Workplace stress is an occupational hazard, even when the employee works from home. This fact is true anytime, but especially so amid a global pandemic. COVID-19 has changed the way employees work, but the stress of working is always present, even if under the surface.
Employers and employees find some facets of remote working a challenge, such as defining and enforcing boundaries for workers and supervisors, Forbes says. As everyone starts communicating primarily via e-mails, text messages, apps and telephone calls, everything starts to feel fluid, which is dangerous for everyone’s need for comfortable downtime and work-life balance. Employees end up experiencing a running sense of fatigue and a drastic decrease of time to themselves and their families.
Here are three things employers who recognize any growing issues can do to prevent employee fatigue.
1. Schedule Breaks During the Day for Virtual Time Off
The need to combat over-communication through virtual communication is real. When employees need to continually check e-mail, attend virtual conference video and phone calls or answer client calls, the day can become a blur. Employees end up feeling like they have little-to-no free time when they are not on-call somehow. Here are a few ways to offer virtual time off:
- Encourage employees to take breaks at regular intervals to help recharge before the next virtual meeting, call or appointment. Such a strategy allows employees to decompress and regroup to ensure that the next interaction runs smoothly.
- Remind employees that getting up from their desk helps them disengage more effectively to enhance their break. They might even take a walk around the block. They can play a puzzle or Sudoku that makes them feel refreshing. Even something as simple as a stroll to the kitchen for a fresh glass of ice water can help employees get their blood flowing and reboot their energy.
- Suggest a power nap from time-to-time. As long as employees have time between calls, a 10-15-20-minute nap could do wonders to refresh their minds and prepare them to carry on with the workday.
2. Encourage Employees to Reach Out to Managers and Coworkers to Reduce the Sense of Isolation
One major issue with remote working that employees might not have anticipated is the sense of isolation. Employers might encourage workplace roundtables that focus on lighthearted employee interaction via video conference calls or phone calls. Even if the employer recommends a buddy system approach, which might involve a one-to-one approach to mutual support, it can help employees feel less lonely throughout the day.
Many workers think the idea of getting away from coworkers is ideal until it happens beyond their control and without warning, so it is essential for managers to find ways to alleviate this unforeseen fatigue-inducing issue.
3. Invest In Innovative Software to Foster Improved Communication
Employers are seeking additional and innovative support in their efforts to help employees feel a sense of cohesion and camaraderie while working from home. A workforce optimization solution can help keep the lines of communication open between leadership and employees while also allowing employees to feel more autonomous about their roles. Best of all, it can help provide a visual representation of employee scheduling, making it easier to ensure flexibility they didn’t experience prior to remote work.
Keep Employees Fatigue-Free While Working Remotely
Working remotely can be as delightful as employees have always imagined with the right leadership strategies. Employers will appreciate keeping employees fatigue-free and productive with strategies that focus on strong and appropriate levels of professional communication, forging bonds with coworkers to alleviate loneliness and investing in software that facilitates it all.