It is difficult times right now but I think also times where people rethink certain values in life. I am sure that the outdoors will be more important and people will enjoy more being outside not so sure of the world will be a better place as many say. I think the nice guys get nicer and the idiots more egotistic….
The quote above was lifted from Andy at OPEN's reply to my last issue. I've shared it a few times privately over the course of the week.
I think we already are seeing the nice guys getting nicer already and the idiots, well... They're making their moves too.
But let's keep this positive, for now.
So, on that positive note: several people replied with some wonderful links to share and I've added them below. To further that spirit of helpfulness, I also found this article about Morale, Mental Health, and Burnout in Remote Teams. (9 mins)
So, what can you do to help avoid burnout in team in these trying times?
- Ensure that workers are able to unplug and set boundaries. You can recommend that people turn off at the end of their day (local time), and not check messages during dinner because a colleague just came online.
- Set clear, achievable goals. Ensure that they that are realistic and, to the extent possible, make processes predictable, so that employees can commit to sustaining a meaningful life outside of work.
- Take vacation days. A minimum vacation policy is especially helpful here, to encourage workers to fully recharge and reconnect with the joys that make life meaningful. Model this as a leader by taking vacation yourself, and not checking in while you are away.
- Have a documented team agreement. This helps ensure people don’t feel required to respond to messages at all hours of the day and night and that they have a predictable cadence of communication they can rely on.
- Practice gratitude. Talking about things you are thankful for actively fights burnout. At the fully remote company Aha!, people take turns wearing a hat, while everyone else shares gratitude for that person, in a ritual that they call “hatitude.” Brian de Haff, Aha! CEO, shares that “gratitude helps us pause and recognize how important small acts of kindness are—even when we are not physically in the same building.”
- Check your team’s burnout risk. Have people on your team (yourself included) take a burnout risk test, which focuses on the main risk factors for burnout.
"Burnout is a warning sign of a toxic work environment. The response should be to focus on making the environment less toxic." – Dr. Christina Maslach, burnout researcher and expert*
Some additional approaches to boost morale, facilitate mental health, and mitigate burnout in your remote teams:
- Modelling. Managers can talk about their own activities to support their mental health, and add their own therapist appointments to a public work calendar.
- Sharing strategies. It helps to encourage discussions of specific strategies for managing anxiety or depression in dedicated venues, like a group chat channel dedicated to mental health.
- Avoiding ableist terms. Don’t use terms like “crazy” or “insane” as adjectives or jokes.
- Providing opt-in peer groups. Slack channels or email chains shared by all the company’s joggers or meditators or meal-planners can help encourage building healthy habits, even when people aren’t physically together.
- Supporting mental health leave days. Allow personal days or mental health days as a form of sick leave.
- Discussing openly and privately. Encourage mental health discussion in one-on-ones and in public forums and workshops. This helps build, and maintain, psychological safety on the team that is not just about raising issues about work-related tasks, but also about mental health and how to ask for help.
- Fostering trust on your team. (Building and Cultivating Trust in Remote Teams)
I hope this topic above and 1-2 of the links before are helpful for you. Thank you for reading!
Stay safe and stay true,
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