During the COVID-19 period companies must be mindful of digital burnout. Even if one have worked remotely as a company prior to the COVID-19 period, it can become quite tedious to constantly be on digital platforms for work meetings, work projects, and webinars etc.
Whether one is hosting meetings using zoom, skype, wats app or any other communication platform for your work, we wanted to share that digital burnout is real and we must be mindful of it. What is digital burnout? We would describe digital burnout a exhaustion, lack of motivation and overall tirednes due to an over extended amount of virtual engagement online.
Signs that you or your employees may be suffering from digital burnout are: tiredness, headaches, feeling agitated with unusual behavior. This can happen because of a series of back to back meetings, with minimal breaks or having several content heavy meetings that require a considerable amount of brain power. Digital burnout can lead to a decrease in work productivity, apathy for completing quality work projects and sometimes complete disengagement from work.
Here are some ways we advise preventing or dealing with digital burnout:
Space out meeting times: If it is at all possible, try not to schedule back to back meetings, where you have no time gap in between. We all want to get a lot done during this time however, it is important to space out work meetings. Spacing out meetings can enable teams to have breaks in between, to jot down what happened in the previous meetings, and also prepare for upcoming ones.
Exercise or do stretches before and in between your meetings: It is important for blood to circulate through our bodies and for mental well-being that we find time to move around. Working virtually at times it’s easy to get carried away with minimal movement. Take some time before your first start of your meeting to do a quick walk, run, stretch. Movement and exercise can help you remain alert throughout the day.
Have a cup of tea or a healthy snack: It might be that because we are tea lovers here at WCAC we are partial to tea, but there is something about taking a short break and making your favorite tea, having a fruit to eat that is both therapeutic and medicinal. For those coffee lovers, coffee could be another option. Whatever non alcoholic beverage or healthy snack helps you get through the day, take short breaks and consume them.
Take digital rests: Taking digital rests means taking long periods of time away from digital devices. We advise that you designate days where you just rest and take a break from the computer screen. Try not to work on the weekends and have rest periods during the work week. This includes, taking a break from the social media platforms and digital meetings. For executives who lead teams, schedule times where your team has blocked out as digital resting periods and stick to these times.
Avoid showing up to every non work related digital meeting: There are several opportunities available outside of our work spaces. These can be educational, informative and engaging. Some of them can be events in the form of workshops, conferences, webinars etc. They may have value, but be intentional about the ones you sign up for. If there is a skill you want to gain during this time that is digital, pick a few courses but try not to overwhelm yourself.
We hope these tips are helpful for you as you continue working remotely. The key is to be aware of how much time you are spending in the digital space and how it impacts you. If it begins to impact your health and well being negatively, then take heed to some of these tips we have shared.