How to avoid burnout in your virtual team


Avoiding burnout for your team is right back on the agenda for all of us remote workers. Here's three tips to keep the fires out.

With last week’s news that employees who can work from home should do go back to doing so, we were struck with the feeling of impending doom. And the fear of burnout over the coming months. 

The WHO defined burnout as ‘a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’. In a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Walters, it found that 47% of managers fear their employees are at risk of burnout due to working from home. If you’re a manager of a remote team, this doesn’t bode well for you, your team or your company.

Along with our ideas to stay sane working over lockdown, read these three tips to help you to support your team to avoid burnout and embed good practices.

  1. Have regular check ins

It’s all too easy to get lost in your own work, but that feeling of connectedness is one of the perks of working in an office with your colleagues and it’s even more essential to stay connected to your team while you aren’t in the same place. This helps employee morale and motivation and enables you to engage on a more personal level than projects updates and meetings.

Use Amazemeet to set up regular catch ups with team members, scheduling in time for both to speak on the agenda with a clear outline of the purpose of the meeting so there’s no fear in these uncertain times. Schedule them at the end of the day or the week to encourage a hard end to the day – risk of continuing to work long after your scheduled hours is tempting when you’re working where you live. There’s no need to have your catch ups via video either – suggest taking a walk during the call to stretch your legs.

Catching up regularly doesn’t mean you invite everyone to every meeting. Colleagues need time to complete their work and are present at the meeting they need to be at. Make sure you are following our guide for #BetterMeetings before you plan your next one.

2. Ensure teams have downtime scheduled in

LinkedIn and the Mental Health Foundation conducted a survey and found employees are working on average of 28 more hours every month. And 56% said that they felt “more anxious and stressed” about work than they did before the pandemic. 

Although it’s no fun being stuck on the tube or in a traffic jam during your commute, you have time to mentally prepare for the day, catch up on personal correspondence, listen to music or read…or just be. Now, you’re flung straight into work after your ‘commute’ from bed to your desk, and can feel the need to stay online deep into the night to ensure everyone knows you’re needed. Leading by example and encourage start, end and break times to be scheduled in will highlight the importance of them and reinforce good habits among your team. 

Try not to schedule meetings at the beginning or end of the day so colleagues have the chance to get set up and get stuck into work, or plan for the day ahead. And check whether your meeting is actually necessary. Amazemeet’s scheduling function ensures you have intended goals and an agreed agenda to help you achieve this.

3. Encourage taking holiday

With lockdown, localised changes and country travel bans, it is likely that many holidays this year have had to be cancelled. But that doesn’t mean your team shouldn’t be having time away from work. Ensure people stick to their leave plans where possible. Lead by example ensuring you take yours and you remain offline throughout, having organisational contacts in place who can cover where needed while you’re gone. This allows teams to better plan their year as everyone won’t want to take the same week off the week things open up, and ensure colleagues are rested and energised by having time away.

Finally, give you and your team some space to breathe. We are working through strange times where the way we live our lives has been changed dramatically – if you remain approachable and open with your team, you can continue to cultivate positive working relationships and ensure your team will flourish.

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