We’re in the middle of a pandemic – and we can all agree – it’s a stressful time for everyone. Our routines have been disrupted and we’ve been forced to quickly find ways to adapt to the new normal.

The workplace is no exception. The constant strain of the COVID-19 situation can lead to shifts in mental attitude and lack of focus for employees and employers. How do you keep yourself and your employees from falling victim to burnout during a pandemic?

Employee burnout is nothing new. In fact, according to a survey by Deloitte, “77% of employees have experienced burnout at their current job.” Some predict that the rate of people experiencing burnout will go up as many companies continue the transition to working from home.

Parents who work full time are now faced with having to work remotely while simultaneously caring for their kids during the day as most schools and childcare providers have closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Not everyone has a dedicated workspace at home and some employees may have to improvise or share a space. These factors along with many other challenges can make it more difficult to focus on work and getting things done. Brian Lufkin writes, “we’re being exhausted in a whole new way as burnout morphs during this pandemic, persisting even in the most unusual times,” in this article for BBC.

Work-from-home burnout has several similar signs to burnout in the office. “The typical signs of burnout in the workplace include missed deadlines, declining relationships, absenteeism and poor performance,” according to an article from Employee Benefits News. It is important that employees and employers work together to help everyone succeed and avoid feeling rundown and stressed out.

Here are some tips to help you and your employees avoid “pandemic burnout.”

  1. Stop working. Since you can’t physically leave the office at the end of the day, it can be difficult to shut off “work mode.” The Harvard Business Review claims: “The lines between work and non-work are blurring in new and unusual ways, and many employees who are working remotely for the first time are likely to struggle to preserve healthy boundaries between their professional and personal lives. To signal their loyalty, devotion, and productivity, they may feel they have to work all the time.” This can lead to increased stress levels. Know when it’s time to stop and shut down. Do something relaxing to help you step back from the job after work hours.
  2. Do something productive and fun. Now is the perfect time to start that hobby you’ve always thought about. Whether it’s learning something new or brushing up on an old skill, dedicate some time to doing something other than work. If you have kids, plan activities you can do as a family. If you’re stressed working from home, there’s a pretty good chance your kids are feeling stressed as well.
  3. Call your co-workers and talk about something other than work, just like you would if you ran into them in the office breakroom. As humans we are social creatures. Staying in contact with others will help lower stress levels.
  4. Stick to a schedule. Make sure you know what others expect of you and keep track of deadlines. Schedule phone calls and office hours like you would normally. Try to stick to a routine as much as possible.

Check out our recent blog to learn more about how to help your employees be productive while working from home.

For additional resources and the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Apex COVID-19 resource page.