Avoiding Burnout

How can we establish better boundaries while working from home? Here are some tips that leaders, managers, and employees could utilize to avoid burnout. 

1. Combat "Zoom Fatigue"  

Let's face it - video calls can be draining and "zoom fatigue" is a real issue for many who work from home and are in meetings all day. This HBR article offers tips on how to combat this, including taking breaks, avoiding multitasking, and reducing onscreen stimuli.  

2. Ensure your workspace is properly set-up to avoid ergonomic stress 

Though we might all not have access to top-notch office furniture in our homes, there may be ways to create a more ergonomic workstation. Encourage your coworkers to visit Harvard's Environmental Health & Safety website to learn more about ergonomics.

3. Explore tools to make your online meetings more interactive 

PollEverywhere, Invision Freehand, and using the annotation or whiteboard function on Zoom are all ways in which you can make your online meetings more interactive. Attendees may also be more willing to share their ideas, feedback, and thoughts with the group by using these features, which means you may get more engagement in meetings as well.

4. Recognize that working parents in your teams have increased caregiving responsibilities.  

Employees (especially mothers) are dealing with increased caregiving responsibilities and a difficulty in maintaining work/life balance. A recent study found that that mothers with young children have reduced their work hours four to five times more than fathers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Think about potential ways you can encourage flexibility in your weekly schedules, especially as online and distance learning is starting to begin.

5. Download apps that focus on mindfulness.  

Harvard now offers benefits-eligible faculty and staff free access to the Ten Percent Happier mindfulness app. Another app that may be useful is Liberate Meditation, an app created specifically for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community.

See also: Ally Actions