Work from home burnout is a threat to remote employee health and productivity. Over 60% of US workers admit to having experienced burnout on the job. It is therefore important that HR departments of distributed teams are familiar with work from home burnout, its signs, and causes, plus how to deal with it.
As more employers and employees embrace remote work, newly remote workers are facing a number of challenges behind closed doors, and some are perplexed. One of such challenges is work from home burnout.
Freelancers who work with multiple clients can juggle their calendars to accommodate client work. Some have monthly deliverables due any day before the month-end. This arrangement prevents burnout. However, this isn’t always the case with full-time employment.
Most full-time jobs require daily meetings and briefings, reports, client calls, follow-ups, etc. Due to COVID-19 and lockdown, most of these activities now take place online via video conferencing, and it eats into employee time, some of the time. This can also lead to burnout.
In this post, we shall address some signs of work from home burnout, causes, effects, and highlight four (4) simple ways to overcome work from home burnout.
What is Work From Home Burnout?
Simply put, work from home burnout refers to unmanaged job-related stress and exhaustion that employees experience when working from home. Job stress is a huge problem costing billions of dollars yearly in health expenses, absenteeism, and low employee productivity.
As more companies transition to remote work, employers and employees must learn how to identify and treat work from home burnout.
Some Causes of Work From Home Burnout
Work from home burnout can be caused by several factors including:
- Sudden transition to remote work
- Unclear job roles and descriptions
- Working longer hours
- Unpaid overtime
- Multiple online meetings
- Poor social support system
- Lack of validation
- Targeted cyberattacks
- Slow running PCs
- Work-life imbalance
- Toxic relationships at home
- Drug abuse, etc
And here are
3 Negative Effects of Work From Home Burnout
Broadly speaking, work from home burnout impacts the
- Employee (physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, economically)
- Employer (productivity, poor service delivery, profitability)
- Economy (revenue, expenditure)
Burnout drains employees physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and economically,improving lowering productivity and profitability (leading to churn) due to poor service delivery, resulting in lower revenue for the economy and higher expenditure on healthcare, insurance, etc.
This is a vicious cycle that needs breaking.
4 Simple Ways to Overcome Work From Home Burnout
1. Know the Signs
- unable to focus,
- missing deadlines,
- making excuses for it and lying more,
- abandoning house chores,
- skipping family bonding time,
- transferring aggression to your spouse,
- avoiding or binging on social media,
- Netflix-ing and feeling guilty,
- snacking up or
- unable to sleep, etc- all because you now work from home?
If you nodded yes, yes, yes; then yes, you may be dealing with work from home burnout, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. A full two-thirds of full-time employees in the US experience occupational burnout, with 23% feeling often or always burned out.
If so, you should seek help immediately to safeguard your health, well-being, and income from the negative effects of work from home burnout. You should speak to your HR, manager, colleagues, spouse, or your support system. Better yet, get professional help.
2. Take a Break
As a matter of fact, take breaks, especially when you begin noticing the signs of burnout when working from home. Some of us are workaholics and are actually putting in more time now that we’re working from home.
But burnout can take a massive toll on your health and burn you out financially. Job stress reportedly costs American companies $300 billion a year in health costs, absenteeism, and poor performance. And even if your employer pays the health bills, you as the employee bears the real cost of unmanaged burnout.
For this reason, employers and employees must play their parts in checking this silent killer. With distributed teams, however, this can be a challenge. Therefore employers should check in with employees to ensure they’re fine and operating at optimal productivity. Employees should take breaks when feeling stressed out, relax, and return to work later.
3. Break Tasks Down
If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed with work consider breaking down your work from home tasks into bite-size, so you don’t bite more than you can chew. This can help you beat burnout.
Also document your work from home process starting with your morning routine through to your to-do list as well as your break habits. Pay special attention to your to-do lists. Observe how much time e-meetings take and their impact on your work schedule.
Factor all these in when breaking your tasks down in your to-do list. By organizing your tasks this way, you not only reduce burnout, but you also increase productivity by implementing short term goals. Ensure to celebrate every milestone task you complete. The positive feelings from this can help you overcome burnout.
There are many online jobs out there that people can do from home. For instance, if you’re a dropshipper who runs a growing e-commerce business, here’s what your typical workday may look like:
Dropshipping To-Do List
- Identify new hot-selling products
- Source products from AliExpress
- Import products into Shopify store using Oberlo
- Edit product names and descriptions
- Set pricing rules
- Create and launch Facebook ads
- Respond to customer emails (follow-ups, returns, refunds, etc)
- Create and send newsletter
- Write a blog post for a new product
- Update social media accounts
Assuming you’re also a wife and mother of two toddlers and two teens, who’re all home all day due to COVID-19, you definitely have your hands full. Juggling all these can lead to burnout, except you outsource some of your work.
Decide whether to outsource home chores to a nanny or ask your teens to help. You can also get virtual assistants to help with other non-core areas of your dropshipping business. This way you can prevent work from home burnout while increasing productivity.
Work from home burnout is a threat facing remote teams. Both employers and employees have roles to play in identifying and containing it accordingly. As an employee, your health is your primary responsibility.
So remember to:
- Know the signs
- Take a break
- Break tasks down, and
- Outsource non-essential tasks.
This way you can beat work from home burnout, stay productive, and enjoy remote work accordingly.