to others is a much-needed form of discipline to come out of this crisis better, and stronger.