How to Improve Team Collaboration While Avoiding Burnout
Workplace burnout is a serious problem facing companies and employees the world over. In order to understand workplace withdrawal, first and foremost, you need to recognize the signs and symptoms. Furthermore, know that burnout is preventable and can be avoided by examining how you communicate, employing more sensible communication methods, and simply taking better care of yourself.
Have a look at these tips to avoid burnout and in the process boost collaboration and teamwork.
Communication is a MUST
Your workplace teamwork is only as good as the communication tools you have at your disposal. Luckily, technology has afforded us myriad ways to keep in touch, and while email and phone calls have their place, an instant messaging (IM) platform could take your communication and collaboration to the next level.
What’s most important, however, is that you avoid the workplace disconnect that can arise when you and your team aren’t on the same page. This disconnect can ultimately lead to a decrease in motivation, lack of effectiveness and productivity, and eventual burnout. The right communication method will not only keep your team in constant communication with each other, but as a result enhance efficiency and workplace satisfaction.
Talking to One Another Still Has Value
Between our devices and seemingly endless ways to communicate, there’s no denying that we’re more connected than ever. But as technology changes the way we communicate, we unfortunately seem to be forgetting how to talk to one another. In-person communication and human contact are crucial to your mental health, social skills, and general well-being, so make sure you’re taking the opportunity to get up and speak to your colleagues, face-to-face.
Of course there are instances when in-person interactions simply aren’t feasible – for example if you’re working remotely. At these times, try to use features like voice and video chat. You won’t physically be in the same space, but it’s the next best thing.
Your ability to organize and manage your daily work-related tasks can drastically affect your stress level – resulting in ineffectiveness, a lack of attention to detail, and dissatisfaction.
Make to-do lists, prioritize your tasks, and importantly, don’t procrastinate. Utilizing the right tools allows you in real-time to discuss work-related topics, ask and answer questions, as well as send and receive files. This way you’re not putting off your communications and then struggling to respond to everything. In the process, the real-time connectivity and communication boosts collaboration and teamwork.
Maybe you’ve heard the saying – A team that plays together stays together.
People are inherently social creatures and this social nature should be utilized even in an office environment. Make an attempt to socialize with your coworkers on breaks or at lunch and try not to discuss work. Moreover, participation in team-building activities outside the office can significantly improve morale. Suggest an escape room, go-karting, or a ski retreat – something fun where the emphasis is not on work. Such activities can foster the mutual respect, trust, and camaraderie vital to a collaborative work environment, as well as relationships fundamental for a healthy work-life balance.
Our brains simply aren’t wired to focus for eight full hours. So why do you still try? One of the most surefire, yet often overlooked, ways to sustain your productivity while preventing burnout is to take breaks. A study by the Draugiem Group found that employees with the highest level of productivity worked for 52 minutes with intense purpose, then took a break for 17 minutes.
Schedule your breaks if you have to and importantly, make an effort to disconnect – no Facebook, YouTube, or emails. Instead, stretch, take a walk, read a book, or chat with a colleague.
Give Remote Work a Try
If you feel like you’re starting to experience burnout, inquire about remote work. Working remotely can increase your efficiency and productivity, as well as enhance your well-being. And it doesn’t mean you have to change your geographic location, though of course you could. You may just need a new work environment – like a cafe, a library, or one of many designated work spaces popping up in cities all over.
You could work from a different spot each day, or to really switch things up, a different spot for each task on your list. Upon completing a task, just move, either by walking or biking, to another location to start work on the next task. Not only do you get a fresh work environment, but you get the physical activity of moving to a new location. The best of both worlds!
Better yet, as long as you’ve got an internet connection IM can keep you connected wherever you are, meaning your team is never out of reach.
Take Care of You
Avoiding burnout means placing equal emphasis on strategies to maintain your mental and physical health. At the top of that list should be sleep. There are many benefits of a good night’s sleep, from improving memory and heart health, lowering stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Pay attention to what you’re putting into your body as well. A healthy diet can enhance your cognitive performance, reduce your blood pressure, and improve your overall mood.
Lastly, know when it’s time to disconnect. Set aside time away from your devices. Read, listen to music, exercise, or just enjoy an evening with your friends and loved ones. Make downtime part of your daily routine – even if it means scheduling it!
As technology changes the way we work and keep in touch, so must you adapt to avoid detachment and burnout. By varying both your communication methods and work routines, you’ll not only enhance your team collaboration, but also maximize motivation, efficiency, and especially satisfaction. Crucially, though, don’t neglect your mind, body, or the meaningful human interaction so vital to your health and well-being.