The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed how many people do their jobs. Before, people worked in the office and held face-to-face meetings. But because of the shift to remote work, many are now working from home and participating in endless Zoom meetings. After a few months, they have started to feel burned out.
This is why taking personal time off (PTO) from work is more important than ever. Not only does it help employees improve their physical and mental health, but it also helps them become more productive and efficient at work.
Here are some tips to encourage your remote employees to take time off from work:
1. Lead by example
An effective leader walks their talk. If you want your employees to take some time off, you need to set an example.
Demonstrate a healthy work-life balance by not answering emails or attending to any work-related matters while you’re away. Show your employees that by disconnecting from work, they will feel more energized, motivated, and productive when they return.
Also, discourage your company’s leaders from shaming employees for taking a day off. Remind them that rank-and-file staff are the backbone of your company, and without them, your business will not grow.
2. Set a deadline for filing PTOs
This may seem harsh or unnecessary, but setting a deadline encourages your employees to take their time off to relax, unwind, and do something else aside from work.
Check in regularly with your staff to ensure that PTOs are booked off. Remind them that taking time off is just as important as fulfilling their company duties.
3. Limit PTO rollovers
Employees tend to save their PTOs for future use. However, underusing them may lead to employees overworking, which is never good news. Overworked employees tend to work below optimum productivity levels and commit more errors. What’s more, you may lose precious work hours if one of your employees falls sick because of burnout.
By allowing only a certain amount of PTOs your employees can roll over, they will be more compelled to schedule time off for themselves, helping them avoid work exhaustion.
4. Redefine vacations
Some of your employees may not take time off because the pandemic has made it difficult for everybody to travel. Remind them that they can use their PTOs for other things, such as family time and self-care.
They may also discover activities for self-improvement, like drawing, cooking, singing, or painting. Or they can read a book, do house repairs, or play a game.
5. Be sensitive with their needs and habits
In a remote work setup, your employees use the same space for working and doing personal activities, making them feel more exhausted than ever.
During these times, you have to be more sensitive with your employees’ needs. Get to know them, and ask how you can make their remote work life easier. If one of them has had a heavy workload for some time, or if they need to attend to a few personal matters, encourage them to take a few days off from work.
Remember that your employees should be present in both their personal and professional lives. This promotes a good work-life balance, and employees with a balanced lifestyle are more likely to be engaged and loyal to their job.
6. Make sure your PTO policies are spelled out
Provide clear information about PTOs during your onboarding process and in the employee handbook. If your company policies are clear, your employees will feel more encouraged to take time off.
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