The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted people and businesses worldwide to change how they work. Working from home was one of the most common measures of coping with the health crisis. Although this work setup presents numerous advantages, it also introduces several challenges and concerns to many.
Burnout was already an existing issue prior to the pandemic. However, due to the abrupt shift to remote work, more employees globally are struggling to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. There's also the added stress of adjusting to remote work on top of extending hours and losing track of time.
In reality, more employees overwork to demonstrate their commitment to their job. Despite the lack of direct supervision, many worry that their bosses or managers are concerned about their productivity, especially when they are also juggling other duties at home.
Effects of Stress and Work Burnout on Mental Health
Burnout is more than being exhausted from work. It is an emotional, mental, and bodily response to ongoing stress. When work expectations and obligations keep piling up, it will take a toll on you sooner or later. You may begin to feel underappreciated, overworked, and demotivated.
Burnout can drain your energy, enthusiasm, and productivity and affect your personal life. When you're burnt out from work, there can be times when you quickly get irritable and feel so exhausted, even in the comfort of your home, that you dread working the following day. You may also stop caring because you think and feel you have nothing more to offer.
Work burnout can have a variety of negative repercussions on your mental health. People who suffer from work burnout are at risk for the following:
- Anger issues
- Panic disorders
- Eating disorders
What Can Cause Work Burnout?
Work burnout can be induced by a single cause or a combination of factors, but some of its primary triggers are a high workload and a lack of compensation or appreciation. Other factors that may contribute to work burnout include the following:
- Control issues with the job
- Inadequate social support
- Unclear job roles, goals, and expectations
- Unreasonable workload
- Lack of recognition for effort
- Lack of fairness or support from management
- Stressful work environment
6 Tips to Combat Work Burnout
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more crucial than ever to plan for and combat work-from-home burnout. Plus, you might be able to avoid burnout if you can identify its causes. Here are some strategies to prevent work burnout and stay positive while working from home:
1. Recognize the manifestations of burnout
Learning about burnout's physical and mental symptoms is the first step toward overcoming it. Burnout is frequently a slow and steady process that worsens over time. Apart from the effects already mentioned earlier, here are some of the most prevalent signs of burnout:
- Physical: frequent fatigue, headaches, and bodily aches
- Mental or emotional: demotivation, irritability, and lack of interest or concentration
- Behavioral: disconnection from colleagues, procrastination, and tardiness
2. Determine what causes the burnout
Another crucial step is to identify the source of burnout. Strains, conflicts, or overperformance at work are common causes of remote work burnout. To see the bigger picture, carefully examine your situation. Take the time to pinpoint the reasons and triggers of burnout that you must address. It could be the workload, task complexity, working hours, a toxic colleague or client, or even an unpleasant work environment.
3. Use your paid time off and set aside quality time for yourself
It can be easier to return to work even when you're not on the clock than to spend time doing the things you enjoy. To avoid work burnout, schedule some time for yourself to do the things that make you happy. Schedule vacation leaves and visit your loved ones. Go to places of recreation or relaxation with your favorite people, or at least have a few enjoyable hobbies to keep you occupied in your spare time.
Everyone could take time off to regroup and decompress, especially if you're doing your best at work. Prioritize self-care, then return to work with a renewed approach and vigor.
4. Organize your working schedule
Setting limits for a healthy work-life balance requires time management, which can be as simple as making a daily, weekly, or monthly to-do lists. This will serve as both a reminder and a guide for your priorities.
Time blocking is another approach that can help you get things done. It entails setting aside a particular amount of time to work on each project individually. When preparing a to-do list or arranging time blocks, prioritize the most critical tasks to prevent becoming distracted by less important ones.
5. Find inspiration from developing a sense of purpose in your work
To transform your perspective, you may need to rediscover your objective and the more profound significance of your profession. Consider how your employment impacts the lives of others and how you could boost that to give your daily obligations more value.
Also, concentrate on the components of the job that you enjoy, such as interacting with your favorite coworkers, enjoying the added flexibility of work, and appreciating the convenience of spending more time at home and not needing to commute. If you think you have a strong desire for another passion, you may have to shift occupations or careers to feel fulfilled.
6. Reach out for support
Call your friends and family for support if you feel stressed or burned out. Your loved ones can offer advice or assistance to improve your circumstances. Additionally, attempting to build stronger ties with coworkers may boost your job satisfaction and help you feel more connected.
Hang in There!
To lead a happy life and a fulfilling career, keeping the work-life balance in check is imperative. Employees and employers should recognize that while it's natural to feel overwhelmed sometimes, burnout should not be ignored. You must acknowledge burnout by paying attention to its various expressions.
When experiencing burnout, remember that taking a breather and prioritizing self-care is OK. Also, remember that self-awareness and getting help from your support system are some of the most effective strategies for dealing with burnout.
About the Author: Regina del Rosario is from Booth & Partners, a Seattle-based company with operations in the Philippines. With a solid background in conducting interviews with multiple candidates to identify the one with the most potential. Hired over 100 applicants for positions in dozens of industries and campaigns, at levels ranging from interns to upper-level management. Excellent communication abilities, including written and oral, professional and interpersonal. Highly organized and is able to complete several complicated administrative tasks simultaneously.