Many office workers have now been working from home for over a year, and as we enter the next phase of the “new normal,” things are changing in the business world every day. It’s important to take stock of your energy level at work, as well as how your direct reports are faring, to avoid burnout. Blueground’s furnished apartments in 14 cities worldwide are designed to feel like home, and they double as sleek, well-equipped home offices.That said, a beautiful space isn’t all you or your employees need to be productive at work. We’ve hunted out some advice from renowned leaders and experts about how you can recognize the early signs of burnout and take action to keep yourself—and your team—motivated, productive, and focused on the future.
Are you not sure whether you qualify as burnt out or merely stressed out? The Mayo Clinic has put together a comprehensive guide to burnout that includes the following self-screening questions:
If you answered “yes” to more than one of these questions, it’s probably time to take action so that your mood will start trending in the right direction, which not only helps you but your entire team.
Burnout may be getting a lot of attention lately, but the individual components contributing to a lack of work-life balance are nothing new. There are a number of actionable strategies that can provide some relief for anyone feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, business economist and clinical psychologist Dr. Merete Wedell-Wedellsborg points out that some simple tricks of the mind can help you reframe your problems and then set out to solve them.
“Cultivating resilience requires some emotional rewiring and calls for a different kind of appeal to team members and colleagues. The essential task is to identify your biggest challenges over the next year and then tap the psychological stamina you and your team needs to get there.” Once you have outlined your main challenges and how they’re impacting your mental load you can brainstorm new ways to energize yourself and others.
It’s also important to prioritize empathy, both for yourself–duh, you’re burned out!–and your team. Reworked suggests that leaders go above and beyond to get a sense of the challenges their individual employees are facing a year into the work disruption that the Covid-19 crisis has caused:
“The challenges of the all-remote work world are as much emotional as they are physical and logistical, and the number one emotion employees need from their leaders right now is empathy. Everyone is handling the pandemic differently. Everyone faces a different set of personal challenges. As a leader, it’s critical to understand what your employees are facing on an individual level.”
Once you have a better sense of the challenges that the individuals on your team are facing, you can make some small tweaks to help each employee function more effectively and improve their own work-life balance.
U.S. Admiral John Richardson shared some invaluable advice for leaders who want to bolster the energy of their entire team in the McKinsey Quarterly.
“Ultimately, leaders must not only manage and conserve their own energy but also focus on managing their teams’ overall energy. They must balance the load, structuring teams so that the right expertise and capacity are distributed. Whether it’s a ship or a business, each level of the organization should have a good sense of the capabilities, strengths, and limitations of their team. This allows the leader to structure for long-term performance and resilience. You’re going to need people who can step in while others get some recovery time. Who are those trusted people? Sooner or later, everyone needs a break, time to refresh.”
If you want to keep your ship sailing along, you had better be sure that everyone gets a break sometimes, not just the people who are showing their strain. Consider restructuring teams and processes even if no one has actually complained to you yet.
Wherever you’re living, the best thing you can do for yourself during this time is to prioritize work-life balance. Be sure that you’re taking time for yourself, even if it’s only five minutes a day of meditation or heading out for a quick three-block walk after lunch.
Blueground makes sure that our furnished homes are located in dynamic neighborhoods where it’s easy to get out and enjoy the city. Next month we’ll take a look at how company leaders, managers, and employees can open the lines of communication about challenges to their productivity.