Eight Leadership Strategies to Support Burnt-Out Teams

If your team is burnt out by remote or hybrid work, here's what you can do as a leader to get morale back on track.

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After over a year of remote and hybrid working, many employees are (understandably) exhausted. With limited in-person interactions and blurred lines between work and home life, teams may have less energy and may even be on the road to burnout. Fortunately, there are many ways business leaders can reinvigorate their remote teams.

Not sure where to begin? Try these eight expert strategies, shared by the members of Newsweek Expert Forum, to keep your employees feeling energized and motivated during the era of remote work.

1. Encourage Intentionality

Practice intentionality daily. Take control. Ask yourself what would make this day a great day. Not an average day, but a day that will give you a sense of accomplishment. What can you do or achieve right now today? Consider this question professionally financially and personally, and then with full intention, get on with it. - Todd Miller, ENRICH: Create Wealth in Time, Money, and Meaning

2. Plan Fun Virtual Team-Building Activities

Leaders can add some virtual fun! Do a 30-minute game to get the team interacting and laughing. Another thing is to give them a day off. Fridays are often not as productive as other days anyway, so surprise the team on Wednesday or Thursday and announce they can take Friday off. If you can't quite do that, let them leave at noon. If someone has meetings, let them choose their off day. - Dorethia Kelly, #MoneyChat | Work • Space • Spark

3. Empower Your Team to Work How They Work Best

Treat people like adults. Empower them to do work when and how they see fit, as long as they produce results. And send them little gifts from time to time to make them feel special. Lastly, give them "enforced" days off regularly so they can create a meaningful wall between work and life. - Yuri Kruman, HR, Talent & Systems Consulting

4. Create a New Start

Business leaders need to periodically create a new start for teams—a new initiative, a new direction, a new perspective. Employees get energized when there is a new beginning. Create one. - Henry Hutcheson, Family Business USA

5. Be Generous With Time Off and Flexible Scheduling

One of the many reasons employees can become exhausted by working remotely is because there is less of a distinction between work and home life. This often results in employees working longer and burning out. Employers can help by being more generous with paid time off, mandating half days once or twice a month for different teams and blocking off days without meetings so employees can concentrate. - Chloe Alpert, Medinas

6. Allow Them to Build Breaks Into Their Schedule

Encourage employees to build five- to 10-minute mini-breaks into their schedule between meetings or projects to step away from their work and recharge. Little things can make a big difference in energy levels. Take a quick walk around the block, stretch, do a breathing exercise, snuggle a child or pet, make a cup of coffee and go sit in your favorite spot, etc. - Jenna Hinrichsen, Advanced RPO

7. Give Them Freedom Over Their Work Hours

We have always allowed our remote employees to work on their terms and timeframes. We have a daily video chat for 30 minutes but beyond that, they are welcome to work the time and hours that work best for them. This allows for them to schedule and work on projects when they want to rather than when they are told to. This keeps them in control of their day. - Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint

8. Recognize Their Feelings

One thing that business leaders can do to help teams that are feeling exhausted is to recognize employee grief and how to support them. Exhaustion is due to burnout, compassion fatigue and loss. Business leaders need to understand ambiguous loss, disenfranchised grief at work and how non-death related work losses experienced after a year of remote/hybrid working impacts employee wellbeing. - Barbara Rubel, Griefwork Center, Inc.

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