The pandemic changed how many businesses operate, as they were forced to transition their entire workforce to a remote environment. Over the past two years, business owners, managers and employees alike have learned together the benefits remote work can bring but have also become aware of the downsides – like burnout which can occur more often when working from home.
According to a study done by Review 42, 77 percent of participants reported working from home has increased productivity, 99 percent want to continue telecommuting and 90 percent would recommend working remotely to a friend.
However, according to Apollo Technical, a study done by Owl stated that 55 percent of their respondents disclosed working more hours remotely than at the office. That same report found that only 36 percent of respondents believed that the office was better suited for work.
All business owners are asking themselves: “How can I make working remotely better for my employees?” It might not be easy but start with setting clear boundaries for yourself and your employees. Here are a few ways you can improve not only your own remote working but also the work-life balance of your employees.
Clear Life Boundaries
As a manager or business owner it is important to ensure that your employees’ quality of life is not impacted negatively by working from home. One way to help ensure this is by encouraging your employees to work only within business hours, and following that rule yourself.
Ensuring your employees have a designated workplace while working remotely is a key piece in helping your employees have a work-life balance. In traditional work settings there is a sense of freedom in leaving the office at the end of a long day, and that can be experienced if you and your employees have a designated place they can leave at the end of their work day as well.
One avenue to consider in ensuring this is requiring employees to give proof via photographs that they have a clear workplace that allows them to concentrate when working and allows them to walk away.
More employers are now providing new hires with stipends for things they may need for their office at home or providing equipment like printers, monitors, etc.
"Great ways to help your employees avoid burnout is to facilitate a fixed schedule, ensure great internal communication and provide paid time off in addition to sick or vacation time off."
Beware of Burnout
With more employees working from home, burnout can be an easy path to fall into, and it is imperative that employers know what to look for. According to Reworked, burnout can present in many different ways like poor concentration, low energy, etc.
Burnout may result from many different causes. For example, if employees feel unable to take time off for an illness or vacation. There also can be a disconnect between managers and their employees with support in achieving their own goals.
Great ways to help your employees avoid burnout is to facilitate a fixed schedule, ensure great internal communication and provide paid time off in addition to sick or vacation time off.
Spread the Load
It’s important to spread work evenly and communicate with your staff to see if they are overwhelmed or how they are handling the workload they have. In a remote environment, it can be more difficult to see how employees are doing physically, mentally and emotionally.
If you have a special project coming up but your employees are maxed out with what they are able to handle, consider handling a freelancer to assist with some day-to-day tasks, or to take on that major project your team has not been able to get to.
Kristen Curtis is an award-winning journalist, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2019. She has worked at two community-focused newspapers in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.
In addition to her journalistic work, Kristen has worked as a public information consultant for an area law enforcement agency and has assisted local businesses with content creation.
In March of 2020, she earned a Digital Marketing Certification from SEMRUSH Academy.
In her spare time, Kristen enjoys hiking and working on creative writing pieces.