Treating work-from-home burnout opens up on the initial enthusiasm about work-from-home, subsequent burnout and inertia, and what you can do to get relief.
The fear and anxiety over the high rate of COVID-19 infection led to global lockdown and stay at home directive. Consequently many non-essential jobs fell under the work-from-home instruction. Initially, it was exciting, less stressful since commuting was out of the picture. Many people found working from the comfort of their homes a fantastic ‘new normal’.
However, six months down the line, cracks in the perfect work-from-home arrangement are starting to show in five ways. First, balancing work and life is difficult, as the office and home are in a single location. Second, the beneficial personal social contacts of in-person meetings are gone. Third, couples and families are living in one space, triggering more arguments, conflicts. Fourth, video conferencing fatigue is leading to more serious health issues like depression, high blood pressure etc. Fifth, there have been more cases of emotional traumas from domestic violence, physical, and sexual abuse.
9 Ways Of Treating Work-From-Home Burnout
But despite the downsides of work-from-home, many employers and employees see no escape from this new normal. This is because several companies that dominate the non-essential jobs category see the work-from-home as the way to go now and in the future. So if you find yourself in this double jeopardy scenario, the best bet is to try to insulate yourself from the burnout and boredom of working from home. As such, treating work-from-home burnout should include the following actions or behaviour change considerations:
Make The Work-From-Home More Meaningful And Satisfying
If there are no alternatives because you need this job. Then it is important that you accept the work-from-home and make it more positive for you. This means you look for satisfaction and meaning in your work. This is because feeling bored, unsatisfied, and burnout with what you do for a significant part of the day can cause high levels of stress. Thereby taking a serious toll on your physical and mental health. So if you are not in a position to quit your job, you can still find purpose and joy in a job that is getting you stressed.
Take Care Of Yourself
Treating work-from-home burnout also means taking care of yourself. When you are overly focused on work, it is easy to neglect your physical health. But when you are supporting your health with good nutrition and exercise, you are stronger and more resilient to stress. Taking care of yourself does not require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you are back in the driver’s seat. So be vigilant about taking care of your health through exercise, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep as explained further below:
Make time for regular exercise
The best exercise is the activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. It is an effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. Exercise such as aerobics, walking, running, dancing, drumming are especially soothing for the nervous system. Thus, for maximum stress relief, try to get at least thirty minutes of activity on most days.
Eat a healthy diet
Your food choices can have a huge impact on how you feel during the workday. Eating small, frequent, and healthy meals, for example, can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar. As well as helping keep your energy and focus up while avoiding mood swings. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make you feel anxious and irritable while eating too much can make you lethargic.
As a result, the basic notion about healthy eating is to eat foods that are as nearer as possible to their natural form. This means that rather than choose pre-packaged foods, pick fresh wholesome foods. For instance eat fish instead of frozen fish fingers, or potatoes instead of chips, or apples instead of sugary apple flavoured drink. By shunning processed foods like chips, cookies, and ready-made restaurant meals, you reduce your intake of calories, salt, saturated fat and sugar
Get a good sleep
There is nothing as stressful and potentially dangerous as working when you are sleep-deprived. You may feel like you just don’t have the time to get a full night’s sleep. But skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better prepared you will be to tackle your work-from-home responsibilities.
You can improve the quality of your sleep by making healthy changes to your daytime and nightly routines. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Be careful about what you eat and drink during the day. Make adjustments to your sleep environment if necessary. The aim is for 8 hours a night, which is the amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best.
Establish Healthy Boundaries
Although you may feel pressured to be available 24 hours a day or obliged to keep checking your phones for work-related messages and updates. However, working from home does not mean you cannot establish healthy boundaries. It is important to maintain periods where you are not working or thinking about work, particularly when working from home. This means not checking emails or taking work calls at home in the evening or at weekends.
Make Space For Work-Life Balance
There was a time when employees showed up for work Monday through Friday and worked eight to nine hours. The boundaries between work and home were fairly clear then. However, the world has changed and, unfortunately, the boundaries have blurred for many workers.
Notwithstanding, it is still possible to maintain a work-life balance during this pandemic. And since work-life balance does not mean doing everything, you can take a critical look at your priorities and set boundaries. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do and remain firm. Only you can restore harmony to your lifestyle, no one else.
Avoid Video Conferencing Fatigue
In order to avoid video conferencing fatigue, make sure to take short breaks throughout the day from your laptop or desktop computer. Try to take a walk, chat to a friendly face on your mobile phone, or practice medication, yoga or stretching exercise. Also take a walk away from your work table to the kitchen to take your lunch. It will help you relax and recharge and be more, not less, productive.
Make Time To Refresh
In order to prevent burnout, set aside time for activities you enjoy and make it a must once a week. Take the phone off the hook, power down the computer and turn off the TV. Discover safe activities, such as walking, working out, or listening to music, you can do with your partner or family. Other ways to unwind after a hectic work-from-home day is by reading, practicing yoga, or taking a bath or shower.
Share Your Concerns With Trusted Friends
Sharing your concerns with trusted friends will ease your mind of work turmoil. For this reason, give yourself the gift of a trusted friend or co-worker to talk with during times of stress or hardship. If you belong to a religious community, take advantage of the support your religious leader can provide. Ensure you have trusted friends and relatives who can support you emotionally when you are experiencing the fatigue and depression of working from home.
Manage Your Time
Organise household tasks efficiently. A weekly family calendar of important dates and a daily list of to-dos will help you avoid deadline panic. If your employer offers you a course in time management, accept the offer
Know When To Seek Help
Lastly, everyone needs help from time to time. If none of the steps, identified in treating work-from-home burnout, relieves your feelings of job burnout, consult a mental health provider. You can take this step either on your own or through an employee assistance program offered by your employer. Through counseling, you can learn effective ways of treating work-from-home burnout.
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