Deep dive into the current global situation of WFH employee burnout. Get well-researched tips on how you can beat burnout and thrive while working from home.
The lockdown brought upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic forced a global switch to work from home routine. In a rush to adapt to this new scenario, many employers did not set up the appropriate limitations required for their employees to thrive while working remotely.
As a result, employees are currently struggling to set work boundaries as well as preserve their energy and mental health during the work-from-home period. This new threat to employee welfare and productivity is called burnout.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as an occupational “syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” There are three main characteristics of burnout: exhaustion, negative feelings towards the job, and reduced professional efficacy.
To understand better, here are 3 facts about the current situation of WFH employee burnout according to statistics released by the Society for Human Resource Management:
- 41% of employees feel burnt out during the pandemic.
- About 22-35% of employees admitted to usually experiencing symptoms of depression.
- 37% of employees reported having done nothing to cope with these feelings.
Based on our research, here are 7 ways for employees to beat WFH burnout.
How to beat WFH burnout?
7 tips to fight WFH burnout and work productively
2Keep to a schedule
3Focus on your most important work
5Exercise or take a walk
6Don’t overwork yourself
7Engage with the team
Tip 1 - Maintain boundaries
In the immediate aftermath of the lockdown, employees welcomed the new habit of not having to go to work daily. However, this soon led to a whole new routine whereby employees have no boundaries between work and non-work periods. In time, many employees began suffering from burnout due to their inability to balance their home and work life.
To resolve this, employees need to separate their work from non-work life physically. Putting on work clothes or taking a morning walk before working can help to put them in the right frame of mind. At the end of the workday, they can change out of their work clothes to turn off their work mode.
By physically transitioning between work and non-work mode, remote employees will be able to cultivate and maintain their boundaries thereby reducing overworking and stress.
Tip 2 - Keep to a schedule
In WFH scenarios, the employees are solely responsible for their own schedules. This sometimes results in work off-track and leads to burnout due to looming deadlines.
By creating and sticking to a work schedule, employees will be able to get their tasks done on time. Then they have more time to rest well and be ready for the next day. For more productivity, employees should include breaks in their schedules to help them relax.
Tip 3 - Focus on your most important work
Many remote workers have trouble prioritizing the most important task on hand. With many of them new to the WFH situation, they are likely to believe that being busy is the same as being productive. In the long run, this mindset will affect the productivity of such employees.
As a way to solve this, employees should learn to prioritize their tasks. To do this, employees can arrange their work priorities a day before. This will give them time to analyze and put the truly important ones ahead. It will also help prevent employees from being distracted by other daily activities or a co-worker’s preference.
Tip 4 - Reduce distractions
One of the top causes of burnout among remote employees is distractions while working from home. With everyone now close to their family, pets, and friends, it is easy for employees to get caught up with one issue or another.
To help you stay focused in the face of never-ending distractions. There are a number of actions employees can take. This includes setting up a dedicated workstation, reducing the use of the internet, and encouraging family members or roommates not to contact them during working hours.
Tip 5 - Exercise or take a walk
The pandemic has made commuting to work almost impossible. Having been stuck in quarantine, not having this type of social distraction is one of the reasons why remote workers may currently be experiencing burnout.
Taking a walk or jog around the block can provide employees with the required energy boost to start the day and reduce burnout. In addition, employees may add workout routines like jumping jacks or push-ups to their daily schedule to keep them motivated and help them stay fit.
Tip 6 - Don’t overwork yourself
One of the biggest worries brought on by the pandemic is the fear of job loss. As a result, employees currently working from home may be tempted to overwork themselves or refuse to seek help as a way to prove their value to their employers. This usually ends up becoming counterproductive as their work will suffer due to burnout.
Employees can prevent this by taking time to disconnect from work. By plugging out of work, they will be able to regain much-needed motivation and be more productive for themselves and their employers. Requesting for time off or dedicating weekends to relaxation are simple ways for employees to accomplish this.
Tip 7 - Engage with the team
For many employees, engaging in social activities with co-workers is one of the things they miss most during the lockdown period. Lacking this engagement can contribute to their negative feelings towards the job while working from home.
However, with the advent of technology, virtual team building activities are made possible.
For example, having a private social network like Sprynkl will provide employees a place to bond as a team. With online games like spinning wheels and activities such as quick surveys or customized team groups, employees will be able to engage one another and stay connected during this period.
Following the sudden switch to remote work caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, employees are beginning to struggle with balancing work with their everyday life. The resulting burnout has led to a rise in depression and a decline in productivity. To overcome this, employees can follow our 7 tips to conquer burnout, boost morale while maintaining their productivity when working from home.