I was reading an article about how working from home has created an unforeseen problem, the inability to switch off.
Because work is based from home, we don’t have an “off” button. Ironically, studies have shown that working from home has actually benefited organizations because employees are more productive.
Granted, there is the advantage of avoiding the daily commute to the office. However, if working from home is not managed properly there is a dark side, the possibility of burnout.
Burnout is defined by “helpguide.org” as a state of emotional, physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” Given the current environment we are in with a global pandemic it’s no surprise that the risk of burnout is high. Apart from overworking, there is the ongoing stress of the Covid-19 Pandemic affecting every aspect of our lives.
Burnout is characterized by:
- constant fatigue
- A sense of hopelessness
- Lack of appetite
- Lack of concentration
- Weaker immune system (signified by getting sick frequently)
- Anger outbursts
Burnout is a slow process so being mindful and keeping track of the symptoms is important.
There are a few “tricks” that one can use to manage burnout, the tips below will have an emphasis for the worker from home.
- Set up specific work hours for when you are “on”
- Clear up a specific work area sperate from your living area to create the idea of boundaries between work and life
- Take a vacation if you feel the symptoms of burnout
- Get enough sleep
- Assess your professional career be prepared to make a change if necessary
- Make time for alternative activities
- Do things you enjoy
- Get support from family and friends
- Learn to say no to some tasks/ jobs so that you are not overwhelmed
- Get some exercise
As Alan Cohen said “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither”.