For the businesses whose operations were spared by the COVID-19 pandemic, the work goes on within the four walls of the employees’ homes. It is still unclear how long this setup will continue in the Philippines, and for the majority, it has caused a significant shakeup on their daily routines.
While the concept of remote work is not new, there is a stark difference when it is done during a pandemic. For one, those who were already doing it before the pandemic find it more difficult to manage now. Detaching from their jobs has become almost impossible as it is not recommended to step out and go outdoors to public areas.
Workers who are used to going to their offices are now forced to find ways to make the remote setup comfortable. While it has undoubtedly freed up more time for everyone and removed traffic from their daily schedule, the stress has been replaced by anxiety brought about the health crisis and the inevitable burnout and fatigue from work.
Whether you are the CEO, HR manager, or a top recruitment agency in Manila, it is in your best interest to address your team’s woes with concrete strategies and steps. Here are some things you can do to alleviate work from home burnout from your employees.
1. Check in with your employees
Checking in on your team can do wonders for the company’s morale, and it does not only have to be done during a scheduled weekly meeting, either.
Try to make it a habit to check in on a couple of your employees each day and strike a conversation on how they are feeling. You can ask them simple things like how their workload is for the week, what they are struggling with the most at work, and if there is anything the company can offer to make their working conditions at home better.
Perhaps, they have been wanting to share some insights with you but have not found the right time to do so. You will be surprised at the level of trust formed with this small practice—as well as the information you can get out of it.
2. Change things up
While some people thrive on routine, in times of a pandemic, change may be a welcome distraction for your employees. You can incorporate fun-themed meetings where you do not have to talk about work, host virtual company events that your team can enjoy together, and the like. Encourage connection and a fun atmosphere online, especially during a time when people are not encouraged to have a gathering.
3. Build a Fatigue Risk Management Plan
Survey what your employees are currently feeling and see the different solutions that you can come up with to address them. It could be finding ways to relieve someone of their duties if they are too fatigued, rotating work responsibilities regularly, and establishing a clear communication plan for reporting to managers about concerns.
If you find a formula that works, include it in your Fatigue Risk Management Plan, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
4. Provide learning materials to address burnout
Another great way to break the routine would be to introduce training tracks to your team. Maybe they want to upskill or learn something new during their extra time at home—it all depends on them. Make the option available with a detailed workflow, so that they have something to look forward to.
Anything that they can use to further their professional growth and keep them interested and growing will be enticing to your team.
5. Have them take a mental health break day
Show your team that you care about their overall wellbeing by announcing mental health day-offs or leaves that they can use whenever they wish. You can make this separate from the usual vacation and sick leaves that your employees have, as well.
During times like these, it is important not to shame your employees for wanting to take a few days off, even if they are not going anywhere. Instead, support their decision and wish them well on their break!
6. Distribute balanced workloads
Do some of your employees have heavier workloads than others? While this may be inevitable, depending on the nature of the work of different teams, it is worth reviewing how you can evenly distribute the workload with your current team members.
If the current headcount cannot handle it, then it may be time to hire someone to help out. Be careful in trying to cut costs so much that your team ends up buried in too much work trying to keep up!
Show Them You Care
While it may be a simple sentiment, showing your employees that you are here for them will already mean a lot for them during these trying times. Make sure your action plan revolves around their best interests—it won’t hurt to ask them for their opinions, too.