Around the globe, marketing managers continue worrying about the productivity of their now-remote teams. However, managers shouldn’t be worried about underperforming employees. It’s the opposite.
With at-home distractions such as kids, pets, and elder care, it might seem like an impossible situation to keep operations on track. In response, many companies apply more pressure to keep things running smoothly.
Over-performance is what managers should really be worried about during times of significant life shifts.
Work from home, or WFH burnout, is real - and it’s toxic to a manager’s productivity goals and your employees’ physical and mental health.
Follow these three steps to avoid work from home burnout and optimize your remote teams' performance.
1. Set Regular Office Hours
You and your team may feel initially excited about the thought of setting your own schedule. WFH equals freedom, right?
As a manager, you’ll want to proceed with caution, promoting a “work whenever” approach. Why? Even though the common belief is remote teams underproduce, virtual workers are working longer hours from the home office than their in-office counterparts… 3 hours longer to be exact (Martechcube).
One of the easiest solutions to work time burnout is to set regular office hours. Don’t worry, you and your team can still work in your jammies.
Humans love structure. However, work from home teams tend to struggle with the concept. Build an optimal work environment even when that work becomes virtual and promote long term success.
Try promoting a policy of silencing notifications and activating out-of-office responses during specific time blocks. These steps will help separate designated work hours from leisure time, which will increase productivity and mitigating work burnout.
2. Make Sure Your Team Takes (Regular) Time Off
Your remote workers need to take intentional time off during the work day. The WFH life requires that same commitment to taking whole days off too. Remote work tends to blur the lines between on and off-hours. As a manager, you need to ensure this trend doesn’t occur.
This starts with that mini-vacation most people get on Saturday and Sunday each week. Encourage your employees to stop working! Work life balance is paramount to organizational success!
Don’t stop there, either. Keep your employees up to date with their available vacation days for the year and get them excited about booking time off in advance. Not only will this ensure your team has much-needed recuperation time, but it will give them something to look forward to, thus boosting both motivation and productivity.
Plus, the earlier your team books their off time, the easier it will be for you to work around pockets in your own schedule.
Encourage your employees to turn off all notifications when on holidays (as much as you’d love to contact them).
3. Continually Monitor Employees for Work From Home Burnout Symptoms
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to monitor your team’s performance continually. If you want to ensure your employees avoid work burnout, you should keep an eye out for these warning signs:
- Avoiding Work. Does a team member have emails and voicemails piling up or are late to meetings?
- Declining Performance. Is the quality of their work declining? Are they blaming others when they make mistakes? Are they less enthusiastic about taking on new projects?
- Exhaustion or Apathy. Do they seem less proud of their accomplishments? Are they neglecting self-care? Do they seem tired all the time?
- Unable to Disconnect. Are they always working more than others? Are they working more than you? While this may seem like maximum productivity on the surface, they’re likely overworking - which could mean WFH burnout.
A good way to monitor signs of burnout is to schedule weekly or monthly video calls with your team. This step could take the form of 1:1 meetings or small group check-ins. You’ll gain a more accurate picture of how your team’s doing. The sooner you spot a team member dealing with burnout, the quicker you can act to help them resolve it.
Also, keep in mind that you should be keeping tabs on yourself just as much as your team. If you’re facing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from work from home burnout as well, which could be a sign that it’s time to change the way you work.
More WFH Strategies - Just For Marketing Managers
Remember that WFH teams require much more structure. It’s not easy transitioning your team from meeting 40 hours a week at the office to working semi-independently from home.
If you want to ensure your team is productive and steady, you need to help them avoid burnout by taking these three practical steps above. While some of them may seem tedious, there’s nothing more important than the wellness of your team, since they make up your organization.
If you’re transitioning to a remote job environment or simply want to build a better work from home (WFH) team, then reach out to Rizen.
We’ll get you up to speed with the latest virtual management tactics and strategies to help you succeed as a marketing manager. Partner with us today!