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How to Protect Your Employees From a WFH Burnout

Without a doubt, working from home has encouraged many positive outcomes like being able to spend more time with family or self-development activities such as learning a new hobby or skill. However, long term remote work has resulted in large numbers of employees blurring the boundaries of work-life balance by working longer hours, causing many to feel burnout. 

Recent research conducted by Pareto Law in January 2021 for our Office Outlook review found that 58% of people said that they worked for more hours than they did when they were office-based. Combined with a further one in every 5 stating that their mental health was better when they worked in the office.

Here are our top 5 top tips to protect your employees from a work from home burnout: 

1.    Encourage Regular Breaks 

Working for long periods of time without a break can lead to stress, exhaustion and sometimes burnout. However, taking regular breaks refreshes the mind and leads to increased levels of productivity.

For example, it is widely accepted that our brains have two functioning modes: focused, and ‘diffused’. When operating in diffused mode, our brain is more relaxed and in a ‘daydream’ type state. Contrary to what the name suggests, human beings actually solve most problems when they're in a ‘diffused’ state - this might be why you happen on a good idea mid-shower or remember the name from a trivia question whilst cooking. 

Regular breaks help our brain to think and avoid burnout. Therefore, allowing your employees plenty of breaks could result in some innovative ideas!

Regular breaks can also help to reduce work-induced aches such as RSI or even eye damage. Certainly, taking regular breaks away from blue light screens can help boost your mood, reduce headaches and even help you to sleep better.

2.    Exercise

It may seem obvious that exercise is great for our physical health however, it is also incredible for boosting brainpower! 

According to a recent study detailed in Neuropsychologia, participants who rode a stationary bike at a moderate-vigorous pace for 10 minutes answered questions 50 milliseconds faster after exercising than they did before. A 14% increase in cognitive performance! 

Encouraging your staff to take 10 - 15 minutes out for daily exercise can boost their productivity whilst increasing mood with the release of chemical endorphins, helping you protect your workers from burn out.

3.    Space

Whilst our Office Outlook 2021 found that many remote workers are now working more hours WFH than they did at their office, creating a designated home office can help your employees separate their professional and personal lives.

Why is this important? Well, studies show that having a dedicated home office can reduce distractions and lead to increased levels of creativity. 

4.    Annual Leave

Encourage employees to still take annual leave and paid holidays. Not only will this reduce workplace stress when holidays are deemed legal by the UK government and the entire workforce applies for a vacation on the same week, but it is also crucial to your employee’s mental health to have a break from working.

Working from home causes a stigma towards taking annual leave during lockdown as it may seem that there is very little to do with your time, physically. However, mentally this time out can prove a vital brain break from the repetitive siren of work emails and video calls.

5.    Time to Turn off 

Encouraging your workforce to turn off any devices after working hours that are connected to emails or scheduling is crucial in developing a working structure. Having a distinct stopping time helps alleviate feelings of burnout as there is a clear endpoint of work every day.  

Are you curious to hear more about the impact Covid-19 has had on the UK workforce? Do you want to find out more about how you can help protect your employees from burnout? 

Download our Office Outlook now for an in-depth analysis of working from home.

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