How to Avoid Remote Monitoring Fatigue and Burnout

It’s not uncommon for employees working from home to sit through a conference call during lunch or end up working late into the evening to complete tasks. Pre-COVID workplace burnout was at a lower level than the record highs recorded during the pandemic. This is despite very few employers offering remote working amid fears over employee productivity.

Many organisations and individuals were not prepared for this transformation (Venkatesh, 2020). As such, workers have been forced to adapt to the new and increased use of technology while also demonstrating their capability and adaptability in delivering at their maximum potential. This research posits the increased use of technology for various purposes (e.g. work, entertainment, information, and communication) is an antecedent to technostress. Subsequently, we measure techno-exhaustion as a psychological reaction to both work-related and personal technology platforms.

Build productive remote teams

Burnout, loneliness, and distractions continue to be challenges for many working remotely. Adding to this, is ‘Not being able to unplug’ at the top of people’s concerns for the second year in a row. Moderation effect of resilience on impact of remote working experience before COVID-19 on subjective wellbeing. Moderation effect of resilience on impact of techno-exhaustion on subjective wellbeing. As the remote work setting generally blurs the boundaries between work and family domains, boundaries management skills are needed to cope with work-related stress and familial relations (Fonner & Stache, 2012).

Why am I so tired at work but not at home?

In workplace settings, it is commonly associated with nonstandard schedules, such as night shift work and extended work hours, which disrupt or shorten sleep. Fatigue can also be associated with other workplace factors such as stress, physically or mentally demanding tasks, or working in hot environments.

As quick adjustment to technology has become necessary under conditions of pandemic-induced crises, individuals must effectively manage work demands without a period of adjustment. Learning and making new technology work while meeting the job demands at the same time leads to fatigue (Richter, 2020). COVID-19 has forced people to rely heavily on technology to support remote work, keep in contact with friends and family members, gather information and news, and entertain themselves (e.g. movies, TV series, and game consoles). Even before COVID-19, the demand for flexible work practices supported by digital platforms was appealing to many (Curzi et al., 2020, Kelly et al., 2020). But the pandemic has largely removed the volitional factor from the work-from-home pattern.

How nutrition and work productivity are connected

During COVID-19, however, people may have had to continuously oscillate between the office-based and remote work setups. Under these circumstances, they likely experience a constrained sense of autonomy or less control of the situation as well as a lack of clarity in managing the home domain. They may have also experienced a change in technology setup and a continuous need to adjust to that, which increases their WTPS. That is, those who face enforced technology-enabled work from home may have to simultaneously deal with extensive technology for personal use. During COVID-19, technology tools have emerged not only as a mode of work but also in many instances, as the only way to be entertained and connected to family, friends, and the outside world (Dey et al., 2020).

  • Or, you can download a social running app or complete a workout challenge with your remote colleagues.
  • But stepping away from your computer screen to grab a cup of coffee is not a real break.
  • To avoid Zoom fatigue, you and your team need to learn how to function asynchronously.
  • As leaders in the midst of a public health crisis, it’s our responsibility to encourage our team to share their burdens, professional and personal, and do what we can to help lessen them.
  • That’s why if you want to lead remote teams successfully, it’s your job to proactively help people deal with burnout.

Research has even shown that working from home can actually result in increased productivity. This way of working makes it too easy to blur the work and home boundaries until you find yourself with WFH burnout or Zoom fatigue. Many positive attributes of remote work culture have inspired companies across the globe to make a permanent switch to a full or hybrid work-from-home model. As part of this transition, ensure your company adequately cares for your employees through supportive policies and an emphasis on work-life balance. Studies show that what employees miss the most about being in the office for work are the people.

What Does This Data All Mean for Zoom Fatigue?

Rather than being less productive, researchers have found that most remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts. Remote workers have to deal with fewer distractions, have flexible working hours, waste less time commuting and getting ready for work. No traffic jams, no office dramas, and on the face of it, not a lot of stress. Over the past several months, we’ve published a number of lifestyle posts encouraging people to try working remotely, or even to embrace a nomadic lifestyle. We are a distributed team, and our day-to-day operations involve a lot of online communication between people in different time zones, working from home offices, co-working spaces, or holiday spots. Employees in the hybrid world are 1.12 times more likely to feel they are working too hard at their jobs than employees in the on-site world.

  • For mild cases of WFH burnout, following the tips above may ease the strain on your physical and mental health.
  • If possible, it may be worthwhile to occasionally meet up with remote coworkers in real life.
  • While nonverbal cues and gestures are still important, you can probably get away with turning your camera off for calls that aren’t mission-critical to reserve cognitive bandwidth for conveying agreement, confusion or other emotions visually.
  • This unique situation—i.e., enforced remote work—has increased individuals’ use of digital technologies for pleasure and work purposes since the first wave of the pandemic (Zhang et al., 2021).
  • To avoid this, embracing asynchronous communication across is a must for companies today.
  • For more ideas, here is a list of virtual team activities and online social outings.

To avoid remote monitoring fatigue and burnout, you need to build a supportive team culture that fosters collaboration, communication, and feedback. This means creating and maintaining a sense of connection, trust, and mutual support among your remote monitoring team members. For example, you can use tools and platforms that enable you to communicate and collaborate effectively and efficiently, and share your ideas, questions, and feedback.

Furthermore, there has been little empirical research on the joint impact of both work and personal platforms on stress and its resulting effects on exhaustion and wellbeing. Considering the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an appropriate context for assessing and analysing the joint impact of work and personal technology platform use on individuals’ stress and wellbeing (Azer et al., 2021, Verma and Gustafsson, 2020). Although COVID-19 is the context for this study, findings can be applied to the current and future work environments that are increasingly characterised by remote working modes.

  • Despite successfully managing their virtual teams, some companies also have experienced the downside of remote work, and as a result, they’ve had to come up with new solutions.
  • To avoid remote monitoring fatigue and burnout, you need to build a supportive team culture that fosters collaboration, communication, and feedback.
  • You nod with points you agree with, and when it’s your turn to speak, you do so with a smile.
  • And maybe you are a bit skeptical yourself if you have not personal experience it.
  • Fortunately, there are several steps that companies can take to make remote work healthier now it’s become a fixture of our work culture.

That may be a drastic example, and I hope it will not encourage any Toptalers to take a two-year leave of absence if they experience their first case of burnout. However, even two weeks can make a big difference, provided you catch the symptoms of burnout early. A close friend of mine, for instance, ditched his job three years ago and decided to start a healthy lifestyle. At the time he was a consultant for a major tech firm, but being a workaholic, the six-figure job took a toll on his health. He gained a lot of weight, stopped exercising, and started smoking (again). It is also important to distinguish between hard-core nomads and people who just like to extend their holidays by a few weeks.

Five Strategies For Combating Fatigue Among Remote Employees

When it comes to your physical health, one’s comfort and environment have a significant impact on wellbeing. WFH often means setting up an ad-hoc workstation on a laptop at the kitchen counter, or in the living room. While not everyone has the space and means to develop a full home-office setup, it is important to establish a productive and comfortable spot to do one’s work. WFH burnout can also manifest in physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches, or changes in sleep pattern that include insomnia, or on the other side of the spectrum, chronic fatigue. For individuals who typically experience anxiety or depression, these symptoms may be exacerbated, or show up for the first time.

By setting clear goals and priorities, you can focus your time and energy on the most valuable and impactful tasks and avoid wasting resources on irrelevant or trivial matters. Most companies needed to implement remote work to some extent, and despite being successful, they were new challenges to overcome. Burnout, stress, and overall anxiety from the Covid-19 situation have made managers take different approaches to help employees improve their well-being. Moderation effect of remote work intensity during COVID-19 on impact of increased use of work technology on work platform technostress.

Add Buffers Between Meetings

The recurring nature of the events means that team members do not feel pressured to attend any one outing, yet reminders and RSVP’s create a sense of accountability that encourages employees to attend. With repeated outings, teammates feel more like part of a club than guests at a one-off event. Beyond the essentials, you can also add extras that elevate your home office space. For instance, pedal bikes to promote physical activity or standing desks to help with alertness. Having nutritious snacks and a large water bottle within reach can encourage healthy habits and prevent detours, as well as make you feel physically better.