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Alice Dodd

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December 21, 2022

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7
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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

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Employee burnout is more than just a post-pandemic buzzword, with over 75% of workers having experienced it over the course of their career.

With a rise in hybrid and flexible work models, there’s a consensus burnout is less likely. In reality, while hybrid workplaces alleviate some causes of burnout, the lack of face-to-face contact can exasperate others.

If you’re an office manager or team leader, it’s important to recognize the signs of burnout in order to take steps to prevent it. Leaving it to resolve itself can lead to increased turnover, decreased morale and lower productivity.

So, how do you spot employee burnout when they spend part of their working week at work? And how can you help your employee before it starts to impact other areas of your business

Our article will help you understand what burnout is, how to spot it, and most importantly, the measures you can take to prevent it. 

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
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What is Employee Burnout? 

Employee burnout is defined as: “the state of having no energy or enthusiasm because of working too hard…” 

It doesn’t just affect your mental state, you may also recognize symptoms in physical and emotional health too. From negativity through to simply being exhausted, those experiencing burnout feel often feel a lack of motivation for any activity.

It’s the responsibility of employers and managers to build a work culture and implement policies that minimize the risk of burnout.

What Causes Employee Burnout? 

Employee burnout can rarely be attributed to one thing. 

For example, in a hybrid workplace, employees are able to work more flexibly. This should offer greater work/life balance, but can also make it harder for employees to ‘switch off’ between their professional and person lives.

Whether you work from home or the office, the most common cause of burnout is having too much work or too many responsibilities, without enough time or resources to complete them. 

This leads to feelings of overwhelm, and can contribute to imposter syndrome or the feeling of not being able to meet expectations. 

Other causes of burnout are heavily dependent on the work environment of the organization and the individual themselves. 

Those who prefer working to deadlines or with clear goals, may experience burnout if they feel unsupported by management. While those who thrive working autonomously can become overwhelmed if they’re heavily dependent on colleagues to meet deadlines. 

Similarly, individuals have different needs when it comes to management styles. Having unclear or conflicting job expectations or a lack of recognition or appreciation for their contributions can decrease morale and productivity.

In order to manage employee burnout, you need to be familiar with your employees and their working styles. 

Not only will this allow you to prevent burnout, but having an awareness of workloads and expectations keeps you more aware of productivity. 

If anything changes in your employees’ output, you are more likely to know in advance of it impacting the wider business.

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
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How does Working from Home Contribute to Burnout?

Working from home is a great way to increase flexibility, and hybrid working is proven to increase productivity too. But it can also contribute to employee burnout if not managed properly. 

As mentioned, the lack of boundaries between work and personal life can lead to a blurring of work and leisure time and a feeling of being "always on." 

This can be especially challenging if employees are working remotely for the majority of the time, and do not have the same physical separation between work and home that they would have in a traditional office setting.

Those working from home may also find the lack of social support and connection with colleagues is having a negative impact on their motivation.

Despite the positives of a lack of commute, humans need to have face-to-face contact with each other. 67% of young people have admitted to finding it hard to maintain working relationships due to working from home.

If you’re a hybrid workplace, you need to have policies in place that includes those working from home in your work culture to avoid burnout.

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
Arrow right

6 Ways to Identify Employee Burnout in a Hybrid Team

Now we know what employee burnout is, what does it look like in a hybrid workplace? Here are six ways to spot it.

1. Decreased Productivity

If an employee who has a track record of productivity is suddenly struggling to complete tasks or meet deadlines, it could be a sign of burnout.

2. Increased Absenteeism

If your employee is taking more sick days or not able to make it to work more frequently, it may not be the dreaded quiet quitting. It’s often a sign of burnout that needs to be addressed and can be remedied.

3. Negative Attitude

If you’ve noticed a dramatic change in an employee’s previously positive attitude, it could be attributed to burnout. Feeling demotivated and cynical about the workplace is a sign something is wrong in their professional life.

4. Decreased Engagement

Beyond productivity, if an employee was previously the life and soul of the office but is now withdrawn and disengaged, they may be experiencing burnout.

5. Change in Office Attendance

Most people thrive in a routine. If an employee who previously came into the office 2 to 3 days a week starts to make it in once at a push, you may need to get to the bottom of whats affecting their attendance.

6. Physical Symptoms

We’ve discussed how employee burnout can affect physical health as much as mental health. It could present itself in fatigue, headaches or insomnia. 

While these symptoms are harder to spot in colleagues, they usually result in other ways, such as higher absences or disengagement.

Open, supportive communication is key when identifying and addressing burnout. 

Managers themselves regularly feel overwhelmed by this responsibility on top of their workloads, which is why it’s so important to put employee-wellbeing at the heart of policies and practices.

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
Arrow right

How to Prevent Employee Burnout in a Hybrid Team

Whether you’re a team lead or office manager, you’re in a position to influence and create a work culture that prevents the risk of burnout. 

As a hybrid workplace, it’s even more important to put tangible practices into place to build a work culture that motivated employees and makes them feel seen and heard, no matter where they’re working from. 

Here’s what you can do to prevent employee burnout: 

Encourage Regular Breaks, Away from Desks

Nobody is built to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. Make sure your employees are able to go for lunchtime walks, tea breaks or smoke breaks without judgement.

In the office, you should have a space separate from desks where employees can sit or stand to socialize and eat lunch. Not only will this decrease the risk of burnout, but employees that take regular breaks have higher productivity.

Prioritize Your Work Culture

Work culture is so much more than post-work drinks, and is important in almost every area of your organization – in fact, businesses that invest in the work culture have 4x the revenue growth.

A positive work culture that values work-life balance and promotes a healthy work environment will help prevent burnout. 

This could be offering support and resources for mental health and stress management, it could be putting time into your business’ values and mission or it could simply be fostering a sense of community and support among employees. 

You can’t expect your employees to take the time to connect with one another if they don’t have the opportunity to in the working day.

Promote Work-Life Balance

It’s the age-old adage: free donuts can’t replace the benefits of work-life balance. If you’re a workplace that prides itself on being at the forefront of the future of work, you should be offering both.

Whether it’s found in a four-day workweek, in home office setup stipends or in having a strict policy no out of hours calls, your employees deserve to prioritize their personal wellbeing.

This can help to prevent burnout by reducing the amount of stress and pressure that employees feel. When employees are able to take breaks and recharge, they are more likely to be productive, motivated, and engaged in their work.

Additionally, work-life balance indicates to employees that you care about them beyond their contribution to the bottomline, leading to a more positive and motivated workforce.

Track Office Attendance

Flexible working means giving your employees the power to choose when they come into the office. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea to stay aware of how attendance is changing.

Office attendance data not only helps to determine the most popular days in the office, helping you manage your workplace more effectively, but it also allows you to preempt and address burnout.

If somebody’s attendance drops dramatically, there’s usually a reason behind it. For those running a busy office, the only way to identify a decrease in attendance and bring it to others’ attention is by tracking attendance.

Officely is a desk booking tool for hybrid workplaces. Employees can book into the office, see who else is in and find out what’s happening on a daily or weekly basis.

For admins, not only can you see who’s coming in, you can view trends and data on an individual basis to stay on top of attendance. If you’re interested, you can get started for free or watch our demo. 

Support and Resources

Your employees need to have the support and resources they need to complete their work effectively and efficiently. 

From access to the right tools, to managerial support, there is nothing more important in preventing employee burnout than ensuring your employees are equipped to accomplish their tasks.

One of the challenges of hybrid work is understanding the expectations of employees returning to the office. If you’re an office manager, it’s likely to be your responsibility to make sure the office space itself is equipped for employees to work to their full potential.

Monitor Workloads

Even those who hate micro-managing need to check in with their employees if they’re serious about monitoring their employees’ workloads.

Not only should you have a good understanding of what each employee is doing, but it can also be helpful to trak the amount of time your employees spend on specific tasks and projects. 

This information can help managers identify patters of overwork and address them before they lead to burnout. Being able to communicate openly with employees about workloads is a proactive step in addressing issues before they begin to snowball.

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
Arrow right

Employee Burnout Isn’t Inevitable

Employee burnout can occur in any industry. However, if you take the right steps to build a work culture that actively works against the causes of burnout, your risks are significantly reduced.

It’s the responsibility of organizations, team leads and office managers to ensure their employees feel supported and comfortable in their workplace. 

By understanding the causes and taking preventative measures, you can ensure your employees feel the full benefit of a hybrid, flexible workplace without risking their wellbeing.

Try Officely Today

See who's in the office, organize socials and events, and increase your office attendance all within Slack.

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Join our webinar: How to Encourage Your
Employees Back to the Office

We walk through how you can encourage more of your team
to come back to the office with Officely.

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Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
Arrow right

Try Officely Today

See who's in the office, organize socials and events, and increase your office attendance all within Slack.

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HYBRID OFFICE INSPO STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

Get your monthly hit of insights and ideas sourced by the Officely team.

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Join our webinar: How to Encourage Your
Employees Back to the Office

We walk through how you can encourage more of your team
to come back to the office with Officely.

Register Now
Employee Burnout: How Do You Identify and Prevent it in a Hybrid Team?

What Is Proximity Bias and How Can You Prevent It in a Hybrid Workplace?

The rise of hybrid working has increased the risk of proximity bias: believing people in the office are more productive without proof. Here's how to prevent it.

Read More
Arrow right
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Join our webinar: How to Encourage Your
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to come back to the office with Officely.

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See who's in the office, organize socials and events, and increase your office attendance all within Slack.

Alice Dodd

Alice Dodd

Alice is Officely's content manager. When not spreading the word of Officely and hybrid work, you can find her feeding family, friends and strangers with her latest baking experiment.

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