Have you ever experienced a burnout at work? If you have not, there is a good chance one of your colleagues has or is very close to having one. Studies show that among common causes of workplace absence is mental health problems – mental exhaustion and work-related stress in particular. Stress can easily build up due to unclarity in role and tasks, unevenly distributed workload, and unfit workplace environments, such as working at home on a smaller laptop screen and poor desk with bad lighting. Recovery from a burnout takes weeks, months and even years depending on severity of the burnout.
In the past few months many of us have experienced struggles adapting to work from home and lots of suggestions been shared on setting up a home office to maintain the moderate productivity level under the circumstances. I have experienced a burnout at the early stage of my career, which has pushed me to develop and implement some techniques to keep my focus, and stay relaxed and productive during the day. Sharing those tips with a friend, Manish Chauhan, and founding partner of Delov has materialized into a set of free complementary tools for individuals and groups that we made available to everyone. In addition, I give you the following 3 tips adapted from a work-office to home-office environment.
- 5-min smoking breaks for those who don’t smoke
I am a non-smoker, and in my late adolescence I worked as a waitress in a team of smokers. While on a smoking break a waiter could not serve the client with a cigarette in his/her hand, so I ended up waiting more tables and taking fewer breaks. At the verge of exhaustion, I realized that I needed to take some form of a smoking break in order to catch my breath. I did not recall that experience until my burnout at the desk job, so I reintegrated smoking breaks into my work schedule in a form of short meditations. Training my self-consciousness and self-awareness gave me more energy for work and personal projects, as well as made me feel present when communicating with my team. To help reduce stress levels Delov can introduce you to Kirtan Kriya Meditation technique and walk you through it. Mental health has never been more important.
- Managing organized chaos through color post-its
Working in the open space office has its advantages and disadvantages. In the work from home situation you happen to share the space with the whole family, toddlers and pets including. One of my friends adapted the Skype availability color toggle into post-it notes at her desk. She used green post-it for signaling her full availability to anyone in need of assistance, yellow post-it to signal a busy day and availability for urgent matters, and red post-it to signal an intense overloaded day for “the house is on fire” kind of interruptions only. This tactic helped my friend create harmony with herself and in her team. To help increase team productivity and better organize oneself through chaos Delov can introduce you to Palm & Points Approach and assist in getting a better grasp of one’s role and position in organization.
- Organizing productive meetings
In my experience, the combination of words productive and meeting makes people laugh. Honestly, I have not seen that many people thrilled about office meetings, and after I Googled “What people think about meetings” I had a good laugh myself. E-meetings did not make our lives easier resulting in occasionally flashed nudity for a start. I cannot stress enough on the importance of agenda, list of relevant participants, action points and transit time, which easily gets overlooked once a 1-hour meeting reservation is booked in one’s calendar. It might seem less time is needed to transit between physical meeting rooms, but we still need our bathroom and water breaks. Setting up rules and defining clear goals is a good place to start, and Delov can assist you with that through its Team Canvas tool.
Finally, in order to be productive in your job and present with your family at home it is important to keep a healthy mindset and take care of one’s psychological well-being. After all, when the oxygen masks fall out during the flight, you have to put on your own mask first before helping small children and other passengers. And if you forgot how to breather, please feel free to apply some tools from Delov to help reduce anxiety and enhance your own and your team’s work performance.