Stuck at home for far too long? Experiencing work from home burnout? Wondering when will this be over so you can return to normal? Will we ever be back to normal? Has your work performance (as well as mental health) been deteriorating as this pandemic drags on?
Work from home burnout is as real as it gets.
It has been more than a year since the start of the pandemic. And as we all know, the vast majority of the workforce all over the world has shifted to work from home setup. With no ending in the near future (still), it seems more employees are already experiencing work from home burnout.
I know some people who said they are fortunate to retain their jobs and have been overcompensating for it by working extra hard. Somehow they feel that if they work less, they can be seen as slacking off by their managers and thus might risk losing their jobs.
BUT! This is the wrong mentality and it’s a surefire way to experience work from home burnout.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines burnout as a result of chronic workplace stress and characterized by:
- feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativity or cynicism related to one’s job
- reduced self-efficacy
It may be like a dream come true for many of us Filipinos to finally be able to work from home. That means no more waking up early to beat the mad rush hour traffic, spending countless hours commuting, getting distracted by office drama, and no more spending hundreds of pesos for lunch or snacks or after-work dinner!
But then again as working from home has become our new normal — the line between professional and personal life is coming to a blur. The spaces in our homes are even becoming extensions of our office. It has now become harder to distinguish between work life and personal life.
In reality, many employees have struggled to navigate this work from home setup in the new normal. It may have been all sunshine and roses at the beginning, but when it drags on and on, with no ending in sight, that’s when stress can quickly turn into work from home burnout.
You may not know it but you could already be exhibiting symptoms of work from home burnout. According to Mayo Clinic, here are some things you can ask yourself to assess if you’re experiencing work from home burnout:
- Have you become cynical or critical at work?
- Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
- Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers, or clients?
- Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
- Do you find it hard to concentrate?
- Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
- Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
- Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
- Have your sleep habits changed?
- Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?
If you answered yes to all/some of these questions, then you might be experiencing work burnout. It’s best to talk to a doctor or a mental health professional to prevent any further damage to your health and well-being.
It’s essential to recognize the signs of work burnout to help you address them. And before you even reach that boiling critical point, here are 5 easy tips to prevent work from home burnout.
5 Tips to Avoid Work From Home Burnout
It’s always best to ask your boss about your work from home schedule and to set a clear expectation. Ask them if they expect you to clock in and out at the same time as you were in an office setup or if you can have a flexible schedule. Once the time and schedule has been established, make sure to create boundaries for your work and personal time.
ALSO READ: 10 Tips On How To Work From Home Productively That You Should Do
Make it known to your boss that you cannot work after work hours for whatever personal reason (e.g. take care of kids, run personal errands, workout time, etc.). Whatever the reason is, it is valid and it is your own personal life. You can do whatever you like without any permission.
Sometimes, bosses don’t realize that just because employees are staying at home doesn’t mean they are expected to be available for work 24/7 any time of the day. We are still humans who have basic needs outside of work. Don’t let work consume every waking minute of your day.
Improve your workspace
As superficial as it may sound, sprucing up your work area or work desk may just be the perfect solution for you to prevent work from home burnout! The subtle changes could do wonders for your productivity.
Here are some work from home products from Lazada that you will love! And check out these work-from-home essentials that will keep you focused.
In my case, adding some dried flowers and a candle to my work desk doesn’t just help prettify it, but also helps uplift my mood. Maybe it’s because of the pop of colors?
So go ahead and add to cart those work essentials you have been meaning to get – wireless mouse, cool keyboard, or those headphones with noise cancelation. When you have something to look forward to using or seeing during work hours, then all the more you will get excited to clock in for work.
Change of scenery
Sometimes upgrading your work essentials just won’t cut it. Maybe a change of scenery is all it takes for you to prevent work from home burnout.
And maybe it’s time to go fully remote in your work and ditch city living. If anything, the pandemic teaches us to be always ahead of the game and embrace change. Besides, most office work could be done digitally anyway.
Now that people have experienced working from home, I’m sure that it’s going to be hard to go back to normal. Getting stuck in EDSA traffic again when this is all over? Na-uh no more!
You may now be thinking work from the beach… work from a luxe hotel or resort… work from anywhere! Or better yet, in Tagaytay City! Nothing compares to being surrounded by nature and also knowing that the metro is just within reach too.
Tucked in the middle of the lush greenery of Crosswinds in Tagaytay lies the soon-to-rise luxury condo, Alpine Villas! It’s a cluster of sophisticated mid-rise villas inspired by Swiss chalets. It could be your dream home away from home at the city’s highest peak!
ALSO READ: 7 Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Vacation Home in Tagaytay
Imagine working from home and being relaxed and rejuvenated at the same time because of the stress-free ambiance. No more noisy neighbors, pollution, and heavy traffic to worry about on top of your pressing deadlines and reports! Ahh that’s a perfect life, isn’t it?
If you’re looking for a new home that’s ready to be occupied, there are two ready homes in Crosswinds — Chatelard and Lucerne. They are both Swiss-inspired as well and make for the perfect private sanctuary for you and your family.
Invest now in your dream luxury home in Tagaytay. It’s not just a piece of property you are investing in, but also peace of mind, relaxation, rejuvenation, security, and knowing that you can have quality time with your family within this Swiss-inspired exclusive community in Tagaytay.
For more info about Crosswinds Tagaytay by Brittany Corporation, please visit their website and social media accounts:
Prioritize your tasks
Another way you can avoid work from home burnout is by doing this simple step: list down your to-do list for the day and know which ones to prioritize.
It also helps to acknowledge that you are no superman or superwoman so keep your list realistic and achievable. Having many unchecked items on your daily to-do list will only make you stress even further. So only put those that you can do within the day and do not overwhelm yourself.
Also, don’t forget to take breaks to help you relax and rejuvenate within the day. Go ahead and brew your own coffee or tea, rest your strained eyes, move around or do some stretching, and allow yourself to catch some fresh air or get some sunlight.
Remember, your mental health is just as important so don’t forget to prioritize that too.
Stay connected with family and friends
If ever you are experiencing work from home burnout, do not hesitate to contact your friends or loved ones. Just having someone you trust to hear your rants and problems could provide such a huge relief.
Make an intentional and genuine effort to reach out to your co-workers, friends from outside of work, or even an old friend.
It helps to know that you are not alone in this so-called new normal. So don’t just lock yourself in the room and drown yourself with problems and consume too much stressful news. Talk to someone, have e-numan with friends, and call your folks on a regular basis.
TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!
It’s essential to recognize if you’re already experiencing work from home burnout and not just the typical ‘tired from too much work’ kind of stress. That way you can easily combat it and do something before it spirals downwards.
As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup. So take care of yourself.
How do you prevent work from home burnout? Which tips above have you tried? Any other tips you want to add? Let me know in the comments section! I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you Hazel for this. I needed these reminders today. Stay safe!
Hi Kath! I’m glad you find these reminders helpful. Stay safe as well. 🤗
Yes, one of the traps people who WFH for the first time fall into is not setting boundaries and limits to their work tasks. I’ve set my work hours from 6AM – 2PM. After that, I have to live my life. Otherwise, I might not love what I do.
Yes to setting work hours! Nice to see you’re doing great while WFH! 💜
I get the feeling of burnout sometimes, especially because of too many controls to ensure work-from-home efficiency. I just don’t like the feeling of not being trusted by my company. Anyway, what I do is that I take many small breaks in between tasks.
Aww I think that’s a common issue for traditional companies who suddenly transitioned to WFH setup because of the pandemic. 😔 Take it easy, Ivan!
When the pandemic started, I knew I am going to work more at home so I made sure I spruced up my work desk. But of course, from time to time, I work at a coffee shop just to change the environment as well. 🙂
Girl, I actually have this idea of like working from a hotel or like resort for a month just to get a change of scenery and get away from my family lol, but yeah all the other things I’m already doing! Miss the office still tho!
Home burnout is real and these tips are really helpful to avoid them. I like to set boundaries and organizing my workspace. We cant really focus and be productive when our space is messy and disorganized. Thanks for sharing these tips
I wish I can do #3 soon! Need new aura and scenery😅 Working at home is a bit difficult than what I thought.
I agree with all of these specially improving the workspace. When I started working from home, my computer was in my bedroom and I find it too distracting (my bed tempting me to take a nap instead of actually working), then I decided to move it to the spare room since I wont be taking any guests soon. Thanks for the tips!
very mahirap din to improve especially if you have lots of other tasks pa to do aside from your work in a day. pero im glad im able to finish naman kahit papano.
Hello there! I really read this content because I can relate as I am also WFH. We really have to learn when to stop and set boundaries, no matter how flexible this current work set-up is. Balance is the key. Guilty ako jan. Haha. Stay safe.
#1 is really the first thing we must do. As for me, I have separate phones and laptops for personal and work purposes. My boss knows that I don’t reply on weekends because I am only paid for to work on weekdays, and even then, I only reply within the working hours. Energy management is as important as time management.
Mahirap talaga pag maraming mga extra na umaabala sayo during your work.