The COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people in the United States and around the world to work from home. While there are various benefits to working from home, some may actually find it stressful. For instance, it can be taxing for some people to balance their professional and personal lives in one space. This can result in poor productivity and work from home burnout.
What is work from home burnout, and how does it happen?
Work from home burnout refers to the feeling of being constantly exhausted and stressed out while working from home. It usually occurs when people feel compelled to keep working beyond their usual work hours because their workplace and home are the same.
In fact, according to a study by staffing firm Robert Half International, nearly 70% of professionals who transitioned to remote work because of the pandemic say they now work on the weekends. What’s more, 45% say they regularly work more hours during the week than they did before. The study found that despite remote work offering greater flexibility, it also makes disconnecting from work difficult.
What are the common signs of work from home burnout?
Some known signs include:
- Constant feelings of exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job
- Diminished professional efficacy
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Frequent mood changes
- Experiencing physical symptoms like dizziness or headaches
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking or smoking
Related reading: How to support your employees that are still working from home
How can you deal with work from home burnout?
As the pandemic rages on, you may have to continue working from home for the foreseeable future. Avoid burning out by doing the following:
1. Have a dedicated workspace
Create a home office in a separate room where you can minimize distractions and focus on doing your work. If you live with other people, let them know about your schedule so they can avoid disturbing you.
2. Set a healthy working schedule
Even though your workplace and home are the same, it doesn’t mean that you should be working round-the-clock. Set a firm start and end time to your workday, and take breaks regularly.
As soon as your shift is up, stop working and start focusing on personal matters. You can take a short walk outside, cook a tasty meal, or spend time with your family, among other activities. This helps you stop thinking about work and instead concentrate on your personal life.
3. Create a to-do list
To-do lists not only help you stay organized, but they also help you ensure that you accomplish your tasks for the day. Here are some handy tips for making one:
- Categorize. If you have a long to-do list, separate your tasks into different categories. Make sure not to have more than seven items on each one and work on each task based on their urgency.
- Estimate. You can complete your to-do list more efficiently if you can determine how long each task will take to complete. Add a column in your list containing realistic time estimates for each task, and stick to them as much as possible.
- Review and repeat. For your to-do lists to become effective, you need to use them regularly as part of your bigger time management plan. For instance, at the end of every week, review your list and use it to plan the week ahead. Use the same strategies as above.
4. Practice self-care
During your break, consider eating a healthy meal, stretching your muscles, doing guided breathing exercises, or taking a quick nap. Engaging in self-care activities is proven to reduce anxiety and depression, alleviate stress, improve concentration and energy, among other benefits.
Consider using your personal time offs as well. Doing so helps improve physical and mental health, increase productivity and efficiency at work, and strengthen family relationships.
5. Connect with someone close to you
Some people may feel depressed or anxious due to the social isolation created by the pandemic. If you are one of these, it’s important to reach out to people that matter to you or a therapist.
Talk to them about what you’ve been feeling or going through recently. Doing so won’t just help release pent-up feelings, but it will also remind you that there are people who are willing to help you recover from work from home burnout.
It’s important to ensure that your employees can continue accessing your programs and data properly while working from home. Safebit Solutions can help by monitoring and maintaining your IT infrastructure 24/7/365. Talk to us today.