Ways to keep remote and on-site workers engaged

Preventing Employee Burnout - Talent Intelligence During periods when employees are working long hours or can’t take time off, some may have a hard time staying focused.

Seventy-seven percent of professionals say they’ve experienced employee burnout at their current job; and nearly 70 percent feel employers aren’t doing enough to prevent or alleviate it, according to a Deloitte survey.

With 88 percent of organizations, according to a global Gartner survey, recently encouraging or requiring employees to work from home due to coronavirus concerns, as employees adjust to the new structure, a number may also find they feel a similar sense of reduced productivity and fatigue.

Both scenarios can result in diminished employee engagement and output — which can be problematic for operations and a company’s bottom line.

If your organization is concerned about employee burnout — or faces other potential productivity risks — these tips can help keep your team engaged, efficient and content:

Increase communication

Numerous studies have indicated employees favor frequent feedback and updates. In an EmployeeChannel survey, for instance, remote employees — along with on-site employees — who perform manufacturing, shipping and other non-computerized work ranked frequent and effective communication as one of the top two elements that creates a positive work experience. Seventy-five percent of the employees, though, said HR professionals in their organization rarely, only sometimes or never communicates with them.

Praise may deter workday fatigue

The top employee burnout driver, according to Deloitte’s research, is a lack of support or recognition from leadership. For examples of how some employers are successfully providing ample employee recognition, read our recent blog post on three organizations that are doing recognition right.

eric-rothermel-FoKO4DpXamQ-unsplash-1Respect a set schedule

Consistently working long hours or on the weekends was also identified as one of the main causes of employee burnout in Deloitte’s survey — which can be an issue for employees who work in an office or from home. Remote employees may find the workday can extend past the typical hours; almost a third of U.K. workers (32 percent) feel having remote access to the workplace means they can’t transition to personal time, according to a CIPD/Halogen report.  Forty percent actively check their work phone or email at least five times a day outside of working hours.

Unclear expectations could be part of the problem. Fifty-seven percent of organizations don’t have a formal remote work policy, according to an Upwork survey. Clearly outlining when remote employees can be contacted — and when they shouldn’t feel obligated to respond — can help prevent them from thinking they need to constantly be working.

Align technology

If employees don’t have company-provided tech devices, employers may need to offer access to some to enable them to work remotely. In a Robert Half survey, 39 percent of employees said the reason they would choose not to work outside the office was because they don’t have adequate technology to.

Security should also be a consideration. A Cisco Systems report found one in 10 remote workers has used a neighbor’s Internet connection to get online; and only 18 percent of employees say they’re concerned about the security implications working from a public place can present, according to an Avast survey. Employers may need to educate their staff about virtual private network use and safely accessing resources.

With multiple ways to contact coworkers, encouraging remote and on-site employees to use one or two preferred channels may help facilitate communication — and keep both parties feeling involved in projects and other work. Email tends to be the most popular digital communication method, according to ConnectSolutions research, followed by instant messaging and video conferencing.

For more about preventing employee burnout and increasing engagement, view these blog posts on how to make remote workers feel connected, 4 ways company pride can invigorate engagement and making remote employment work.