Before the turn of 2020, the word ‘lockdown’ was not one that people were familiar with, let alone used on a daily basis. Our ability to absorb new words and integrate them into our lexicon is something that has been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lockdown has become many people’s daily reality and has impacted everyone across the globe. Whether you’re working from home yourself, or have staff and colleagues that work from home, burnout is something that you should be aware of.

As an employer, you may be concerned with a drop in productivity with your staff working from home, but the threat of employee burnout actually poses a much more significant risk to your business from a long-term perspective.

Here, we address the signs of burnout and how you can help keep you and your staff safe while working from home during lockdown.

What is Burnout?

Although there is no universally agreed definition of burnout, there are some commonly agreed-upon symptoms and signs. Primarily, it is a dangerous physical, mental and emotional state which is often triggered by prolonged stress and exhaustion.

Symptoms of burnout can include, but are not limited to:
• Struggling to feel motivated.
• Finding it more difficult than normal to complete everyday tasks.
• Finding it hard to concentrate.
• Having a low mood.
• Physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach pains.

Many of us can feel a range of these symptoms on a daily basis, and they are easy to dismiss as ‘just feeling a little down’, but ignoring them and hoping they go away isn’t such an effective method.

Therefore, before you reach this point, we have highlighted some areas where you can make a difference in your home and work life to avoid falling foul of burnout.

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Make Clear Boundaries Between Work and Rest

It’s easy to point the finger of blame at one particular thing: it’s social media’s fault; it’s non-stop access to information; it’s having your work emails on your phone; it’s the news.

In fact, all of these things are often contributing factors in experiencing burnout during lockdown.

The role of our home has been blurred for many of us, often being the classroom and office environment, too. This makes it all the more important to create mental or physical boundaries between work and not work – because that’s all we really have at the moment.

 

Tips for Creating Boundaries

If possible, designate a specific space in your home to become the new home office. Find somewhere quiet, if possible, away from potential distractions. Ideally, this place should not be where you spend your leisure time, although, for many people living in smaller accommodation or house shares, this may not be possible.

Therefore, if physical boundaries aren’t possible, mental boundaries are the next best thing. You should try to make promises with yourself when you will start work and when you will finish.

If you have work emails on your phone, either agree with yourself not to look at them past a certain time, or remove them completely.

Create a Routine

For many of us, COVID destroyed all traces of a daily routine, meaning we were left with having to find our own way to educate our children, get a day’s work done and get dinner on the table in the evening.

Although it may seem an impossible task, try to get organised and create a daily routine that everyone in the house can stick to, whether it’s just you or the whole family.

Creating a routine can help you check off the work and home tasks to ensure that things don’t get on top of you. If you feel like this is starting to happen, break the day up into smaller chunks and set yourself a routine based on that part of the day. Making it achievable is also essential; otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for certain failure.

 

How Can You Help As An Employer?

If you are a business owner or team manager, then the temptation is there to send out emails when it best suits you, even if this is long after work has ended, or on the weekend.

Research from Harvard Business Review has revealed that workers feel compelled to respond to emails received right away, even when they are not urgent and sent out of hours.

With more people now having access to their work emails at all hours, this pressure to respond has increased for many employees. Here is where the risk of burnout creeps in, as the line between home and work life are continually blurred.

To avoid this, try to keep your email correspondence to within the set work hours, especially if it is a non-urgent communication.

Not only will this help your employees, but it will also provide you with a better work-life balance.

Outsource Where Possible

The pandemic has been a notably tricky time for business owners as well as employees, as managing a remote team without prior experience can be challenging. Where normally you can easily speak to people face to face, communication becomes much more tricky, requiring video chats or email as a replacement.

This, along with the day to day running of a business, can mean a lot of other tasks go out the window, as you sacrifice things you’ve been meaning to do but never found the time.

Social media, website maintenance and marketing are all things that can easily drop off the list, as these generally fall in the ‘nice to have’ category rather than the ‘crucial’ category for many businesses. Therefore, outsourcing these kinds of tasks can provide relief for you and support for the business.

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The Importance of Being Online During COVID-19

At a time when more people are shopping online than in stores, and with more time spent at home browsing for new products, establishing your brand online is now more important than ever.

Here at Ducard, we have a dedicated team of digital marketing experts that can work with you to support and grow your business online. From running your social media to improving your website’s performance on Google, we can provide a complete service tailored to suit your business’ current needs.

Would help from Ducard help you and your employees avoid burnout during lockdown? If you’re ready to take the first step to improving your business’ digital marketing get in touch with our team today!

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