Simple ways to deal with working from home fatigue
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
While the Covid-19 pandemic paved way for even the staunchest opponents of remote work to change their perspective, fatigue is setting in for some, especially those isolated for the better part of the year.
However, as restrictions relax, companies are reopening offices with a limited workforce.
While remote work has certain advantages, some teams may be experiencing a morale drop after months of being stuck at home without a chance to socialise.
There are concerns about adverse mental health impact. To boost a team’s morale, here are a few suggestions to try.
Virtual team building: You can organise virtual meet-ups and brainstorming sessions.
An additional option is to coordinate virtual one-on-ones between staff members, giving them topics to talk about.
An in-depth dive into a subject with another person can do wonders for sparking ideas and creativity.
You can also add value by bringing in subject matter experts to present specific topics.
Even if it’s not directly related to what you do, sessions can help employees gain a fresh perspective, inspire different ways of thinking and rekindle interest in projects.
Time out: Without the usual corporate trips or weekend outings, every day probably feels like a weekday for employees.
Consider giving them a few days off to bring back the leisurely weekend feel.
Not only does this allow them some time to put their feet up and relax, the gesture also gives workers confidence that you care about their well-being and their jobs aren’t in financial jeopardy.
Wellness programme: If you haven’t already, bringing a mental health professional onboard can be helpful for employees who find it hard to deal with social isolation and loneliness.
Hire an in-house counsellor or offer subsidised clinical screening to those who need help.
You can also host seminars to increase awareness and initiate internal discussions to normalise conversations on mental health.
Get people moving: Exercise can be a great way to reignite people’s mental freshness.
You could organise a virtual group class that everyone can get involved in or make a personal trainer available to advise them on exercises and workouts.
You can also inspire them to eat healthy meals by having a chef give healthy food and snack advice, perhaps even including a virtual cook-along class.
Right tools: It might sound overly simple, but if you’re using the wrong tools, then remote and online collaboration can be an exercise in extreme frustration.
Make sure you’re giving your teams the support they need by using a technology provider that offers all tools they need, built using the same technology stack, so they interoperate seamlessly.
For example, an office suite should enable productivity as well as unified communication and collaboration between teams in your office.
It should also centralise your team’s workspace, simplify file storage, and streamline team communication.
Decisions to stay fully remote or to go back to the on-site office are not exclusive of each other anymore.
Instead, you may find yourself opting for a hybrid solution where people spend some time in the office and the rest at home.
Either way, online collaboration will play an increasingly important role in the workplace. Applied correctly, the lessons learned now will, therefore, serve you well in the long-term.
— The writer is the region manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation