Managing a team remotely has its pros and cons. It’s a great perk for teams to have the option to work from anywhere. They can be at home or in another state visiting family, or on a personal trip! The options are endless. They also can save money on commuting, office clothes, car expenses, and more. While these perks sound appealing, there is also a dark side to working from home. There is an unsaid pressure to show they are working since they are not physically in front of you. People also tend to work longer hours when they are at home. It’s easy to wake up and start working without any hesitation, and it seems to be much easier to lose track of time. If you see your team’s “green light” on slack after-hours regularly, it might be time to step in.
While it’s great, as a manager, to know your team is determined to put in the extra effort, it’s important to catch warning signs when they appear. You may think “wow, ‘XZY’ is a hard worker, they are really going the extra mile.” When in reality, what you should question is, “am I overworking them, and what is the barrier that is keeping them from putting work down?” We are human, and we need frequent breaks. If managers don’t catch onto this, especially during a stressful event like a pandemic, they may lose some valuable players. So, let’s look at a few signs that your team might be hitting fatigue.
Signs Your Team Needs A Break 🤚🏽
They say they are always busy.
While yes, this can be a sign of not managing their time effectively, it might also be a sign that they are actually too busy, or have too much on their plate. Be sure to understand the difference to know which applies here.
Their calendar is always overbooked, or they are always late to meetings.
If your company has too many meetings between various teams, you can imagine each meeting is taking away from the actual execution of daily tasks. If they’re late, it can be a sign of them trying to catch up in-between meetings.
They are working weekends and nights.
This is a key sign that your team has too much on their plates. With time, they will hit a wall. Hence, why managers sometimes say, “I’m not sure what happened, they were great, and now they don’t perform!” This is a sign that you missed clues of significant burnout. Don’t take advantage of this.
They say they are tired!
Sounds simple, but sometimes as leaders, we don’t listen, or take seriously, when our teams tell us they are tired or burnt out. If your team is telling you they are overworked, tired, or stressed, it's because they probably mean it. Listen carefully to the words your team uses to express how they feel. Speaking to a manager can be difficult, it is your responsibility to create open communication.
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5 Tips to Avoid Team Burnout 🙅🏼♀️
1. Schedule Zoom-free days.
While it's important to have meetings, there is such a thing as too many. The more meetings your team has, the less time they will have for themselves to complete the day. Establishing virtual meeting-free days is a great way to allow your team to catch up, and focus on what they need.
2. Encourage them to block-off lunch breaks.
Showing your team that it’s okay to establish boundaries will help to alleviate some pressure to perform. Taking breaks is essential for mental health, wellness, and creativity. Managers who don’t see this as essential practice will end up with a team that is burnt out, and will slowly resent you for not encouraging rest. So, go ahead let your team set their lunch hours, and a few breaks to go for a walk or call a family member.
3. Check-in on them.
Taking a pulse-check on your team is crucial to see how they’re feeling. While you may already have performance reviews, having a quick 15-minute meeting to catch up and ask questions that are not 100% work-related is a great way to bond with your team. Teams want to know that you care about them beyond just metrics and performance. Be human with your team, ask them how they are doing.
4. Encourage time off.
If you notice your team hasn’t requested a single day off in a long time, encourage them to do it. Chances are, they may feel like there is never a good time to take off. We all need a break to reset every now and then. Make sure your team is taking time off to relax. They will come back with recharged batteries and appreciate that you are not going to punish them for taking some time to themselves.
5. Create a culture of recognition.
Reward your team! If they are working hard, send them a gift card, a bottle of wine, or maybe buy them lunch! It’s nice to feel appreciated, especially if your team is putting in the extra effort without being asked. It creates a great culture of quick recognition and lets them know you appreciate the hard work they do, even if it’s not metric-related. Encouraging and recognizing good behavior is also a great way to create healthy office competition!
Looking for more ways to energize your team??
Check out our favorite care packages for boosting employee morale.
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