What is work from home burnout, and what are the best ways to deal with it?

What is work from home burnout, and what are the best ways to deal with it?

Many people who have been working from home since the pandemic began last year have found such a work setup to be quite stressful. For many remote workers, doing job-related tasks and dealing with personal matters at home has proven burdensome.

In fact, according to software company Aternity, employee productivity decreased significantly despite employees spending more time in front of their computers. This is likely due to work from home burnout.

What is work from home burnout?

Work from home burnout refers to the feeling of being constantly exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed out while working from home. It usually occurs when people feel compelled to keep working beyond their regular hours just because their place of work and home are the same, which adds to their exhaustion.

What are the signs of work from home burnout?

There are many signs that may indicate work from home burnout, such as:

  • Exhaustion or lack of energy
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job
  • Reduced professional efficacy
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, chest pain, or heart palpitations
  • An overarching anxiety to do more work
  • Constant checking of email notifications

How to deal with work from home burnout

Despite work from home burnout becoming a reality, there are many ways to address this issue. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Have a dedicated workspace

Improve your focus by working in an area where you can avoid distractions, like a spare room. If you live with other people, inform them about your work schedule so they can adjust their activities accordingly and avoid disturbing you.

2. Set boundaries

Working from home doesn’t mean being available to your work colleagues 24/7. Establish a firm start and end time to your workday, and take time for breaks. As soon as your shift ends, step away from the computer and focus on your personal life. Read a book, play a game, or cook a delicious meal.

3. Create a to-do list

To-do lists can help you ensure that you accomplish what needs to be done for the day. List all your tasks, and work on each one based on urgency. Cross off a task once you’re done with it and work on the next task until you've crossed everything off your list.

Having a to-do list can also make your tasks much more manageable and make you feel grounded. Distinguishing between your finished and unfinished tasks will help you stay organized and focused.

4. Practice self-care

On your break, try eating a healthy meal, doing guided breathing exercises, stretching your muscles, or listening to your favorite song. These activities can help produce positive feelings, and boost your confidence and self-esteem

It’s also more important than ever to use your personal time off. It may seem counterintuitive, but doing so can improve your physical and mental health, and help you become more productive and efficient at work.

5. Connect with a close friend or relative

Many people are experiencing anxiety and depression because of the social disconnectedness created by the pandemic. This makes it more important than ever to reach out to people close to you, or even a therapist.

When you have the time, talk to them about what you’re currently feeling or going through. Talking to someone and having them listen to you will remind you that you're not alone — there are people who care for you and will help you get over the mental and emotional challenges of remote work.

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