5 Ways To Beat Work-From-Home Burnout
If you’re feeling work-from-home burnout, you’re not alone.
A recent study by Monster found out that more than two-thirds, or around 69% of employees working from home are suffering from some type of burnout.
I know what you’re thinking: no commute, doing meetings with sweatpants, watching movies while working all sure do sound great. In theory. But behind the flexibility and convenience of remote work lie a few issues that are unconsciously taking a toll on us and our mental health.
Most of us aren’t just working remotely in a pandemic — we’re juggling the stress of living through COVID, record unemployment levels and job insecurity too. And this is a problem because not only does this increase burnout and stress among employees, it also weighs down the productivity of the businesses we’re working at.
Burnout is not only a mental thing: it has physical effects on the body too. Burnout is said to cause a variety of physical and mental side effects that include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death.
So, what can you do to beat work-from-home burnout? We’re glad you asked. Here are 5 ways you can beat it.
Know when it’s time to disconnect
Working remotely sometimes means that it can be hard to unplug and differentiate between your private and personal life.
Now that everything’s online, many of us find ourselves working 24/7 thanks to the ease of technology and the option of always being “available.” But here’s the thing: this is one of the biggest factors that contribute to work-from-home burnout. Being connected to everyone at work during every hour of the day is bound to take a toll on your mental health. During pre-COVID times, all of us left our office work in our work cubicles when the day was over. Living as if you’re at the office is the exact same approach we need to take now.
Establishing a clear boundary between work and home can do wonders in eliminating burnout. After your work hours are up, all you have to do is simply switch off your laptop and go offline.
Set up your work space
No more Zoom meetings from bed.
One of the best ways you can disconnect from work is by setting up a dedicated work space. If you have an empty room or even an empty corner, use it to create an office corner.
However if you don’t have a whole corner, or even half a corner that you can dedicate to working, you need to start figuring out how to get that space. If you rent, go talk to your landlord right now. Explain that you need an office (and give them some options like maybe using your laundry room) and see if they will let you work there for free (or for cheap). You can always go to a co-working space or a coffee shop too!
Meet up with your loved ones
Often, the most simple solutions end up being the best ones.
There’s no doubt that COVID has left many of us in isolation for days on end — we’ve all been struggling with loneliness thanks to being stuck at home for more than a year. Working without people can be both a blessing and a curse.
But if you find yourself missing the times your coworker would stop by your desk for a quick chat or the Happy Hour you would go to after work, it’s time to get your groove back. Go out and talk to your loved ones, friends and family. Have a fancy brunch. Go for a group massage. The options are endless!
Take a day off (or two)
Work can get overwhelming pretty quickly.
If you find yourself left with countless leftover PTO days and unused vacation time, put it to good use by taking some well-deserved time-off. Take a day off and do whatever you’d like to on that day: sleep in, relax, recharge. Coping with burnout means taking some time for yourself and doing the things you like. Make a plan that includes tons of R&R, self-care and whatever that aids your recovery.
Since so many people skipped going on vacation in 2020 due to border closures, stricter travel guidelines and whatnot, there has never been a better time to do so than now. Get your vaccine, get tested, book your tickets and set out on an adventure!
Talk to your boss or HR
It’s important to tell your boss and check-in about what is working for you and what isn’t.
Clear communication is one of the best ways to build a long standing relationship — whether it’s with your boss, a work buddy or HR. Even a 15-minute meeting once a month can strengthen your relationship and do wonders for your work routine. Write down the points you’d like to convey and how you could benefit from adopting a flexible schedule. You got this!