These toxic remote management approaches are leading to worker burnout

If you can, think back to 2019, before COVID-19 changed everything. Imagine you are a manager running a customer support team of 50 agents. It’s December. The holiday rush has started and you have ambitious goals to meet. To make sure you stay on track, you demand extra status updates from your team, hold extra meetings to ensure people are aligned on goals, and drop in on your employees at their desks to make sure they are on task. This is a scenario that, in our former lives, passed as normal—but not in today’s remote world.

In the current work environment, if you want an engaged and high-achieving team, you have to avoid falling prey to damaging methods of remote management. It’s easy to get swept up in the stress of the moment and rely on quick fixes that will provide you temporary reassurance. However, these approaches are just that—temporary. The best remote managers are on high alert, always reflecting to ensure they aren’t veering into micromanager territory. In the long run, they will save themselves and their employees from burning out.

It’s more important than ever to avoid burnout; COVID-19 and remote work have created new levels of stress for employees. Fine-tuning remote work is still a daily challenge—after all, you are dealing with humans, not robots. Employee motivation and productivity are certainly important things to keep tabs on, but monitoring them every second of the day is not the answer.


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