7 Ways to encourage remote employees to take time off from work during the COVID-19 pandemic

7 Ways to encourage remote employees to take time off from work during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the way employees do their jobs. Instead of working in traditional offices, more employees are now working remotely. While this may be convenient for some, working remotely can also blur the lines between an employee’s professional and personal life, potentially resulting in burnout.

This is why it’s important for workers to take personal time off (PTO). Doing so helps enhance physical and mental health, strengthen family relationships, and improve productivity and efficiency at work.

Taking time off from work helps enhance physical and mental health, improve family relationships, and improve productivity and efficiency at work.

Here are seven ways to encourage your employees to take time off from work:

1. Make sure PTO policies are clear

Some of your employees may hesitate to take time off from work because they don’t understand the process of filing or which of their PTOs will be allocated for sick days or vacations. Having an easy-to-understand PTO policy will put your staff at ease and make it easier for them to take a day off.

2. Establish a deadline for filing PTOs

Setting PTO deadlines encourages your staff to use their leaves to rest and do something else aside from work. Check in with them regularly to ensure that their PTOs are booked off and remind them that time off can improve their mental health and performance at work.

3. Regulate PTO rollovers

Your employees may want to save their PTOs for future use. However, underusing these may result in overworking. And if your staff are overworked, they become less productive, commit more mistakes, and are more likely to get sick.

You can mitigate this risk by limiting the number of PTOs your employees can roll over. This way, they will feel the need to schedule time off, and thus avoid work-related exhaustion.

4. Lead by example

You need to set an example if you want employees to take time off from work.

For instance, you can set your online presence to “Do not disturb” and send email notifications that you're unable to answer messages because you're away on vacation. Show your employees that by disconnecting from work, they will feel more productive and motivated when they return.

Discourage vacation shaming as well. Remind your employees that everyone deserves to take time off despite being stuck at home.

5. Redefine vacations

Some of your employees may not see the value of taking time off from work because the pandemic has made it difficult to travel. Employees should know that they don’t need to leave home to make the most of their time off. Instead, they can spend time with their family, read a book, play a game, paint, try new recipes, draw, or work on some DIY projects, among other activities.

6. Know your employees’ needs and habits

The lack of clear boundaries between personal and professional lives in a remote work setup can make your employees feel exhausted.

This is why it’s important to be more sensitive to your employees’ needs. Talk to them and ask how you can make their lives easier. If one of them has had a heavy workload for a long time or if they are starting to feel disconnected from their job, encourage them to take a few days off.

7. Provide support when employees are away

Your employees may be hesitant to take time off from work because they are worried about who will do their work while they are out. Help them by identifying the most ideal person to take over their tasks. If someone from your IT team is planning to take a day off, for instance, assure them that someone experienced will keep your systems running optimally on their behalf.

This way, they can take time off without feeling guilty or worrying about a massive backlog of emails and work notifications waiting for them when they return.

While employee downtime is a must to help your staff stay at peak performance, IT downtime is something you must avoid at all costs. Complete Document Solutions can help.Through our managed IT services, we will ensure that your business operates as smoothly as possible. If you are located in Torrance, Los Angeles, or Long Beach, request a FREE network assessment today.

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