The pandemic has radically altered how people work. Even more, than a year after it happened, some of us are still working from home and got burnout. In other words, the trend of working from home isn’t going away anytime soon.
You can work in your jammies all day, no need to get ready or dress up, no long travel, no rigid schedules, and you can even roll out of bed five minutes before work starts.
The benefits of working from home…
It’s all fun and games until you’re completely fatigued. You’re exhausted by it all, but you’re not sure why.
After all, all you do is sit in online meetings, grab your favorite foods for your personal pantry, and complete your work as usual, just as you do at the office, right? So, what’s the deal?
It turns out that there is some logic to it. Aside from all of the benefits, working from home may be exhausting – even more so than working in an office. Working from home burnout is what we call it.
According to a Monster survey, more than two-thirds (69%) of employees in the United States are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.
So, if you’re one of them, we’ve got some critical best practices you can use to avoid falling victim to WFH burnout.
Why Is Working From Home So Tiresome?
As we approach the year 2021, many of us are finding that working from home isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Some of you may even believe that it is not the career utopia you had envisioned. This is why:
- Many Distractions
When you work at an office, it is easy to switch off your home brain and focus on the task at hand. The working atmosphere and peer pressure only serve to drive you to complete your work.
Meanwhile, when you work from home, you have both work and home responsibilities. And getting into the work mode is usually difficult.
Those dirty clothes and dishes that need to be washed, a new episode of your favorite TV show, the puppy who simply wants to be patted and played with, your social media accounts, and the couch all feel too cozy.
So, we can all agree that working from home blurs the barriers between your professional and personal lives.
- It’s not really your choice.
If you think about it, you’ve never asked for all of these things, have you? Because of the COVID-19, you’ve been sent home and requested to work remotely. Everyone was just in survival mode. In fact, autonomy, self-expression, and a sense of control are essential for good mental health.
And because you’re not fully prepared (especially emotionally), it might be irritating and draining at times. It’s difficult to keep going and block off the rest of the ‘outer’ world only to get your work done.
- You Miss Your Coworkers
Another factor that contributes to the difficulty of working from home is a lack of self-compassion. You miss huddled around a whiteboard in a meeting room, debating your future content campaigns, or explainer video production costs in person. Or the water cooler chit-chat and coffee break discussions.
Working from home reduces opportunities for social connection. You may also need to make an extra effort to communicate with your teammates via group chat or video calls.
Human interactions, even for introverts, can assist improve the job experience. As a result, you’re probably burned out because you don’t have the desired connection with your peers and aren’t energized by their presence.
- The workload continues to rise
Working from home adds to our workload for many of us. While you must exert additional effort to remain productive, your task continues to grow. On a daily basis, several things are hurled at us at the same time.
More than 60% of employees report their workload has increased significantly while working from home. Not to mention that you are “always-on” because there is no set work schedule. It’s easy to become worried and overwhelmed.
Many businesses are also striving to reward their employees for the extra productive hours they put in when working from home and to give them greater options to decline additional work.
How to Avoid Work-from-Home Burnout
Some of the health difficulties induced by severe work from home workload include frequent back discomfort, headaches, and dramatic changes in sleep patterns.
This, in turn, may result in burnout. Employee burnout can lead to poorer retention rates, engagement, and work performance, all of which can be detrimental to the firm.
The idea here is to address the fundamental causes of the problems rather than simply treating the symptoms. Here are several improvements you and your firm may implement to avoid massive exhaustion and boost productivity in a seamless manner.
#1. Establish Boundaries and Limits
Even while working from home allows you more flexibility in your work hours, it doesn’t mean you have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to complete your work, respond to emails and chats, hold a video conference, and so on. It will simply deplete your mental energy faster. After all, you’re a regular person, not a superhuman.
I understand. Employees who are trying to separate their professional and personal life may feel compelled to work constantly in order to demonstrate their dedication, devotion, and productivity. However, you don’t have to be so harsh on yourself.
Always set your working hours and communicate them to coworkers and HR managers. This way, they’ll know when you’re available to discuss the project, hold virtual meetings, and so on. They also understand when they may expect a quick reaction from you.
#2. Design a Workspace That Is Both Comfortable and Effective
It is not a good idea to do your work in your bed. It’s too cozy, and your brain isn’t prepared for it. As a result, you must create not just a comfortable, but also an efficient working environment.
Find a place where you won’t be able to relax easily so that you can concentrate on your work. Nope. You don’t have to renovate your room or purchase new desks to enjoy the benefits of dedicated office space.
Even a modest corner in your kitchen or backyard would suffice — as long as it puts you in work mode and eliminates distractions.
#3. Limit the number of communication tools you use.
Remote employment necessitates the use of communication and project management tools. It assists employees in completing projects, staying on the same page, and never missing a deadline.
Having stated that, each communication tool has its unique notification system. That means that when there are more tools, there will be more noise.
The more tools you have, the more information you will receive, and keeping up with all of them might be difficult.
The majority of your workday will be spent signing in and out of tools, as well as navigating between programs and browser windows. In this scenario, make sure to only employ tools that you and your team truly require and cannot complete any job without.
#4. Go for a quick walk
When you’re at work, your coworkers will invite you to join them for a cup of coffee or lunch. You get up from your desk and go for a little walk in the fresh air to take a break. Walking can help you refresh your mind and relieve stress for a short period of time.
However, if you are too preoccupied with your work at home, you may forget to move. Make sure you give yourself enough time to rest.
Taking a walk around the home, or walking around your block or to a nearby park for a few minutes, helps generate efficient breaks within your workweek.
#5. Virtual meetings can be a lot more enjoyable
While you may not be able to have coffee breaks with your coworkers at your favorite coffee shop, why not do it over Zoom or another video conferencing platform?
Work and projects should not be the only reasons for using video conferencing. It can be more enjoyable if you check in on everyone’s health and condition. It helps you feel more connected to your virtual colleagues and less isolated or cut off.
You can perform some fun team-building activities via video conferencing, such as pub trivia, a tiny dance party, a fast workout, or simply having a casual talk, exactly like you and your coworkers generally do during office break time.
Maintaining Your Health While Working From Home
The disadvantages of working from home have surpassed the advantages. You’ve been doing it for over a year, and the exhaustion is starting to catch up with you. Even after years of working from home, some professional remote workers still find it difficult to stay productive and maintain their own well-being.
Working from home burnout is a very real thing. With those five ideas, you know what to change so you can complete your work, preserve your entire health, and avoid burnout in the long run.
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