Remote Employee Burnout And Employee Well-Being
Working from home has become a new constant for a large portion of the global workforce in the past few years. Although at first many relished the ease of not having to commute and wearing comfortable clothes while working, it didn’t take long for adverse effects to make their appearance. Remote employee burnout is a reality of the modern era no one can deny. In this article, we will talk about the ways remote working affects employee well-being as well as the main causes that lead to burnout.
How Does Burnout Affect Employee Well-Being?
Employee burnout is a special type of work-related stress. It usually appears as a state of prolonged emotional and physical fatigue that impacts concentration and productivity levels. As a result, it usually leads to decreased employee engagement and job satisfaction. Although it’s not a medical diagnosis, employee burnout is real and can even cause physical symptoms, such as frequent headaches, body pains, and sleep disorders among others.
The emotional symptoms of burnout are also quite detrimental to employee well-being. Remote employees might face feelings of inadequacy and a drop in creativity. In addition, they might lack the motivation to get their day started, despite having a considerable workload to tackle. These negative feelings can also affect office relationships. As burnt-out employees start becoming disengaged from their purpose, they can become critical of their work or impatient andirritable with their coworkers. On top of all that, these sudden changes cause employees to experience considerable anxiety and worry about what their future might look like.
6 Leading Causes Of Remote Employee Burnout
These are the symptoms employees who struggle with burnout face. But what is the cause behind this phenomenon? Let’s take a look at 6 reasons that make remote workers lose interest in their job and fall into the rabbit hole of burnout:
1. Inability to Switch Off
When your home becomes your workspace, the lines between your professional and personal life start to blur. It’s not uncommon for remote employees—especially those new to the WFH life—to answer emails from bed, keep their laptop open next to them at all times, or work extra hours. This always-on mindset keeps employees constantly trying to squeeze in more work whenever they have a free moment. As a result, they never properly decompress from the pressure of their workday and spend quality time with their family and friends.
2. Lack Of Workplace Communication
A key element of employee well-being when working in the office is the community you build with your coworkers. You all have a common goal and come together every day to work toward it. When an issue arises, you can easily combine forces and come up with a solution. Every aspect of this interaction has now been replaced with messaging and video conference platforms. Even though these facilitate communication, they can’t compare with face-to-face interactions, especially when there’s a problem to be resolved. As a result, employees feel like they have no one to turn to for support.
3. Feeling Isolated And Lonely
All of us have thought at some point that our colleagues are more of a curse than a blessing. The constant hustle and bustle of an office can be annoying at times. However, after working from home for so long, you start to miss even the irritating aspects of office life. And as feelings of loneliness increase, productivity levels start to falter. Isolation and loneliness can significantly affect the emotional well-being of your employees and end up impacting their overall job satisfaction.
4. Loss Of Purpose And Vision
Long-term isolation from the office environment and colleagues paired with inefficient communication techniques can lead to a loss of purpose and accomplishment. The daily routine of remote employees has vastly changed ever since they shifted to working from home, them feeling unsure of leaving their professional identity and development. Training opportunities are fewer, and mentoring is almost impossible, as it’s a lot harder to observe others and learn from their experience. When employees are stagnant, they lose their motivation to perform well and slowly start disengaging.
5. Technology Hurdles
How many times have you had to get through a zoom meeting that would not stop glitching? Or were forced to stop working because there was a power outage or your internet connection was poor? These are the new problems people are facing now that they’re out of the office. Apart from technical difficulties, some remote employees lack the necessary equipment, such as a competent computer, a large monitor, or a printer. These difficulties lead to frustration and a noticeable dip in productivity.
6. Poor WFH Environment
An important element that affects remote employee well-being is the state of their work-from-home environment. Many of them don’t have access to a quiet and isolated room. And if they do, they might not have a proper desk, an ergonomic chair, and adequate lighting to avoid additional physical strain and exhaustion. Unfortunately, not all employers provide employees with the necessary equipment. Those who can’t afford to build a functional home office struggle to concentrate and remain productive.
As remote working is becoming the new norm, we’re all starting to get acquainted with a new set of advantages and disadvantages, remote employee burnout being one of the latter. Burnout can have considerable effects on mental and physical health, resulting in a decline in employee well-being. In this article, we explored how remote employee burnout manifests, and the main reasons that cause it. You can use this information to gauge if your employees seem burned out and how this can affect the overall productivity and engagement levels in your business.
Download our eBook Beating Burnout: The Ultimate Employee Wellness Guide For Remote Workforces to support and nurture your teams from afar.