COVID-19 has caused mayhem all around the world and in a matter of weeks work from home has become the ‘new normal’. It might be all too easy at first like to check emails at 9 pm on your couch comfortably or skip lunch or breakfast with your head deep in a project. However, while you may not realize it, it is all too easy to suffer a work from home burnout.
What is work from home burnout?
In 2019, Burnout was classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an ’occupational phenomenon’. According to WHO, “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Now, we may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t suffer from burnout. So yes, work from home burnout is a real phenomenon that can affect us. Furthermore, the feeling of work from home burnout might be a little different from what we are used to.
What causes work from home burnout?
A Burnout is characterized by three factors: exhaustion or feelings of energy depletion, increased mental distance or negativity surrounding your job and reduced productivity. Working from home means less variety in your working day. Over time, you might start to miss the non-work social interaction and the feeling of facing the outside world. Your days will, therefore, become grey at some point. Also, with no definite endpoint to look forward to in these times of crisis, you may feel that you are effectively trapped in this way of work.
Work from home burnout is slightly different from the regular work burnout. Work from home burnouts has fewer physical symptoms but manifests itself as more of mental fuzziness. If you are experiencing work from home burnout, you might feel tired, confused, frustrated, angry, sad, and desperate. If left unchecked, it can cause physical problems too. So here are a few ways to prevent work from home burnout.
Few ways to prevent work from home burnout:
1. Take a break
This is one of the best ways to prevent work from home burnout. If you are working from home, you are likely to get sucked into a project or a meeting that goes on for hours and miss deadlines. So, always stamp out work from home burnout before you get thereby making sure you take breaks. It freshens you up and helps you stay motivated and productive.
Read more: Effective tips to reduce stress
2. Don’t forget about your vacation
You might be spending more time with your family now more than ever. But this may not be a sufficient enough break to avoid work from home burnout. Therefore, you may not want to cancel your vacation plans. We know that vacation to your favorite country or somewhere far away is still off the charts due to coronavirus. But you can still plan a mini-vacation with your family in your town. It doesn’t matter where you go, you just need to take time off from work and spend time with your family. (But make sure you follow the safety procedures.)
3. Weekends are weekends!
Usually work from home burnouts happens when you work too much and too often. Since your home is your office now, it can be certainly difficult to keep your sanity together at times. This is why you have to stop working on weekends. If you even try to slide into your work chair on a Sunday, you might end up checking work emails. This blurs the line between work and life causing burnout. So, finish work during the week and give yourself a day off during the week.
4. Keep your exercise and diet chart steady
There is a lot of linkage between your health and mind. Working from home can make you lazy over time. This can bring many physical health issues that may worsen your mental health and causes work from home burnout. So, always make time for exercise and healthy eating. This will help you feel good and improves your productivity.
Do you know what you would miss the most while you are working from home? Human interaction. You need to make socializing your priority especially now since you are working from home. You can prevent the burnout that is caused by isolation by staying connected with your friends or co-workers. Whether this is in-person or virtual, stay connected socially.
Work from home burnout is very real. We must strive to take it seriously and ensure best practices to avoid the fatigue of working at home. So, if you feel that you are low or need a break from your work from home routine, just take it.