How To Combat Employee Burnout

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Remote work has increased dramatically over the last few years, and it’s safe to say it’s here to stay. With this new working style, employee burnout has become a more significant problem. 

While working remotely has shown positive results, it has also led to issues with employees struggling to balance work and their personal lives. Rather than ending work and leaving the office, they’re now just shutting down their computers from home, causing them to work longer hours than necessary. 

Burnout is hard on people and has negative effects not only on the employee but also the employer. When people experience burnout, 36% are more likely to have lower morale and 30% are less engaged. Employers need to keep an eye on their employees, especially those that are working remotely so that the risk of employee burnout is minimized. Continue reading to gain more insight into overcoming this issue. 

Promote work-life balance

Employees now find it more difficult to separate from their work due to the convenience of hopping online at home. The struggle of logging off when work has ended has led employees to become more susceptible to burnout since they are not allowing themselves to stop working. 

Employers with a business model around remote or hybrid work should establish clear parameters: That when employees have finished their workday, they should log off and disconnect completely. 

A study by found that more than two thirds of fully remote workers identified as burned out. This effect was primarily from the pressures of an increased workload to justify the privilege of working from home. The added work has led to stressed employees who now feel apprehensive about logging off once their day is done, even though they shouldn’t be working past their normal work hours.

Employers should create a work environment in which employees feel comfortable logging off once their day is done. There should never be an increase in workload simply to justify remote work. Employers should take time to speak with employees to figure out how they’re doing in the work environment. They should then assess whether the overall business model needs to be redesigned. 

Other ways that employers can help alleviate employee burnout and improve an unhappy workforce are:

  • encouraging employees to use vacation days 
  • instituting flexible schedules 
  • making time for breaks
  • helping to create a comfortable work environment

Take the time to make changes and reassure employees that you want them to use their vacation time and flexible schedules. As a result, employees will have time to relax and recharge, setting them up to be more successful at work and less susceptible to burnout. 

In addition to that, encouraging employees to create a home office environment that works for them is vital. If they don’t feel comfortable, it may lead to reduced productivity, increased illness and poorer retention. 

Discuss employee assistance programs

Many employees are experiencing burnout due to other stressors that exist in their life. These could include family obligations, mental health, and financial wellness. 

Many people experience stress in their professional lives that carries into their personal lives. It’s difficult to stop working. especially when you’re dealing with more than you can handle. People who struggle to separate their work from their personal lives are more likely to experience employee burnout. 

While stress can come from the workload that you have, a large majority of someone’s stress can also come from their financial state. 

Those who feel that they’re financially struggling have a harder time asking for help. Employers should check in with their employees to see if there’s anything that they can do to help. If their employees' anxiety is finance-related, hosting financial wellness programs will encourage employees to learn how to manage their finances. 

If you have employees who are moving, consider including programs that offer assistance in the relocation process. Providing employees with more insight as to how they can afford to relocate by educating them on available options such as a preapproved mortgage can help shape both their relocation and monthly budget. Understanding what can be afforded helps prevent the stress that comes from overspending.

photo of a group of employees sharing a desk while they work
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Set goals and discuss opportunities for growth

As an employer, it’s important to ensure that you’re engaging with your employees. While many employees are content with doing their work, most perform better when they’re recognized for that work. 

Those who aren’t receiving recognition for the work they're doing may start to feel as though they don’t matter. This can cause employees to feel slighted and unappreciated, leading to an unhappy workforce.

Finding ways to recognize employees will allow them to feel appreciated and valued. Whether it’s sending them a message of encouragement or celebrating a recent win that they had in a meeting, keeping employees motivated will help them avoid burning out. 

Meeting with employees periodically to discuss their progress and potential for growth is another way to increase motivation and boost morale. All employees want the opportunity to grow within a company. Having conversations about potential growth is therefore important not only to the employee but also to the employer. 

Other ways to encourage engagement with employees can be through passion projects. Passion projects are something that can provide a break from the normal day-to-day routine. Allowing employees to initiate projects on their own will also help to lift the overall morale of the company. 

Another way to engage more with employees is by offering leadership programs where employees can act as mentors to coworkers.

Final thoughts

It’s important to find ways to manage employee burnout before it becomes a larger issue. Knowing how to improve the work-life experience for employees can reduce the likelihood of them experiencing burnout. It is a serious issue that can lead to greater problems down the road not only for employees but also for the employer. Minimizing the risks of employee burnout will improve overall morale in the workplace to the benefit of everyone.

Featured Image: Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

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