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It's been a year since the world shifted to a remote work model. Countries still struggle with the COVID-19 crisis, and with the disruption set to continue, work-from-home burnout is worrying organizations.

The lines between home and office have been blurred. A Deloitte survey showed that 77% of employees had experienced remote work burnout in their current jobs. The same survey showed that 91% felt that remote work burnout had affected the quality of their work, and 83% felt like it could negatively impact their personal relationships, too. 

As a talent acquisition professional, you must've come across several candidates wanting to know for how long this new, remote work protocol will stay in place and what the organization is doing to help the workforce cope with these disruptions. The good news? There are ways for you to prevent your talent's remote work burnout.

Here are five tips you can follow.

1. Set Clear Expectations About Roles & Responsibilities

Remote work is stressful largely because of a lack of clarity among team members about their roles and expectations. An office environment allowed teams to interact and carve out their unique roles, creating diverse teams with each individual having core expertise. The best way to streamline roles and responsibilities, especially for new hires, is to have clear job descriptions.

To achieve this, remote recruiters must work with the managers and track simplified KRA (Key Result Areas) for the role. This will help the team understand their focus areas and help them prioritize their tasks better.

Losing track of tasks, deadlines, and the inability to understand their core expertise is one of the major reasons employees are unhappy with the remote working model. Recruiters can help fix this gap and support the team to avoid remote work burnouts.

2. Allow Flexibility In Working Hours, But Create Strict Protocols

Remote working has led to unique issues, and not sticking to working hours is one of the major problems for organizations. A Flexjobs and Mental Health America (MHA) survey concluded that 65% of remote workers are putting in more hours than they did while in office. This creates pressure on the workforce, and they're also unhappy since each worker has their own schedules, creating barriers to proper communication.

Remote recruiters and management can create a clear protocol on working hours. While flexibility should be encouraged, policies should also have clear communication on attendance and availability for important meetings. By creating strict protocols, the entire workforce is encouraged to follow working hours, enabling them to manage their non-work-related priorities.

3. Simplify Accountability & Task Management Processes

With simplified Key Result Areas, remote recruiters are also required to communicate expectations to the new joiners. There are times when employees must go beyond their expertise and do tasks that may seem trivial or outside their specific domain.

To ensure that every team member takes clear accountability, communicate and make new joiners understand their responsibilities better and create processes to help track their core KRAs. Clear communication helps reduce anxiety as each member is aware and accountable for their role. 

4. Create Efficient & Interactive Training Modules

The biggest challenge to remote work is monitoring and training new talent. Since the social element is weakened by physical distance and accompanying new employees is harder, your fresher talent often find it difficult to fit in with the rest. This often causes remote work burnout, as the new joiners are more likely to blame themselves for their mistakes or inability to understand task descriptions. If unaddressed, it can heavily impact your employees' productivity and even lead to depression.

Efficient training modules help new joiners cope with this situation and make it easy to learn and incorporate company values. Ensure proper protocols, interactive training modules, live Q&A, and resources available to create an efficient training process.

5. Help Workforce Manage Fatigue & Anxiety

Three in five HR managers fear that, in the long run, the mental health impact of remote work can lead to their staff losing motivation and even quitting. A few simple steps focusing on your employees' mental health and wellness can help address remote work fatigue from the get-go. 

Organizations have seen positive results by instituting these simple changes from the very start of their talent's experience:

  • Hosting group meditations and mindfulness sessions
  • Creating mental health support groups and adding professional expertise to support employees in times of need
  • Encouraging team members to take breaks between tasks, and limit their screen time
  • Encouraging physical fitness and outdoor time

You can find more ways that have been proven effective for organizations to support their workforce.

Supporting employees through the crisis through such efforts is mainly an HR concern, but recruiters should also communicate the message through all materials and communications, helping ease the pressure on new joiners. It is hard to be in front of the computer screen and keep track of all that's happening. By working out effective policies and keeping communication open, the risk remote work burnout can be noticeably reduced.

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