While the trend of remote work seems to be appreciating in most industries, it is also becoming a major concern. It’s boosting the productivity levels of individuals as well as that of entire companies. But simultaneously, we see that telework is also giving rise to physical and mental stress all around the globe.
A United Nations report of 2017 claimed that about 41 percent of remote workers experienced high-stress levels, while only 25 percent of in-house employees reported having experienced the same. A report published in 2020 further elaborates on the stress scenario. About 69% of remote workers experienced work-from-home burnout currently. Although the current survey involves the effects of the COVID crisis as well (we can’t deny, it’s depressing!), the general rate of remote work stress seems to be rising by the day.
But does that data negate the benefits of telecommuting entirely? Perhaps, not.
A few fixes might as well help in facing the physical and mental stress that comes along. The burnout is avoidable only if we pay attention to the problem-causing areas. If we acknowledge and address the underlying problems, we can truly enjoy all the exciting benefits of working from home.
So let’s evaluate some of the common causes of the burnout that work from home is causing around and some possible cures to get rid of it.
Cause: Working Round the Clock
Telecommute gradually blurs the fine line between work and home life. You don’t have to get up early in the morning and get dressed, and you don’t have to spend time traveling to reach your workplace and socializing, which in turn gives you more time to spend on work. And so, you do.
But then again, who doesn’t appreciate a promotion on account of exceptional performance and dedication? Who doesn’t like generating extra cash or building a shining career to stand out from the crowd? And so, you start spending the off-from-work hours too on work. If not the same, you’ll find yourself looking for part-time opportunities, setting yourself up for newer ventures, newer responsibilities.
And that’s where you sow the seed of an inevitable burnout. Eventually, remote work allures you and invites you to overwork yourself. You began spending more and more hours on work, just to reach the specific target that you were not able to achieve before lockdown. Often, you get too involved in the race to attract new opportunities that you forget the significance of your mental and physical health.
Cure: Set up a Schedule
Without a doubt, to keep yourself from exhausting, you need to pause! You need to understand both your financial and physical needs and tend to them equally. It’s good to be productive but certainly not at the expense of your health. You don’t wish to spend that extra cash on hospitals. Do you? Or perhaps, that hard-earned promotion going down the drain because your final burnout won’t let you continue. Nobody wants that. Right?
So, you better set up a schedule and restrict yourself to it. Say, you allot 9-5 as your working hours and work without a break, pledge not to log in to your work portal after that. (Not even a second more.)
Schedule other activities for yourself after that so that you’re able to stick to your new routine. Work an hour or two on weekends if you desperately want to explore other earning opportunities. Keep in mind that your work hours and your leisure time are equally important.
Cause: Lack of Cooperation & Support
Undeniably, remote work has numerous benefits. However, one of the major advantages workers believe is that you won’t have to deal with co-workers, colleagues, and project managers. While this may be a blessing for some, do not forget that you will be alone when you face work-related problems while working from home.
At times, you will have to strive to solve all the work-related matters yourself. You won’t have anyone to rely on when things go haywire. And, this constant lack of cooperation and support from remote teams can lead to burnout.
Cure: Connect With Your Team
The most effective method to treat or prevent this cause of burnout is communication because communication is the key. Regardless of working from home, a remote team is still a team. So, whenever you come across work-related problems, do not hesitate even for a second to reach out to your colleague or boss for help.
In case, you feel burnout rising, communicate about your concerns to your colleagues. If you sense a lack of focus or motivation due to boring work from home routine, initiate engaging video calls and meetings with your remote team and discuss your concerns there to feel more active and connected.
Something’s cooking in the kitchen, perhaps, you should go and have a look? Oh, the kids are watching a new movie, perhaps, you should go and spend some time with them? Do these thoughts sound familiar too?
Well, the greatest con of working from home is various distractions distracting you every second of your work. You have to complete those files, but there is simply so much more to tend to other than work. Pause and note, experiencing these distractions and catering to them indicate chronic stress and burnout when working from home.
Procrastination and finding other tasks enjoyable are a few signs of chronic stress, which alters brain anatomy and functionality. Hence, you’re thinking and concentration abilities feel overwhelmed.
If you are easily distracted, your stress level rises with these distractions. In this state, your chances of making a bad decision increases. So it is important to handle distractions in a proper manner. Many found Koi CBD products very effective in keeping themselves focused and calm in such situations.
Cure: Set up a Separate Workplace
While fulfilling these distractions is appealing, you must not do so. Instead, focus on the reason behind this change in behavior. In the past, you would have been completing the work at hand while sipping your coffee in the office. So, what is different now?
Perhaps, the absence of a defined workspace has deprived you of the motivation to work, leading to you finding activities other than your work more appealing. Having a proper workplace will not only separate you from distractions but also save you the struggle of finding a peaceful spot at home during your working hours.
Now, to set up a workplace, you do not necessarily need to renovate an entire room. It’s good to have a vacant room turned into a proper home office, depending upon your comfort and work needs. However, if you lack the budget and time, set up a separate desk and chair in your room dedicated to work. Usually, a comfortable chair and desk works for most.
You do not need a lot of space to make a home office. So do not worry, if you have no vacant space in your home. You just need to look for a spot that is less distracting and comfortable. If possible, you can also turn the area under the staircase into an office. Again, there is no need to be fancy. A simple desk, chair, and the required work equipment will do the job.