June 4, 2016 | Jennifer Goodwyn
Burnout in the workplace is a common issue that employers and employees have to deal with all the time. Perhaps you've experienced it yourself or have seen the signs with others in your workplace. Lack of engagement and interest, higher levels of stress, and increased procrastination all lead to a significant reduction in productivity which can severely harm your business' ability to operate. While there are some common ways to help alleviate employee burnout, such as encouraging employees to take regular breaks or increasing benefits, one of the best ways is for employers to adopt the remote work model.
1. Employee Burnout Causes
There are many different factors which can contribute to employee burnout. From a lack of feedback to ambiguity about their role or future, employees can often react negatively to workplace related stress. Another significant contributor to employee burnout is a work/life imbalance. According to a survey conducted by Flexjobs, an improved work/life balance is the primary reason that employees seek out remote work. In fact, 47 percent of employees seeking remote work cite “time savings and reduced commute stress” because the amount of time they spend preparing for and traveling to work takes up too much of their personal time. 76 percent reported a daily round trip commute of over an hour and, of those, 21 percent had a daily commute of over 3 hours. Over time, the effects of a long commute on an employee's morale can be devastating.
2. Health Benefits of Remote Work
An improved work/life balance is not the only way that remote work counteracts employee burnout. The stress that leads to employee burnout can also be harmful to an employee's physical and mental health. One common sign of burnout is an increased or consistent use of sick time. Remote work can help to alleviate that problem because, according to that same survey, 88 percent of employees believe that working remotely would reduce their overall stress and 80 percent thought it would help their overall health. Surprisingly, 20 percent of respondents were willing to take a 10 percent pay cut to be able to work remotely, and 22 percent were even willing to forgo health benefits.
3. The Remote Work Trend
Clearly, there is an interest in remote work among employees, and although morale and productivity are concerns for every employer, some have remained skeptical about the benefits of adopting the remote work model. Fortunately, this has been changing in the last few years. According to FastCompany, there are some successful companies such as Basecamp that have seen reduced employee burnout because they allow employees to work remotely, and that is influencing other companies to do so as well. These companies are finding that, in addition to reduced employee burnout and higher levels of productivity and morale, allowing employees to work remotely leads to a considerable increase in employee loyalty which reduces costly turnover.
If you want to combat employee burnout in your workplace, consider switching to a remote work model. By taking advantage of the remote work model, you can see improved work/life balance among yourself and coworkers, and your business can experience higher levels of productivity and higher morale. With innovations in technology from collaboration software to virtual offices, remote work is a more viable option for a variety of businesses than it is ever before.