There are a lot of advantages to working remotely. There’s no commute, fewer interruptions from coworkers, flexible schedules, and more. However, it can be difficult for some employees to maintain a good work-life balance while working from home.
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Employees often work more from home than they do at the office. The boundaries between work and home life can blur and employees end up working later into the evening. Employees working remotely often put in between 50 and 75 hours a week of work. This can have the unfortunate side-effect of employees experiencing burnout.
Especially with more employees working remotely than ever before, what can companies do to help their employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout?
Ensure Normal Work Hours
It’s important for employees working remotely to maintain a normal work schedule. Even though one of the advantages of working remotely is a flexible schedule, it’s important to delineate work time from off time. If employees are thinking about work throughout the entire day and answering work communications at all hours, that can lead to burnout.
Employee work hours don’t necessarily need to be 9 to 5. Employees can still take advantage of the flexibility of working from home. However, they should still have certain periods of time dedicated to working with planned breaks and off-work hours.
Keep Employees Connected
Working remotely can also be a lonely experience. Fortunately, there are a lot of software applications dedicated to helping employees keep in touch across distances.
Employees need to feel like they’re still part of a team, even if everyone is working remotely. They should be encouraged to email each other and to use the chat feature of your HRIS. However, it’s also important to establish limits on communication. Employees shouldn’t feel pressured to respond to communication outside of their office hours.
Suggest Designated Work Spaces
It’s easy to keep work and home separate when they’re in two separate locations. To recreate that effect for remote workers, you can suggest that they create a designated workspace at home to recreate the office environment as much as possible. This can help ensure they aren’t interrupted while working. It can also encourage employees to stop working when they step out of that office space for breaks or at the end of the workday.
Healthy employees are productive employees. At the office, employees move around to go to meetings, go on their lunch break, or to talk to a coworker. It can be more difficult to naturally incorporate walking into the workday when working remotely. It’s therefore important to remind employees to promote their own wellness.
You can use your company’s HRIS to send out reminders to remote staff encouraging them to take a break for a walk. That alone can help your employees feel both healthier and happier. Plus, movement can contribute to thinking, which can benefit their work when they return to it.
You can also develop a company fitness program to encourage employees to prioritize their health. Develop incentives and rewards for employees who participate. You can even schedule time into employee workdays for fitness classes and workouts.