With the sudden transition to working from home during the pandemic, many employees were caught off guard. When offices, schools, and day cares closed due to social distancing requirements, staff quickly had to adapt. Parents had to handle homeschooling, childcare, and elder care on their own. Maintaining work productivity became a greater challenge. All these factors can lead to burnout. As part of your managerial role, how are you helping your employees navigate through these changes while maintaining work output?
Here are some tips to implement to recognize and protect against employee burnout.
Look for Signs of Burnout
Burnout often occurs when staff blur the boundaries between work and life. They may believe that working nights and weekends shows dedication to their company. However, employees who work more than 40 hours per week are less productive than those who limit their work week. Overworking is directly related to stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. A weakened immune system, trouble sleeping, low energy, cardiovascular issues, heart disease, and other health concerns can develop.
To combat burnout, provide employees as much flexibility as possible. With social distancing enforcement and Safer at Home initiatives, there is limited control over everyday life. Letting staff decide where and when to work, including from home, lets them have a say in how they spend their day. Being able to control their schedule, workload, and types of work assignments is empowering. Regular check-ins and communication about managing workloads helps team members feel valued and supported.
Implement Traditional Office Activities
Remind employees that although work looks different right now, many office activities can take place remotely. Water cooler chats can be done through a Slack channel. Individual and team meetings, group discussions about COVID-19, virtual coffee, and happy hour can take place through Zoom. Employees can share stories, ask questions, and give and receive support as needed.
Encourage employees to maintain physical and social boundaries, especially when working from home. Initially, being able to spend the day in pajamas may be welcoming. However, changing from the “home you” to the “work you” is an important way to tell the mind when to focus on work and when to relax. To promote this idea, encourage staff to get ready each morning as though they are going to the office. Suggest they replace commute time with a walk to a local park or around their home.
Get Help Managing Your Remote Accounting and Finance Team
The effects of COVID-19 can have a significant impact on employee burnout. Potentially having to work from home while balancing childcare and elder-care responsibilities is challenging. As a leader, guide your team through setting personal and professional boundaries, managing workloads, and reducing stress to avoid burnout.
If you need assistance managing your accounting and finance team from a distance, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We provide superior value to our business partners through innovation, creativity, and initiative. Find out more today.