How to Prevent Remote Employees From Overworking


Have employees working from home? Don’t be surprised when you find these particular employees feeling like they are working more than when at the office because… they are probably right. Unfortunately, since the pandemic started, those working from home have been shown to be working many more hours than working from the office.

This is something your company should make an effort to keep under control because it may damage your employees’ health. Although more study is required, it seems that working too many hours increases the chances of heart disease. A study by the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization found that employees who worked more than 55 hours a week are more likely to suffer from ischemic heart disease than those workers who worked 35 to 40 hours a week. This type of heart disease is a narrowing of the arteries.

It seems when people work from home, they are more inclined to work than rest. In fact, people working from home seem to use most of the time they save from not having to commute in doing work. Some people believe that these people are working more because they are unable to do some of the activities they used to do and working fills in the extra time.

However, employers can do some things to help ensure that remote workers are not overworking, such as:

Set specific working hours. One of the best ways to help prevent your employees from overworking when they work from home is to set specific working hours. It’s essential to make it clear that employees are not expected to do any communication for work purposes after work hours. This may mean making sure meeting times end a bit early for those in the Pacific Time Zone to ensure those workers on the east coast are not working too late. Make sure your employees take regular breaks. Your employees need to see taking breaks as a normal part of the workday and probably need to be reminded or encouraged to. You can help do this through leading by example – put aside time each day yourself in which you don’t respond to any messages. If employees see you setting aside time for yourself each day, they are more likely to feel comfortable taking a break themselves.

In addition, human resources should be making it a priority to connect and check on remote workers. HR personnel should make this a habit and outwardly ask the employees if their is anything they can do to help them manage the inevitable stress.

By doing these things, a company can help remote employees make working from home more like a day at the office and less like their personal lives.

Make sure your company policies are compliant with new Federal law by learning more about fair chance hiring practices. Download our free resource on Adverse Action Notice Protocols in Compliance With FCRA to get started.