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August 19, 2021

Feeling Good at Work: The Quest to Banish Burnout

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Burnout is real. The brain fog, the exhaustion, and lack of interest in work can strike anyone. But in today’s age of work-from-anywhere, it’s easier than ever to succumb to burnout. 

An always-on world is usually a great thing—accessibility and flexibility frequently drive innovation. 

Here, though, let’s talk about how to beat burnout and keep engagement at work as high as genuinely possible.

Finding Your Baselines

Work took an unexpected turn for many over the past year and a half or so. During this widespread period of working from home, another surprise cropped up: People were working more than ever.

A Stanford study found productivity went up 13% when working from home. A ConnectSolutions study found that over half of people were able to do more work in the same or less time—even when sick. 

Most tellingly, Prodoscore shows a 47% increase in productivity during the height of work-from-home mandates compared with the year before.

There are clear business benefits to allowing individuals to command their own work-life balance and produce independently. And with so many collaborative tools, working together isn’t really impacted, either.

Especially with virtual offices, like those powered by Virbela, working from anywhere is here to stay. In fact, the connection virtual platforms offer can be an important defense against burnout. 

Create baselines at your company that can help your teams feel grounded:

  • Set rough working hours. They don’t have to be precise if people like working in windows. But let everyone know that there’s no expectation to work before or after certain times. 
  • Create frameworks for collaboration. That way, no one feels like they’re shouldering the load or wonders if they’re keeping up with their coworkers. Talk openly about goals, objectives, and labor division.
  • Commit to evolution. Let teams know that if something doesn’t work for them, they can speak up, and leadership will help them find solutions, either on an individual or department level. Connection is the opposite of burnout. 

With these gentle ground rules in place, you can feel confident that you’ve set a foundation to help your teams feel engaged and happy, instead of wrung out and lost.

Maintaining Your Energy

It’s just as important for leaders to be proactive, too. There are many ways that you can help protect your teams from burnout. 

For the most part, it’s an easy lift. Integrate a few new angles into the workday and watch happiness improve. And if you hear or notice that a team member is starting to hit their limit, you can take action.

Here are some of the things we do at Virbela:

No meetings on Fridays! 

At some companies, it might be Mondays. The point is that people feel better when they can transition in and out of the work week smoothly.

Socializing

Social events keep everyone in touch. They’re not mandatory, but if someone usually makes it and then stops showing up, that’s a sign, too. In Virbela, we have tons of options: virtual beach parties, fireworks, boating, dancing, and more.

Open collaboration

Our virtual office is set up so that there’s plenty of common space, but we also leave documents open for anyone in the company to review, as long as they don’t contain sensitive information. People feel more empowered when they know what’s going on.

Open doors

At Virbela, we’ve set up a culture where employees can speak freely. In fact, we have monthly group meetings to discuss change, personal experiences, or other topics that might feel hard to approach at some companies. The best advice is to just start. Let your team know their honest input matters.

You’re welcome to borrow from our playbook or let us know how you handle burnout at your company. For more tips and conversation, follow Virbela on LinkedIn.

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