workforce wellbeing and remote burnout

Workforce Wellbeing: What’s Driving Remote Burnout?

The WorkforceMHQ is a quick, flexible tool that allows employers to meet the wellbeing needs of their workers in targeted ways during the Covid-19 pandemic, with remote burnout starting to grow.


According to a survey from Stanford University, 42% of American workers are working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Companies like Google and Facebook are asking employees to work from home until 2021, and this trend is likely to continue. Many workers are facing multiple challenges as a result of this significant, unexpected change in their daily lives.  It is not surprising, then, that half of Americans working from home are now experiencing remote burnout.

To keep their businesses viable, employers must act now to support their employees’ wellbeing during the pandemic. The WorkforceMHQ tool can help employers assess how well their employees are coping with the switch to remote work.  The online tool can also illuminate the changes to workplace policy and practice that must be implemented to help prevent burnout.


COVID Challenges

The COVID crisis has created a new set of complex challenges for employees, and these challenges could be contributing to increasing burnout rates.  First, parents who are working from home are overwhelmed.  Many are finding it very challenging to balance their work, child care, and educational responsibilities.  The shift to remote work also disproportionately impacts women.  A survey from the American Enterprise Institute showed that now, women are more likely to take on additional household and childcare duties compared to men.  The same study found that 49% of mothers reported feeling isolated during the pandemic, compared to 36% of fathers.  The combination of workplace and family responsibilities is quickly becoming too much to bear for many working parents.

The COVID crisis is also causing enormous financial stress for workers across the country.  The National Endowment for Financial Education reported that 43% of workers are “very” or “extremely” concerned about their financial situation.  Workers said that job security and income fluctuations are among the top causes that concern them.  Experiencing financial stress can increase anxiety and cause sleep disruptions.  It can also manifest in physical symptoms, such as headaches and muscle pain, which may lead to lost time on the job.

Finally, working from home makes it difficult to maintain boundaries between employees’ work lives and personal lives.  Setting boundaries is hard for anyone who works remotely, but it can be especially challenging for employees who are working remotely for the first time.  Existing research says that creating healthy boundaries between our work lives and personal lives is an essential part of maintaining our mental health.  During the pandemic, an employee may be trying to signal their loyalty to their company by working at all hours or responding to emails at midnight.  However, these habits can also drive them to exhaustion and decrease their work quality.


Reducing Remote Burnout with the MHQ

Remote work does not lend itself well to traditional, in-office workplace wellness programs.  As a result, employers have to get creative when it comes to supporting their workers in this constantly changing environment. The WorkforceMHQ is a online assessment tool that provides insights into workforce mental health.  Data from the WorkforceMHQ can help employers make informed decisions about policy and practice that will help employees flourish in remote settings.

First, the WorkforceMHQ can help businesses find out what is currently working well for their employees.  For instance, you may find out that some departments have higher wellbeing scores than others.  Learning why some departments are faring better than others could have implications for department leaders across the company.

Second, the WorkforceMHQ can identify which groups are not adapting as well to remote work. For example, the data may reveal that employees without a home office report feeling more disorganized and overwhelmed than employees who have their own office space.  A company can use this information to figure out the types of home office solutions that can best address employee needs.

Finally, the WorkforceMHQ can serve as an evaluation tool. Employers can ask employees to retake the assessment to see if their policy changes or interventions are effective.  The comparison data can also reveal new problems that may arise over time.  For instance, if a department that previously functioned well suddenly has low wellbeing scores, the company can immediately focus attention on that department.

In this time of dizzying changes, companies have to be quick on their feet to keep their employees productive and engaged. The WorkforceMHQ is a quick, flexible tool that allows employers to meet the wellbeing needs of their workers in targeted ways.  To learn more about the tool and how it can help support your workforce, please click here.