7 Things To Do to Prevent Your Team Members From Burning Out

Updated: Aug 26

Small white terrier in the foreground, small white spaniel cross dog in the background. Both dogs are running on a beach.
Doug loves a day at the beach.

I love this picture! It makes me smile every time I see it. This is a photo of my dogs, Doug and Murray, at the beach. The beach is Doug’s happy place.

Doug is a scrappy little terrier with 5” long legs. In spite of that, he chases sticks and swims in the ocean with the same gusto and athleticism as his longer-legged canine pals. No matter how many times I throw a stick into the water, and no matter how far, Doug will swim for it. And every time this puts a big grin on my face. How fun to see such a little dog do such big swims!

Last weekend was the first time this year Doug had been to the beach. Spring rains meant the water was high and the current was fast. Also, Doug is a year older and doesn’t move quite as quickly as he used to. That hasn’t stripped him, though, of his drive to play in the water and please me. Even though he was game to do more, I had to rein in Doug’s swimming a bit. He needed time to catch his breath between swims. If I hadn’t done that, he might have found himself in deep, fast water and without the strength to pull himself out of it. He’d be too fatigued to fetch that stick and deliver it back to me. And I might have injured him (or worse) had I pushed harder.

It strikes me our employees are, perhaps, experiencing something similar.

2020 has thrown a lot at us. Some of us are facing big change, others are facing a deluge of work, and we are all experiencing different environments to operate in. Many of us moved to working from home when the lockdown occurred. We thought it might be for a few weeks, or maybe a few months. However, it would appear this pandemic situation will be with us for a longer term, and our temporary bandaid solutions are not cutting it any longer.

Last week a friend told me his employer advised staff they will be working from home until at least March of 2021. By then, he will have worked in his “temporary” set-up for a year. This friend has struggled with working from home. He liked the camaraderie of the office environment. He also liked that he could leave his work at the office instead of bringing it home. The last five months have provided him with no separation of work and home life. And it’s weighing on him.