The COVID-19 pandemic has created monumental shifts in how the world moves and operates. One of these changes happens to be the shift from showing up to an office for work to now adopting work-from-home setups. And just like how in-office employees experience burnout, remote employees can suffer from burnout too.
Symptoms of Work-From-Home Burnout
Employees working remotely have reported being more productive working from home than they do in an office setting, multiple studies have shown. And while a work-from-home setup has provided positive outcomes for employees and employers alike, it isn’t perfect.
However, just because you’re at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience burnout. While there are pros to the work-from-home setup, if those in leadership aren’t paying attention, they can really harm the health and performance of their employees.
Burnout usually stems from being overwhelmed with work, oftentimes because they are delegated too many tasks. This leads to them forgoing other tasks that can help them take care of themselves because they can’t seem to get away from work.
When an employee experiences burnout, they would feel exhausted and unmotivated which can lead to a decrease in productivity and efficiency when it comes to their work. Their sleep routines may change, and they could show signs of irritability and short-temper as well. Physical manifestations of burnout could be headaches, heart palpitations, and indigestion. They may develop negative feelings about work and can experience constant anxiety and even depression.
Ways to Prevent Burnout When Working From Home
1. Taking a Break is Perfectly Okay
While working nonstop on the clock may seem like the pinnacle of productivity, step back and think to yourself: how much do you actually get done? Studies show that taking breaks can boost productivity as you’re more rested and energized to tackle the next task.
Stand up and go outside for a bit of sunlight and fresh air. Drink a glass or two of water. Make yourself some coffee and drink it mindfully. Take some time for yourself to just relax and rest to re-energize for the rest of the day ahead.
2. Boundaries Are Healthy
Create boundaries to ensure you still leave time for yourself and your family and friends. Communicate with your team and your clients when you’re available and not available for calls, meetings, and other work-related tasks.
Always remind yourself that just because you may seem to have the extra time to be available, that doesn’t mean you should make yourself available all the time. Don’t let work consume you to the point that you’re resenting it.
3. Keep the Heart Pumping
Whether you choose yoga, cycling, going to the gym, or even a nice walk, making time for exercise is extremely beneficial to your overall well-being. Exercise releases endorphins that help you work with a clearer mind, promote blood flow, and keep you more mobile, helping your body stay limber.
4. Establish Doable Routines
These pockets of “me time” will help clear your headspace and can even encourage a productive day.
Having a morning routine means you have a set of steps that help you get ready and start your day. Your nighttime routine can help you unwind and relax from the day you had. That evening routine can even include preparations for your morning routine to help your morning start smoothly.
The keyword is to make it doable. There are a lot of fancy and elaborate morning and nighttime routines on the internet, but the best one for you is a routine that is achievable and sustainable for your lifestyle.
5. Check-In on Your Mental Health
Your mental health is incredibly vital. Make sure you take the time to de-stress at the end of the day. Practicing meditation or yoga for restoring balance. Have someone to talk to, whether they be your partner, family, friends, or even a therapist. A healthy headspace can give you a healthier quality of life overall.
6. Look After Your Physical Health
Fuel yourself with healthy food, exercise, and a good night’s rest. Staying physically healthy can even help your mental health. Maintaining good health can improve your performance at work and because you’re in a healthier space, you can also prevent the symptoms of burnout.
7. Make Time For Family and Friends
Make time to connect with your family and friends. Check up on them, enjoy being in their company. Be present with your relationships. Your work shouldn’t take over your life.
8. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Work Friends
Having friends at work can ease and alleviate work-related pressure, stress, and anxiety. They can also be accountability buddies to help you stay on track with your responsibilities.
9. Days Off and Vacation Time are Necessary
Just like taking breaks in the day helps you energize for the next task ahead, taking days off and vacations can help you remove yourself from the stressors of work. By allowing yourself to completely unwind and relax, you come back to work rejuvenated and maybe even a happier deposition moving forward.
Encouraging employees to create healthy routines and boundaries should be part of the learning development in remote teams. Employers need to remember that just because everyone’s at home, that doesn’t mean they have more time to spend working. Employees need to make sure they are not dismissing their needs and health. A proper work-life balance can make them happier and healthier contributors to the business.
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