June 21, 2021 by Andrea Rajic
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Is your team working remotely? If so, you’ve probably faced some challenges of working from home so far. When you’re used to being around people all the time, you may feel lonely without your co-workers. You may notice a lack of energy to do anything more demanding than going to the bathroom.
Or you may constantly feel tired and overworked even though you’re not going to the office. You don’t see a clear line between work and free time anymore. We get it. We’ve all experienced the burnout and isolation that the pandemic brought upon us. The question is - can we fight it?
Well, we’ve got good news. We can! There’s actually plenty to do to feel better and strike the work-life balance when working remotely, and the first step we recommend is self-care. What is it exactly? How do you practice it and help your team implement it, too?
This article will walk you through how it can help reduce burnout and isolation in hybrid and remote employees.
For many, it’s still a synonym for being selfish. And it’s what may be a reason why people still don’t implement it in their everyday lives as much as they should. But self-care is everything but being selfish.
We could define it as doing everything that you can to feel well! And for that, people need many things. Good sleep, healthy food, physical activity, doing the job they love, having free time, reading, social interaction, having meaningful relationships, hobbies, creativity, feeling that you have a purpose in life, time to rest, and more.
Does that sound selfish? Absolutely not. It sounds like taking care of yourself so you can also be a good friend, worker, parent, partner, pet owner, and all the other roles we all have in our lives. So, when you take care of yourself, you can do your best in the working environment too. After all, you know what they say - you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Let’s dive into some tips on self-care in the workplace:
Have you ever heard of Zoom fatigue? Yes, it’s a thing.
It’s the feeling of being totally drained after you’ve spent hours on video chats with your supervisors, colleagues, and clients. Video conferencing is more demanding than phone calls or text chats, it requires a lot of eye contact, and what’s more, you’re constantly looking at yourself and wondering how others perceive you.
And if you add all the Slack channels that are pinging all day, the unattainable “inbox zero” and a looming pressure to always be available, at least on your phone - you get a recipe for burnout that disproportionately affects remote workers.
While most employees value the benefits of remote work, some of them would still like to spice things up a little. A significant 31% of people who participated in a FlexJobs survey said that they’d prefer a hybrid work environment rather than go back to the office full time or continue with remote work only.
Apparently, flexible working conditions have become the main perk for the majority of the workforce, and it may be due to burnout. Back-to-back meetings, always-on Slack channels, and 24/7 working hours leave people wanting to gain their workday boundaries again - at least a few times a week.
For remote workers, it can be hard to overcome the feeling of not being seen or heard enough. Creating a supportive environment where communication is deliberate and inclusive is therefore critical for self-care in the workplace and your overall wellbeing strategy. Here’s how you can achieve this:
Praise as a habit:
Let your team members and colleagues know when they’ve done a good job and expect the same for yourself. Nurturing a culture of feedback and visibility helps with feelings of loneliness and isolation and improves belonging and satisfaction.
Organize some face-to-face time:
Almost half of the participants in a Forbes Insights study believe meeting face-to-face is necessary for complex strategic thinking. So while remote work is very valuable, try to mix it with some in-person meetings or at least an occasional company offsite. These activities help teams feel more connected, trust each other more, and overcome the isolation of working from home.
Emphasize mental and physical health:
More and more companies are adopting programs and benefits that enable their employees to enjoy perks such as yoga classes, fitness memberships, and other wellbeing programs. Investing in your team’s wellbeing and health can only make them happier, more productive, and less prone to burnout and isolation.
Do you long for more meaningful connections in the world of distractions, notifications, and virtual communication? Are you looking to help your team bond even when they can’t see each other in person?
Longwalks may be the perfect solution.
We seem to be connected all the time, but what part of that connection is deep? We have superficial small-talk and work-related conversations on a daily basis, we’re in a hurry most of the time, and self-care is often at the bottom of our priorities.
Longwalks was designed to support mental health, connect kind people who want to celebrate each other’s successes and comfort each other’s pains, and provide a secure spot where you can be vulnerable without the fear of being misunderstood.
Longwalks encourages people to take care of their mental health, prioritize their overall wellness, and become active in solving situations that cause stress and anxiety. One way to do so is to find the club you like on Longwalks and join the meaningful conversations where you can learn, share, and grow surrounded by like-minded people.
Bridge the connection gap in your distributed teams
Empower employees to connect, no matter where they are. Give them flexibility and stay in control of workspace usage, budget spending, and workplace data.