• Arpit Sharma

How to prevent and cure remote burnout in your team

Startup life is a lot more difficult than any other career choice. We expect big things from small teams. We wear many hats. And we tackle new, difficult problems every day.

For founders, protecting the mental health of your team in all of this is a very real responsibility. Certainly, companies are worried about their employees being pushed to the brink, especially if a second major wave of coronavirus cases forces many employees out of the workplace again. But with no end in sight to either the pandemic or the economic disruption, it’s caused, employees are increasingly trying to avoid losing focus or letting stress overwhelm them.

The shift to telecommuting has made it possible for employees to work while staying safe and preventing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, but it has also created a few challenges, including increased levels of workplace stress and employee burnout. Find out what you can do to prevent your remote employee burnout.

What is Remote Employee Burnout?

According to the World Health Organization, doctors can diagnose an employee with burnout if they exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Exhaustion or energy depletion

  • Decreased engagement at work, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job

  • Reduced productivity or efficacy

For some employees, the negative effects of burnout extend beyond their work-life and into their home and social life. Moreover, burnout can increase an employee’s risk of getting sick or developing a chronic condition.

How to Prevent Burnout in Remote Employees

Since burnout is the result of prolonged and chronic workplace stress, it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of workplace stress.

While it may not be possible to eliminate job stress altogether for your employees, you can help them learn how to manage it effectively. Common job stressors include:

  • Heavy workload

  • Long work hours

  • Lack of work-life balance

  • Concerns over job security

While dealing with stress is a normal part of everyday life, and these uncertain times may be elevating your employees’ overall stress levels, it’s important to watch out for prolonged stress. Here are some early warning signs of burnout:

  • Anxiety or depression

  • Low morale

  • Short temper

  • Headache

  • Stomach or back problems

  • Fatigue

You can implement various activities to help reduce employee stress, which can improve health and morale—and productivity.

  • Make sure that workloads are appropriate.

  • Have managers regularly check in with employees to facilitate communication.

  • Recognize and celebrate employees’ successes. This contributes to morale and decreases stress levels.

  • Encourage a positive work-life balance.

  • Train managers on strategies to keep employees engaged and motivated at work.

  • Educate managers on the signs of employee burnout.

  • Set clear expectations for working hours and productivity.

  • Keep in mind that some employees will have to balance caregiving and telecommuting responsibilities.

  • Be flexible and understand that not all employees will thrive while telecommuting.

  • Don’t task out busy work during these times to prevent heavy workloads.

While these strategies can help prevent burnout, they’re not right for every organization. Be sure to carefully review each tip before implementing a mitigation strategy at your business.

For More Information

Burnout is a serious syndrome that may be affecting your employees. As such, it’s important that you recognize the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it while your employees are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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