Wood Words

COVID-19 Employee Burnout

According to Monster’s recent “State of the Candidate” survey, 51% of the employees who are telecommuting said they are experiencing burnout and overwork. More than half of the workers surveyed don’t plan to take any PTO during quarantine for a variety of reasons including concerns about job security.

Maintain boundaries

Before COVID-19, the topic of keeping a distinguished boundary between work life and home life was significant as employers wanted to make sure their employees had opportunities to keep a healthy balance between the two. Now, with so many people shifting to a mandatory working from home situation, that boundary can be much harder to maintain. Employers may be asking themselves: How can I help my employees keep that balance during a quarantine?

Try explaining the bigger picture. At first, remote working may seem like a welcome change as you no longer wake up early for a commute or put on work attire. But activities like these were what helped maintain that boundary of work life and home life. Encourage employees to take breaks as they would when they worked in the office or even replace the morning commute with a walk around the block.

Stick to a routine

According to Monster, a result of being overworked is a decrease in productivity, which survey respondents reveal is partly because of a lack of routine. Get up and get dressed! Of course you can dress a bit more casually than when you go to the office but make sure you don’t start the work day wearing what you slept in. Also, employers can make sure their employees are adapting well by setting up regular check-ins. These check-ins can be daily, weekly, or multiple days a week. Setting up a routine gives structure to the day while promoting a “work smarter, not harder” mentality.

Take time off

While the fact that over half of employees don’t plan on taking time off right now is understandable⁠—it isn’t healthy. Some employees might not want to take PTO due to fear of being laid off, personal finances, or there being nowhere to really go.

Employers should consider encouraging employees to take a mental-health day. Many employees that are working from home are putting in more hours but still feel guilty about asking to take a PTO. Employers should communicate the importance of making sure everyone is taking care of themselves during these stressful times and reassure them that taking time off will not result in them being viewed as less committed to their jobs. In fact, taking even one day off will allow them to recharge and come back feeling rejuvenated and more productive.