The “infinite present”: we need to be better at working from home
Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve had six months of living day-to-day. Personally that’s meant not being able to plan holidays, or life events, or even take a punt on career changes – and on a business level, there’s been a similar tendency to just stay afloat.
It’s been called the “infinite present” in a tweet that clearly resonated with a lot of us – getting almost 80k likes. Like living the same day, over and over. What could help is enabling your employees to find better, healthier working habits while they’re stuck at home.
Giving your teams the right “tools and training”, and understanding their different needs, can help find a work-life balance that brings novelty to their day.
Remote working and the risk of burnout
Flexibility is a big bonus of remote working – but it’s that same flexibility that can blur the boundaries between work and life, with an always-on expectation for checking work emails and the pressure to work longer hours. Almost like penance for reaping the benefits.
And at the same time people are working harder, they’re also not taking proper breaks. Across the board, employees are letting their holiday days stack up – maybe because they can’t travel anyway, or because they feel pressured to prove their worth.
So it’s unsurprising there are estimates that 45-84% of home-workers are experiencing burnout, with another study showing less than 25% of people have high resilience right now. That means they’re less equipped to deal with difficult situations, and handle stress.
That’s not good for your people – which means it’s not good for business. But what can you do to tackle it?
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What business leaders can do to encourage a work-life balance
Your people are your responsibility. No, really – it might be up to them to find better ways of working, but it’s your job to lead from the top. Here’s some ways to promote a better balance for your remote-working organisation:
- Provide the right tools: equip employees with everything they need to work from home: whether it’s laptops, desks and office chairs, or tech that facilitates better communication (from video software to chatting tools)
- Monitor their wellbeing: watch out for the tell-tale signs of stress, like frequent mistakes or negative language use. Our smarter surveys and language analysis tool could help with the latter.
- Understand different needs: we all have different circumstances and mental health considerations, so understand a one-size-fits-all approach to remote working just won’t work for everyone.
- Enforce best practices: implement company-wide practices, like scheduling in meeting breaks or discouraging out-of-hours work, that will trickle down to make your whole organisation healthier.
- Adjust manager mindsets: some managers struggle to trust their remote-working employees, leading to micromanagement, which causes stress and reduces performance, leading to justification of more micromanagement. Cut that out, by educating on the benefits of remote work and managing by results.