How to Deal With Remote Work Burnout as The Pandemic Stretches On

Remote work burnout
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Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, working remotely was often reserved for a few privileged employees. Now it is the norm, and there is nothing prestigious about it.

Initially, many workers were happy working from home, but with time they started realizing that remote work came with unique challenges, including constant distractions and an inability to balance between work and personal space. Also, everybody thought the pandemic would blow over and everything would return to normal.

Now, as the pandemic shows no signs of letting up, more people are experiencing burn out working from home. Currently, studies show that about 69 percent of employees working remotely report experiencing burnout symptoms. This is according to a survey conducted in July involving 284 employees in the US.

And in spite of the subtle symptoms of burnout, 59 percent are taking fewer breaks than they normally would when working from the office. In addition, 42 percent have no plans for taking time off any time soon to let off steam.

According to Vicki Salemi, Monster’s career expert, remote work may have saved you from the daily commute and office structure, however, taking a mental break from technology and work is critical.

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Basically, working from home has come with some harsh realities such as blurring the lines between work and personal lives. As a result, many employees are unable to set clear boundaries. In addition, some employees are working harder and longer in order to prove their commitment to employers that they are actually working and productive.

Then there are distractions such as children barging into the working space or having to supervise or educate kids who are home, as most schools closed with no definite time for reopening.

When you throw in the anxiety of not knowing when this pandemic is going to end, things really start looking bleak for the average employee. According to Justin Black, head of Glint People Science, the risk of employees experiencing burn out is increasing. Data gathered from a survey conducted by Glint indicates that employee burnout doubled from March to April from 2.7 percent to 5.4 percent. The survey showed that people struggling to balance their work and personal lives are 4.4 percent more likely to experience burnout.

To deal with the demands of the new normal and reduce chances of experiencing burnout, Blair Heitmann, LinkedIn’s Career Expert says employees should try to stick to the normal working routine as much as possible. He also advises that people should set boundaries to avoid spending their entire time at the home office desk even when the workday is technically over. You should also consider letting your employer and colleagues know when you are available and stay within those parameters.

In addition, to help make a distinction between work and personal life, consider setting up a designated space as a home office. And don’t work from your bed as it is not only bad for your posture but also creates little distinction in work and sleep time.

Ultimately, we might not know when the pandemic is going to end but we can ride it out without experiencing burn out. If you are experiencing remote work burnout, please let us know, and let us know how (or if) you are dealing with it!

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