Burnout has become a hot topic over the last year for good reason. More often than not, employees are experiencing a sense of burnout while being fully remote, feeling as though they need to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In turn, companies are combating burnout by revamping meeting culture and prioritizing video calls.
However, is the root cause of burnout really video or meeting fatigue? Is it both? Or something else entirely? At Fuze, we’ve seen our employees struggle with video fatigue and have identified ways to support Fuzer’s in maintaining a healthy work-life balance by implementing “screenless” time and encouraging no meeting blocks.
We’ve outlined three strategies business leaders and employees can take to not only create a more manageable meeting culture, but to embrace an adaptable work culture that reduces burnout.
1. Acknowledge that video fatigue is happening.
In the past year we’ve learned that not every meeting needs to be a video meeting. When workers are consistently on back-to-back calls all day it inevitably leads to remote burnout. At Fuze we’ve set clear expectations with teams about which meetings should be video meetings, such as 1:1 check-ins and team meetings and established “no meeting Wednesdays” to encourage a more balanced schedule and enable Fuzers to spend less time on video. As long as employees are engaged, moving away from a video-first approach gives workers some breathing room. This will remain true as the world moves hybrid and employees call in from outside their desks, such as a car while commuting.
2. Find a way to create your own defined space, and build boundaries between work and personal life.
Where you work can have a big impact on your attitude. Prior to the pandemic, it was easier to leave work at the office, but with work stations in bedrooms or living rooms it’s increasingly harder to separate the two. When you allow the stress of work to infiltrate your home life it’s one of the biggest factors contributing to burnout and inhibits a positive work experience. Carve out personal space where you can work quietly without distractions and then leave your desk at the end of the day to help reduce stress and improve productivity. At Fuze, we suggest employees work in locations with lots of natural light to help trigger a transition to post work hours. HR leaders can take an active role in navigating this balance as well by offering flexible scheduling and other perks, especially as work life balance will continue to be critical to burnout in the coming years.
3. Schedule breaks and time to get outdoors.
Removing the commute, remote work provides Fuzers with more flexibility in their schedules. With that extra time, workers can step outside for a walk, check in on their kids, or have a virtual coffee break with a friend. Finding “screenless” time is critical to maintaining morale and positive mental health among employees.
As of August, 75% of workers expressed they had experienced burnout, and 40% of those respondents mentioned the pandemic as the direct cause. This number will likely only escalate as businesses reopen and shift to a hybrid model where employees will be online at different times of the day. It’s important for leaders to prioritize and implement a strategy that will alleviate some of the stress on employees.